Missouri participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which creates a system of reciprocity for the oversight of distance education programs. The goal of SARA is to provide a more efficient, effective and uniform system for the delivery of distance education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development is the designated portal agency for the state.

 

Initial Application Process

  • Complete and submit in hard copy the SARA Institutional Application. The application packet must include:
    • Signed/initialed application
    • All required attachments
    • Initial application fee of $500 payable to the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
  • Mail the completed application packet to: Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, Attn: SARA, P.O. Box 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469.
  • Department staff will review each application for completeness. Upon approval, the MDHEWD will notify the institution and NC-SARA of the institution’s eligibility for participation.
  • NC-SARA will contact the institution with information regarding payment of the national SARA fee. Upon confirmation of payment, NC-SARA will notify the institution and include the institution on the NC-SARA website.
  • Institutional approval is one year from the date of approval by NC-SARA. Institutions are required to renew applications annually with Missouri and with NC-SARA.

Renewal Application Process

  • Complete and submit in hard copy the SARA Renewal Application. The application packet must include:
    • Signed/initialed application
    • All required attachments
    • Renewal fee of $500 payable to the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
  • Mail the completed renewal packet to: Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, Attn: SARA, PO Box 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469.
  • Department staff will review each application for completeness. Upon approval, the MDHEWD will notify the institution and NC-SARA of the institution’s continuing eligibility for participation.
  • NC-SARA will contact the institution with information regarding payment of the renewal fee for the compact.
  • Institutions are required to renew applications annually with both Missouri and with NC-SARA.

Questions regarding SARA should be directed to Dr. Laura Vedenhaupt by calling (573) 751-2361 and selecting option 2.

 

Student Complaint Process

  • Students with a complaint must first attempt to resolve the issue at the school by completing the school's complaint process. Exhaustion of all informal and formal institutional processes, including both campus processes and any applicable system processes, is a prerequisite to filing any formal complaint with the MDHEWD
  • If dissatisfied with the resolution of the grievance, the student may contact the department by calling (573) 751-2361 and selecting option 2.
  • The student will be directed to submit the complaint in writing, using a complaint form provided by the MDHEWD. It may be mailed or faxed to the department and must include supporting documentation. If there is no indication institutional remedies have been exhausted, the complaint will be returned for that purpose. Complaints that fall within the jurisdiction of the department will be investigated and resolved as appropriate by the relevant unit of the MDHEWD. All parties to the complaint will be notified of its resolution by mail.

 

Administrative Rule

The MDHEWD has promulgated an administrative rule to govern the operation of SARA for Missouri institutions. In order to be SARA-approved, an institution must comply with the requirements contained in the rule.

 

Helpful Links

 

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)

NC-SARA Manual (June 1, 2019)

Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC)

Approved SARA States and Institutions