NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the establishment of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and encourages its member jurisdictions to consider the new interstate agreement as an innovative policy solution that will increase degree attainment and reduce costs for students, states, and institutions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments staff will provide ongoing assistance to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements’ national office and the four regional higher education compacts in their efforts to raise awareness about SARA.

Legislators at the CSG National and CSG West Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, learned about the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement during a discussion highlighting the compact’s history and potential impact for states.

“Distance education is not the only answer to the challenges facing higher education in this country, but it needs to be part of the solution and until we achieve reciprocity across state lines, we will never be able to fully take advantage of it,” said Marshall Hill, executive director of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is intended to broaden the availability of—and access to—accredited online degree programs by reducing state regulatory barriers while ensuring strong consumer safeguards. The agreement is finalized and states are starting to participate. This session provided an update on progress of the agreement, as well as a discussion about what your state needs to do to become a member.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) will be highlighted at CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference in Baltimore and again at CSG’s Annual meeting in Anchorage.  The session in Baltimore will begin at 1:15 PM on Tuesday, August 5 and the session in Anchorage will take place at 9:00 AM on Sunday, August 10th.  Both presentations are intended to inform policymakers about the new agreement and the potential benefits it can offer both states and institutions. 

Policymakers attending The Council of State Governments’ National and CSG West 2014 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, will have an opportunity hear about a new distance learning compact being developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts....
Policymakers attending The Council of State Governments’ National and CSG West 2014 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, will have an opportunity hear about a new distance learning compact being developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts....

Since its founding, CSG’s Compact Center has worked to promote the use of interstate compacts as an ideal tool to meet the demand for cooperative state action.  During that time there have been approximately 180 adoptions of CSG supported compacts, including 10 separate adoptions of different projects during the 2014 legislative session. Two of those compacts have expanded to all 50 states, while the Educational Opportunity for Military Compact has now grown to 48 states.  Below is a summary of various CSG compact projects.

Indiana became the first state to join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) this week.  SARA was developed as a joint effort between the Presidents’ Forum, the Council of State Governments, the Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, and the four regional higher education compacts – the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). 

A report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office endorsed the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) as a way for states and institutions to more effectively address the challenges of offering distance education programs across state borders.  The report, which is entitled Oversight of Private Colleges in California, concluded the following with respect to SARA:

Crady deGolian, Director of CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, outlines the top 5 compacts to watch in 2014, including those dealing with the siting of electricity transmission lines,  interstate reciprocity regarding online education, and several compacts related to licensing, including EMS licensing, medical licensing, and physical therapy and telepsychology licensing compacts. 

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