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State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Overview

SARA is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs.

Participation is voluntary for institutions and open to all postsecondary institutions (for-profit and non-for-profit private and public) that are accredited by an association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Participation in SARA allows institutions to offer distance education courses and programs to students in other SARA participating states without seeking state authorization.

For more information on SARA, including an up-to-date list of SARA States and Institutions, visit NC-SARA.org.

Application Process

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) is the state portal agency for SARA. Any accredited, postsecondary institution with its principal campus or central administrative unit domiciled in Texas is eligible to apply.

Applications must be submitted through the Coordinating Board SARA portal. A CBPass account is required to access the SARA portal. If an institution's principal SARA contact has an existing CBPass account, he or she can use their existing username and password to login here and request access to the SARA portal. To create a CBPass account, he or she can click here to request access to the SARA portal.

Once access to the SARA portal has been granted, the primary SARA contact can complete the application. Please note, the application requires three items of documentation. For question one, attach either the Texas Education Code pertaining to the institution or a letter of authorization from the Coordinating Board. For question two, attach the most recent accreditation reaffirmation letter. For private institutions, question three requires the most recent financial index score from the Department of Education demonstrating a score that is 1.5 or above. For public institutions, question three requires the submission of a statement acknowledging the institution is exempt from this requirement.

After the institution's principal SARA contact completes the application, it will be sent electronically to the institution's signatory officer. The signatory officer will need to have a CBID and request access to the SARA portal in order to sign and submit the application.

When the application is received by the Coordinating Board, the institution's principal SARA contact and signatory officer will receive email notification. The Coordinating Board will then review the application. This process takes 1-4 weeks.

If the application is approved, the institution's principal SARA contact and signatory officer will receive email confirmation from the Coordinating Board as well as an automatically generated email from NC-SARA regarding membership registration and fee payment. At this time Texas does not require a SARA participation fee. Information on payment of NC-SARA fees can be found here. Upon receipt of payment, the institution will be officially recognized as a SARA participating institution and listed on the NC-SARA website.

For specific questions about Texas participation, contact Jessica Acton at Jessica.Acton@thecb.state.tx.us.
  

Renewal Process

SARA participating institutions must submit a renewal application to the Coordinating Board annually.  The renewal application can be found here.  The completed application and supporting documentation should be emailed to Jessica Acton at Jessica.Acton@THECB.state.tx.us.

Student Complaint Process

Complaints against a SARA participating institution must first go through the institution's own grievance procedures. All complaints regarding student grades or conduct violations are governed by the institution and the laws of the institution's home state.

If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional grievance process, the student may appeal, within two years of the incident, to the SARA portal agency of the institution's home state.

For all complaints regarding Texas degree-granting postsecondary institutions participating in SARA, complete the Student Complaint and Release Form and email the form to Student.Complaints@thecb.state.tx.us.


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