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GA-SARA

What is SARA?

SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements) is a national initiative which seeks to establish comparable national standards for the interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. SARA is a voluntary agreement among regional compacts (SRED, NEBHE, MHEC, and WICHE) and member states. Each member state approves their in-state institutions for SARA participation. Institutional membership is voluntary and open to accredited, degree-granting institutions from all sectors of postsecondary education (proprietary, public, private). Once approved, SARA member institutions may offer distance education programs in other SARA member states without additional authorization. For more information on SARA, and for the latest listing of participating states and institutions, visit nc-sara.org.

SARA approved postsecondary institutions listed on the NC-SARA website may operate within Georgia without additional authorization, unless the institution is physically present based on NC-SARA policy.

Georgia became a member of SARA on November 9, 2015 through the Southern Regional Education Board Compact (SREB). The Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission has been designated the portal agency for SARA – the entity responsible for coordinating SARA activities in Georgia.

NC- SARA Resources

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)

Institutional Fees

Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policies and Standards

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

SARA FAQ

  1. What is SARA?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. See nc-sara.org         for national information.

 

  1. How do I join SARA?

If your home state is a member, your institution may join SARA.  Georgia institutions will apply to the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC) for membership. Please go to www.gnpec.org and review information under the SARA tab.

 

  1. What does SARA cover?

SARA applies only to distance education and does not negate existing state regulations that apply to physical presence.

How can a Georgia Institution join SARA?

Institutional membership is voluntary and open to accredited, degree-granting institutions from all sectors of postsecondary education (proprietary, public, private), provided that its main campus or central unit is legally domiciled in the state of Georgia and that it is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. To initiate the process for joining SARA, the institution will complete and submit the Application for Institutional Approval to Participate in SARA. You may review additional state requirements here: GA State Supplemental Sheet.

GA-SARA

GA-SARA Applications

GA SARA Application Process

Initial Application Process

Institution Approval will require the completion and submission of the following forms to GA-SARA:

NC-SARA’s Initial Institutional Application (The application must be completed in its original form and with required original initials and signature of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). Items 1 – 14 on the application may be initialed by the CEO or CAO. Alterations or substitutions will not be accepted.)

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

    Institutions that are not part of the University System of Georgia or the Technical College System of Georgia must complete and submit the Memorandum of Understanding for participation in GA-SARA as part of their application. Pages 1-7 need to be completed. The entire document must be submitted.

  • Supporting Documentation (required for all institutions):

    Several items of supporting documentation are required as part of the application:

  • documentation of legal domicile in Georgia
  • accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education
  • documentation of written notification to students relative to programming that leads to professional licensure (see application item #10)
  • student complaint process
  • catastrophic event policies (as applies to Distance Education lost access, possible teach outs, etc.)
  • GA-SARA fees (see below).
  • Additional Supporting Documentation required for private institutions: 
    • federal financial responsibility score
    • bond or letter of credit (if required, see Georgia Supplemental Page)

Fees

Institutions are required to pay a fee to participate in SARA.  This annual fee is based on an institution’s total full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment as shown in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and is assessed as follows:

GA-SARA has established the following fee structure for participating Georgia institutions:

GA-SARA annual fee schedule

FTE Students                                      Fee

Fewer than 2,500                                $1,000

2,500 – 9,999                                      $1,500

10,000 or more                                    $2,000

NC-SARA has established the following fee structure for participating institutions:

NC-SARA annual fee Schedule:

      FTE Students                                   Fee

     Fewer than 2,500                             $2,000

     2,500 – 9,999                                   $4,000

    10,000 or more                                 $6,000

Mail application with supporting documents and the GA-SARA Fee to:

GA-SARA

C/O NPEC

2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220

Tucker, Georgia 30084

Renewal Application Process

Institution Approval will require the completion and submission of the following forms to GA-SARA:

NC-SARA’s Institutional Renewal Application(The application must be completed in its original form and with required original initials and signature of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). Items 1 – 14 on the application may be initialed by the CEO or CAO. Alterations or substitutions will not be accepted.)

  • Supporting Documentation (required for all institutions):

    Several items of supporting documentation are required as part of the renewal application:

    • documentation of legal domicile in Georgia
    • accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education
    • documentation of written notification to students relative to programming that leads to professional licensure (see application item #10)
    • student complaint process (if any changes to previous documentation – please define)
    • catastrophic event policies (if any changes to previous documentation – please define)
    • GA-SARA fees (see below).
  • Additional Supporting Documentation required for non-public institutions: 
    • federal financial responsibility score
    • bond or letter of credit

Fees

Institutions are required to pay a fee to participate in SARA.  This annual fee is based on an institution’s total full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment as shown in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and is assessed as follows:

GA-SARA has established the following fee structure for participating Georgia institutions:

GA-SARA annual fee schedule*

FTE Students                                      Fee

Fewer than 2,500                             $1,000

2,500 – 9,999                                   $1,500

10,000 or more                                 $2,000

NC-SARA has established the following fee structure for participating institutions:

NC-SARA annual fee Schedule:

   FTE Students                                   Fee

   Fewer than 2,500                             $2,000

   2,500 – 9,999                                   $4,000

  10,000 or more                                 $6,000

Mail application with supporting documents and the GA-SARA Fee to:

GA-SARA

C/O NPEC

2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220

Tucker, Georgia 30084

GA-SARA Complaint Form





Note: this complaint form is applicable to students who attend either a public or private (not-for-profit or for-profit) with its principal campus or central administrative unit domiciled in Georgia.

Complainant Information

(*Indicates Required Information)

*Last Name

*First Name

Middle Name

*Street Address

*City

*State

*Zip

*Phone (day)
(evening)
(mobile)

*Email

Concerning Institution

*Name of Institution

*Institution Address (Street, City, State, ZIP Code)

*Institution Phone Number

*Date of Last Attendance or of Incident:

Explain Outcome

Please explain the desired outcome you expect regarding your complaint:

Complaint Information

Have you followed the institutions appeals/or complaint process to resolve your complaint(s)?

Note: the student must have exhausted the institution's complaint and/or appeal process before GNPEC will attempt to help the student establish any possible resolution with the institution.

Complaint Circumstances:

Explain the circumstances that led to your complaint. Be as specific as you can about your concerns and include all the information relevant to your complaint.

*Describe your efforts to resolve this complaint with the institution. Be as specific as you can, including dates, institutional staff with whom you spoke to regarding your complaint, and the school’s response. Please include all information relevant to the complaint. (Upload any supporting documenatation. Acceptable formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .jpg).

Resolution Efforts:

Have you filed this complaint with any other organization?

If complaint was filed, please identify the organization(s) and the outcome.

Explain Outcome:

Verification of Complainant and Consent

GA-SARA will use the information you provide as part of its efforts to resolve your complaint. By submitting this complaint, you give consent to the GA-SARA to contact the institution(s) on your behalf to gather information that may be needed to review your complaint. Your consent includes referring complaints to another organization with jurisdiction and authority over the issue.

*By submitting this form, I agree that the information given in this complaint is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, and I agree that I will provide any additional requested information or respond to questions from GA-SARA related to the review of my complaint. I understand that if I fail to provide requested information or respond to questions, GA-SARA may dismiss my complaint.

Signature
Date

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