Online Learning for Out-of-state Students
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (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.
Westmoreland County Community college is a SARA-approved institution through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).
For the purposes of SARA Distance Education is defined as: instruction offered by any means where the student and faculty member are in separate physical locations. It includes, but is not limited to, online, interactive video and correspondence courses or programs (SARA Manual, Section 1.12).
Approved States and Territories
As a SARA institution, Westmoreland County Community College is approved to offer distance education to students in the following states and territories of the United States of America:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)
- West Virginia
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Non-Approved States and Territories
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
For the most current list of participating SARA states and institutions, please check: http://www.nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions
Process for Resolving Academic Complaints
Students experiencing academic concerns are encouraged to utilize the Procedure for Resolution Involving Grades and Academic Issues protocol located in the Westmoreland County Community College Student Handbook. If a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the SARA portal entity in the home state of the institution against which the complaint has been issued. That entity shall notify the SARA portal entity for the state in which the student is located of receipt of that appealed complaint.
To file a complaint with the state of Pennsylvania, please submit a completed Higher Education Complaint Form to:
Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
E-mail: RAfirstname.lastname@example.org (for submission of form or questions)
SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Westmoreland County Community College cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state of residence.
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