(Schriever, LA) – Fletcher Technical Community College has been accepted as a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) to offer distance learning in SARA member states, increasing efficiency and lowering the costs of obtaining authorization.
As distance-learning opportunities started to grow, higher education stakeholders – including state regulators and education leaders, accreditors, the U.S. Department of Education, and institutions – joined forces in 2013 to establish the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), which streamline regulations around distance education programs.
SARA helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensures more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance learning programs. It is a voluntary agreement among member states, districts, and territories; entities that no longer wish to participate in SARA may simply withdraw from the agreement. As of December 2019, 2,040 institutions in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all voluntary members of SARA. Participating colleges and universities must adhere to stringent requirements, including accreditation and remaining in good financial standing.
“Fletcher Technical Community College continues to find new and innovative ways to provide access to our affordable education and training opportunities,” commented Fletcher Chancellor Dr. Kristine Strickland. “The pandemic has continued to demonstrate the importance of finding various methods for teaching and we know that online educational opportunities are essential to many to gain access to high wage, high demand jobs that will allow everyone a chance to participate in the recovery of our communities. This agreement continues to strengthen the value of a Fletcher education and enables more individuals to access the training and education they need.”
“Distance education programs are creating novel, more flexible learning opportunities for students, and we’re excited to develop quality online programming that is accessible to students both locally and across state lines,” commented Kasi Guillot, Dean of Fletcher’s Global Online Division. “As the pandemic continues to create upheaval in higher education this fall, the NC SARA agreement ensures we can continue to deliver a high quality education for Fletcher students in the face of turmoil. “
Benefits of SARA include the improvement of the quality of distance education, a reduction of costs and bureaucracy for states and institutions, and it makes it easier for students to access online courses across state lines.