1. What is SARA?
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (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. 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.
2. 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 review information under the SARA tab.
3. What does SARA cover?
SARA applies only to distance education and does not negate existing state regulations that apply to physical presence.
4. Is my SARA-approved institution physically present in Georgia?
According to NC-SARA policy (NC-SARA Manual, Section 5.12), being physically present in a state means that the institution must meet that state’s current non-SARA requirements. Effectively, a SARA institution that triggers physical presence in a state no longer qualifies as a SARA institution in that state. The entire institution is either a SARA institution or not.
Georgia Code 20-3-250.8(b) requires that this State must recognize separate locations from which instruction is offered by the same entity. Said another way, based on interpretation of SARA policy and confirmed by NC-SARA, if the institution is a single entity with multiple campuses, and the single entity triggers physical presence in Georgia, all Georgia presence needs to be authorized.