Salus University has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

What is SARA?

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is an agreement among member states, territories, and districts of the United States, which establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to simplify the process of taking online courses for credit offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.

SARA provides a voluntary, regional approach to state authorization of postsecondary distance education. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. For Pennsylvania the education compact is Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Who Belongs to SARA?

The members of SARA are states, not institutions or students. As of 2021, there are over 2,200 institutions in 49 member states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SARA member states (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) assume the principal responsibility of ensuring that SARA policies are followed by institutions. The State Portal Entity is the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Higher Education, Access and Equity.

Who Does SARA Affect?

At Salus University, distance education programs include:
  • 100% online programs
  • Online programs with field experiences, externships, internships or practica
  • Field experiences taking place outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Programs leading to professional licensure in another state
Any student who falls into the above category is receiving benefits by attending an institution that belongs to NC-SARA.

Salus University is required to comply with state and federal laws regarding the delivery of distance education. On October 27, 2016, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) approved the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join SARA. Since January 2017, Salus University has been approved by Pennsylvania Department of Education to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Yearly, the university renews its commitment to state authorization and is currently renewed through February 2022. As a result of being part of SARA, Salus University can offer distance education courses and programs to residents of other SARA member states without pursuing state-by-state compliance. 

Note: some academic programs lead to occupations (e.g., optometrist, audiologist, teacher education, etc.) that require licensure or certification by state. This varies by state, requiring separate approval with the appropriate state licensing and certification entities. SARA does not address professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensing in such fields. For academic programs where this applies, more specific information is provided about licensure/certification.

For more information or questions about state authorization, please contact Dr. Gregory Benjamin, Director of Institutional Research & Assessment at gbenjamin@salus.edu.

What Should I Do if I Have a Complaint?

Students should first seek resolutions for complaints by speaking with the program director or department chair of their academic program. Many times, this can be resolved if a student makes an appointment with the program director or department chair and communicates their concerns. If an issue cannot be resolved at this level, students can complete the following Salus University distance education complaint procedure. If your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed by your program or department, you may fill out the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Higher Education Complaint Form.