State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)

What is SARA

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, commonly known as SARA, provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. When states join SARA, they agree to follow uniform processes for approving their eligible institutions’ participation. They also agree to deal with other states’ SARA institutions in a common way when those institutions carry out activities in SARA states other than their own.

SARA also establishes a state-level reciprocity process that supports national efforts to increase the educational attainment by making state authorization of postsecondary institutions more efficient, effective, and uniform regarding necessary and reasonable standards of practice across states; more effective in dealing with quality and integrity issues; and less costly for states and institutions and, thereby, the students they serve. As of April 2020, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of SARA. Over 2,100 colleges and universities participate in SARA. Central Penn College has been approved by Pennsylvania to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

For detailed information on SARA, including a directory of institutions, please visit the website of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the national organization responsible for coordinating the efforts of the four regional education compacts, at,

What SARA does not do:

SARA does not cover professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensing. SARA does, however, require that proper notification be given to students as to whether courses and programs will meet the professional licensure requirements in states where students are located. Please see the NC-SARA manual Section 5.2 for more information.

General Disclosure

To assist Central Penn College in providing relevant information to current and prospective students, the College maintains a comprehensive Professional Licensure Directory for the following programs:

  • Associates in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Associates in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Associates in Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Certificate in Phlebotomy

Current and prospective students can use the data in this directory to identify whether or not the selected program 1) meets the educational requirements of the State; 2) does not meet the educational requirements of the State; or, 3) if the College could not determine if the program meets the educational requirements of the State, as it pertains to State licensing or certification.

For some programs, such as the Associates in Applied Science in Medical Assisting and the Certificate program in Phlebotomy, not all states require a license or certification to practice in the profession. The directory identifies these instances, as well.

The Professional Licensure and Certification Directory also provides the contact information for the various state boards. The College encourages current and prospective students to contact the State board where they plan to practice if they have questions or concerns about the educational requirements needed for licensure and certification.

Click HERE for the Professional Licensure and Certification Directory

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