SCOTTSDALE, AZ, (May 9, 2016) — Penn Foster College, a leading provider of skills training for frontline workers and career and college candidates, announced that it has been approved as a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) school in the state of Arizona.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements is an agreement among member states, districts and 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. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.
“We are thrilled to have Penn Foster College approved as a SARA school,” said Connie Dempsey, Chief Certification and Licensing Officer, at Penn Foster College. “This will benefit students by expanding access to educational offerings, and enhancing overall quality of distance education from an additional level of compliance and oversight, resulting in greater levels of compliance for the college, and outcomes for our students.”
SARA pertains to approval of distance education courses and programs offered across state lines by institutions that already have degree authorization in at least one state. SARA operates in order to centralize the authorization process for each institution in a single state called the institution’s “home state.” Colleges or universities in a SARA state therefore only need their home state authorization to offer distance education to any other SARA member state.
This new regional approach to state oversight of distance education will greatly ease licensing requirements, costs, and policy changes for Penn Foster College by having reciprocal licensing in 36 states currently in SARA. SARA states should also provide a new channel to resolve student complaints from approved colleges.
SARA was developed with input from a broad advisory committee including the regional higher education compacts (MHEC, NEBHE, SREB, WICHE), state regulators, State Higher Education Executive Officers, accrediting organizations, the U.S. Department of Education and institutional leaders representing all sectors of higher education.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements is an agreement among member states, districts and 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. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. For more information, visit http://nc-sara.org/.
About Penn Foster
Founded in 1890, Penn Foster is a leader in career-focused online and blended learning, offering high school, career, and college programs designed to create pathways to employment, and career advancement. Since our inception, more than 13 million people have enrolled across our three schools to help further their education and learn practical career skills to better position them for life success. Through direct enrollment as well as strategic partnerships with schools, employers and youth organizations, we enroll more than 100,000 new students each year and graduate 30,000 annually. For more information, visit http://www.pennfoster.edu.
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