Distance Learning State Authorizations

Alvernia University has been approved for the postsecondary online education initiative by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

The Pennsylvania Department of Education's recognition as a SARA participant is a tribute to our commitment to offering quality distance education for all students, said Brian Gall, Manager of Educational Technology. This guarantees our students a quality educational experience and a clear feedback process.”

SARA is a nationwide coordinating body for member states and approved institutions to establish national standards of practice for college-level online education, and to create greater accessibility and continuity for students who take courses based at an institution in a different state from where they live.

Some of the reasons that SARA was formed include:

  • States have varying requirements for out-of-state colleges offering online classes to residents
  • Distance education is rapidly expanding
  • Colleges offering online courses need to obtain regulatory information in 54 states/territories (California **, Florida and Massachusetts are not included in this agreement as of May 23, 2017 *).  

The state-level reciprocity process that SARA creates will make it more efficient and uniform for colleges to improve the quality of online education, and reduce costs so that institutions can pass the savings on to students. Colleges participating in the initiative will implement a standard of best practices called the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education Programs (Online Learning).

* Alvernia University is approved through the state licensing boards of both California and Florida to offer our fully online programs to students in those states outside of the agreement with NC-SARA.  

** The Behavioral Health, Criminal Justice, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Special Education Certification programs have practical experiences outside of the online classroom.  California residents may not enroll in these programs at this time.  They may enroll in programs that do not have a practical experience outside of the online classroom.


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