Press Releases

Comments sought on proposed new SARA initiative

Updated by on Wed, 02/26/2020 - 08:40

Submitted by jshanika on Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:43

At the NC-SARA board meeting on May 3, NC-SARA staff will recommend that NC-SARA create a searchable database of academic programs offered at a distance by SARA institutions.

The full description and recommendation that will be presented to the Board is available HERE.

Key points:

  • Institutional participation would be voluntary and carry no additional cost to participating SARA institutions.
  • Institutions could cease participation at any point.
  • Available programs would be searchable by discipline, degree level, etc.
  • Searching students would be directed from the results of their search (a listing of institutions offering their sought-for programs) to an institutional web page (maintained by the institution) from which additional information about the institution and its available distance education programs could be readily accessed. From that institutional page forward, students would deal with the institution, not NC-SARA.
  • Prior to inclusion of their programs, institutions would be required to certify that all programs they list in the database have been approved for institutional offering by whatever approval mechanism their state requires.
  • Institutions would be required to maintain accurate, up-to-date information or their listed programs would be removed from the database.
  • Database entries would be coordinated with any existing SARA states’ databases of distance education programs offered by those states’ institutions.
  • The database would be maintained by NC-SARA.
  • NC-SARA could develop and maintain such a resource within current and anticipated institutional fee revenues.

From 1998 to 2017, the Southern Regional Education Board operated the SREB Electronic Campus, which offered a similar searchable database of academic programs and courses; (an NC-SARA database would list programs, not courses, simplifying operation). More than 350 institutions across 16 southern states participated, listing approximately 10,000 academic programs. An NC-SARA project would build on lessons learned from that work.

We solicit comments through an online survey ( Please respond by April 20, 2018.

Marshall A. Hill

Executive Director, NC-SARA