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.

General Disclosure

To assist Central Penn College in providing relevant information to current and prospective students, the College maintains a Consumer Information Guide which explains licensure requirements for the programs below, including links to information about varying state requirements for licensure:

  • 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

The College encourages current and prospective students to contact the state licensing authority or board in the state where they plan to practice to understand the requirements for licensure or certification. The Consumer Information Guide 2022-23 provides information and links to external sites related to each program about where to find contact information for each state authority. In addition, current and prospective students may access the Professional Licensure and Certification directory below.

Click HERE for the Professional Licensure and Certification Directory Consumer Information Guide

Student Complaint Process

Central Penn College applies for membership in NC-SARA via a process administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). In the event a student has a concern or complaint related to distance education, students should first follow the College’s procedure for resolving student complaints prior to contacting PDE. The first step in a student grievance is to contact the college-appointed student advocate via email – If the student is unable to resolve the issue via informal resolution, the advocate will guide the student through the Formal Grievance Application form & process. On the form, the student should indicate what remedy or outcome is requested. Grievances should be filed within 15 days of when the issue or concern arises. Once submitted, a Formal Grievance Application is reviewed by an internal Grievance Committee, composed of full-time faculty and staff. A determination to approve or deny the grievance is made within seven (7) days of receipt and the student is notified in writing of the decision. A student may choose to appeal the decision by sending an email to within 48 hours of receiving notification of the Grievance Committee’s determination. If after appealing, a student still wishes to pursue the matter further, the student should follow the student complaint procedure provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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