Consistent with federal and state regulations, institutions that offer any out-of-state activities related to credit-bearing courses such as online courses, field experiences (e.g., internships for credit, practicums), and recruiting or marketing of programs are mandated to follow the other state’s laws and to obtain any necessary authorization to operate in that jurisdiction prior to conducting the activity.

To assist in the management of these requirements, Mary Baldwin University participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA established the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2013 to help expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs. SARA is a “voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.”

All guidance provided on this site assumes that MBU’s presence in other states is on-line or specific to a field experience. Establishing an administrative or instructional site (i.e., physical presence) outside of Virginia carries significant and distinct review and approval requirements.

SARA Does Not Address:

In instances in which an activity is not covered by SARA, MBU must seek authorization or exemption from the state where the curriculum is accessed. MBU works with regulatory agencies in each state and the U.S. Territories to seek authorization, exemption, or permission to offer degree or certificate programs and courses to residents outside Virginia who wish to enroll in MBU distance learning education opportunities.

For more information, visit the NC-SARA About webpage.

To view the States and Territories covered by SARA, visit the NC-SARA directory webpage.

State Licensure Requirements and State Approving Agencies

SARA Student Complaint

Every student deserves a positive educational experience. Sometimes a student’s experience may not be what they anticipate, and a student has the right to lodge a complaint or grievance. The institution should ensure that all concerns and complaints of students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly.

Students who reside in a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) state who have a complaint about MBU must proceed through the MBU Uniform Student Grievance Policy.

If resolution is not found after the student proceeds through the complaint process with the institution, the student should contact the institution’s home state SARA Portal Entity. NC-SARA maintains a directory of SARA State Portal Entity Contacts. SARA consumer protection provisions require the institution’s home state to investigate and resolve allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity by the state’s SARA-participating institutions, including the provision of false or misleading information.

Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to a SARA portal entity include, but are not limited to:

Grade appeals and student conduct appeals are not allowed under SARA.

Professional Licensing

Students considering an online program that leads to a professional license in a state other than Virginia are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing agency from the state in which they plan to practice before beginning the program to ensure that the program fulfills the licensure requirements of that state.

AlabamaCommission on Higher Ed (ACHE)  Private School Licensure 
AlaskaCommission on Postsecondary Education
ArizonaBoard for Private Postsecondary Education
ArkansasDepartment of Education
CaliforniaBureau for Private Postsecondary Education
ColoradoDepartment of Higher Education
ConnecticutOffice of Higher Education
DelawareDepartment of Education
District of ColumbiaEducation Licensure Commission
FloridaCommission for Independent Education
GeorgiaNonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
HawaiiPost-secondary Education Authorization Program (HPEAP)
IdahoPrivate Colleges and Proprietary Schools
IllinoisBoard of Higher Education
IndianaDepartment for Workforce Development 
Board for Proprietary Education 
Commission of Higher Education
IowaCollege Student Aid Commission
KansasBoard of Regents
KentuckyCommission on Postsecondary Education 
Council on Proprietary Education
LouisianaBoard of Regents
MaineDepartment of Education
MarylandHigher Education Commission 
MassachusettsDepartment of Higher Education (DHE)
Division of Private Occupational School Education
MichiganDepartment of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 
MinnesotaOffice of Higher Education
MississippiCommission on College Accreditation 
Office of Proprietary Schools
MissouriDepartment of Higher Education 
MontanaBoard of Regents 
NebraskaCoordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education 
NevadaCommission on Postsecondary Education
New HampshireDepartment of Education
New JerseyCommission on Higher Education
New MexicoHigher Education Department
New YorkOffice of College and University Evaluation 
North CarolinaBoard of Governors 
Office of Proprietary School Service
North DakotaUniversity System 
Career and Technical Education Office 
OhioDepartment of Higher Education 
Board of Career Colleges and Schools
OklahomaRegents for Higher Education 
Board of Private Schools 
Board of Career and Technology Education 
OregonOffice of Degree Authorization 
PennsylvaniaDepartment of Education 
Puerto RicoConsejo de Educacion de Puerto Rico 
Rhode IslandOffice of the Postsecondary Commissioner
South CarolinaCommission on Higher Education
South DakotaSecretary of State
TennesseeHigher Education Commission
TexasHigher Education Coordinating Board 
Texas Workforce Commission 
UtahDivision of Consumer Protection
VermontAgency of Education
VirginiaPrivate Postsecondary Education
WashingtonStudent Achievement Council 
Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board 
West VirginiaHigher Education Policy Commission 
Council for Community and Technical College Ed 
WisconsinEducation Approval Board
WyomingPrivate School Licensing