Oklahoma recently became one of 27 states in the U.S. to join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative.
SARA is a nationwide collaborative of states designed to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The effort is funded by a $3 million grant from Lumina Foundation, $200,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and fees paid by participating institutions.
The benefits for students include access to educational offerings, better resolution of complaints, reduced institutional costs and enhanced overall quality of distance education.
“Providing our students with access to high-quality educational offerings has always been a top priority for Oklahoma’s system of higher education,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. “Joining the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement will allow our colleges and universities to deliver innovative distance education opportunities to current and future students residing in SARA member states, regardless of their geographic location.”
SARA agreements are overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and are being implemented by the four regional higher education interstate compacts: the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Oklahoma is a member of SREB.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will serve as the state “portal agency” for SARA. For more information, visit www.okhighered.org/admin-fac/sara/.