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State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) provides the nation with a state wide process to expand the opportunities for educational achievement of people by aligning standards and practices across states and creating processes to effectively address quality in online and distance education programswhile reducing costs to states, institutions and consumers.

Austin Peay State University became a member of NC SARA in 2015. Membership in SARA allows Austin Peay State University to offer distance education courses in other SARA states without having to obtain approval from each state.

SARA logo

The following states are authorized members of SARA: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Information regarding the complaint process can be found at NC-SARA and Students.

Professional Licensure

Important information for prospective and currently enrolled students: SARA does not include provisions for state professional licensing requirements.  It is highly recommended that you contact the licensing board in your state before starting an academic program.  Academic programs and graduating students must satisfy standards that are established by that state’s licensing requirements to be eligible for a license.

Accreditation and State Authorization

Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting institutions of higher education located in Southern region of the United States.  The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

State Contact Information

To ensure compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrity Rules, Austin Peay State University must provide out-of-state distance learning students and out-of-state prospective students with the contact information and complaint filing process for each state’s licensing board and any other agency that would be responsible for the complaint.

Distance learning students who reside out of state must follow the institution’s standard procedure for resolution of student grievances.  If a resolution is not met by following Austin Peay State University’s complaint process, students may file the complaint with the SARA portal agency in the institution’s home state.  The state where the student resides may also resolve the complaint. 

Although students may use their own state’s SARA office to resolve a complaint, the SARA office in the state where the institution is located is responsible for staffing and investigating and resolving the complaint.  Students who are classified as “in state” may not use SARA to complain about distance education courses offered inside the state, only those offered outside the state.