State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement - SARA Distance Education

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

SARA is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for the approval of interstate postsecondary distance education courses and programs.

On September 13, 2016, the New York State Board of Regents adopted new regulations requiring out-of-state institutions of higher education to seek and obtain New York State Education Department (NYSED) approval to offer distance education to New York State residents, and to permit the Department to enter into the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). New York State joined SARA on December 9, 2016.

New York State institutions participating in SARA are authorized to conduct distance education activity in other SARA member states under the terms and provisions of SARA. Please refer to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) website for more information about SARA eligibility, coverage, and procedures. A list of states and institutions participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is available on the NC-SARA Directory webpage.

NC-SARA Student Complaint Process

Complaints about grades or student conduct violations cannot be appealed to the State Portal Entity under SARA. Students in online programs encountering a problem or grievance about the course should always attempt to resolve the problem with the faculty member and/or the Department Chair. Information about the process for academic appeals as well as for non-academic complaints may be found here.

If the situation remains unresolved after completing the complaint process established by the College, students may contact the City University of New York (CUNY):

City University of New York 
Office of the General Counsel
205 East 42nd Street, 11th floor
New York, NY  10017

If the complaint remains unresolved after completing the complaint process as outlined above, students may submit a grievance to the New York State Department of Education:

Office of College and University Evaluation
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
(518) 474-1551

Additional information about filing a complaint against a college or university in New York can be found here:

For more information regarding NC-SARA and complaint resolution, please visit

Professional Licensure

Important Note for Students: Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. At this time, City College (CUNY) cannot confirm if programs that lead to professional licensure or certification meet the prerequisites for professional licensure or certification outside the State of New York. Students will need to contact the state licensing board relative to their program in the state they are seeking licensure from for further information. If you are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license in your state, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in your home state before beginning the academic program.

Last Updated: 04/04/2024 13:20