SARA Policy Modification Process

Information about the SARA Policy Modification Process


Brief History

In June 2022, the NC-SARA Board adopted a revised process for making changes to SARA Policy -- the SARA Policy Modification Process. This process will go into effect starting in January 2023. 

This new process reflects the following guiding principles: transparency; collaboration; consistency; and clear and open communication among regional compacts, states, institutions, NC-SARA, and other stakeholders. Proposed policy modifications shall be evaluated based on SARA’s fundamental reliance on interstate reciprocity and trust, and on the fundamental purposes of SARA, which are to support high quality distance education, resolve problems encountered by students, and simplify and support the interstate offering of distance education using a model under which an institution’s home state is primarily responsible for what the institution offers under the aegis of SARA.

Other guiding principles for the review, clarification and modification of SARA Policy include:

• Ensuring strong and appropriate consumer protections for students attending SARA-participating institutions;

• Allowing for broad consultation with key stakeholders;

• Maintaining consistency in policy and procedures;

• Ensuring transparency and openness; and

• Being responsive to stakeholders and emerging policy issues. 


Who’s Been Involved?

More than 50 individuals -- including Regional Compact staff, Regional Steering Committee leadership, SARA State Portal Entities, and NC-SARA staff -- have been involved in the design and implementation of the SARA Policy Modification Process. This national team has provided the leadership to build this process and system collaboratively in order to meet a variety of stakeholder's needs. If you are with a state or participating institution, please contact Regional Compact SARA Directors for information about who from your state or region has been involved with the SARA Policy Modification Process. 

Ultimately, NC-SARA's Board of Directors approves SARA Policy; the Board's newly formed Policy Committee will play an important leadership role as well. More information about the Policy Committee coming soon!  


Learn More About The SARA Policy Modification Process

Regional Compact Review Processes 

Per the SARA Policy Manual, Section 8.2, each Regional Compact is adopting and publishing a transparent process for their review (with their respective Regional Steering Committees) of proposed SARA Policy modifications. These are available on each Regional Compact's SARA webpages:

  • MHEC (Midwestern Higher Education Compact) 
  • NEBHE (New England Board of Higher Education)
  • SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) 
  • WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education)

The SARA community is committed to making the SARA Policy Modification Process accessible. Should you need any support or documents in alternative formats, please email us at so we can work together to address your needs.