SARA Policy Modification Process

Information about the SARA Policy Modification Process

The 2024 cycle of the SARA Policy Modification Process (SARA PMP) officially began on Tuesday, January 16, 2024. For information about other key dates and activities in the 2024 cycle, download the 2024 SARA Policy Modification Process Calendar (Public Forum date added!).


Regional Compact Review Processes 

Per the SARA Policy Manual, Section 8.2, each Regional Compact has adopted and published 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 webpage:

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


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 went into effect January 2023. 

The 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 -- were involved in the design and implementation of the SARA Policy Modification Process. This national team provided the leadership to build the process and system collaboratively in order to meet a variety of stakeholders' needs. 

The Policy Modification Process Implementation Team (aka “PIT Crew”), comprised of SPEs from each region and regional compact SARA staff, now oversees the SARA Policy Modification Process, with leadership and day-today administration of the process provided by the Policy Modification Process Implementation Team Working Group (aka “PIT Working Group”).

If you are affiliated with a state or participating institution, please contact your Regional Compact SARA Director for information about who from your state or region is a member of the PIT Crew or has been involved with the SARA Policy Modification Process in other ways. 

Ultimately, NC-SARA's Board of Directors approves SARA Policy; the board's Policy Committee plays an important leadership role as well. 


Learn More About The SARA Policy Modification Process

  • For an overview of the history and initial implementation of the SARA Policy Modification Process, watch a recording and / or review presentation slides from our  December 8, 2022 Webinar. Note: Some of the details in the webinar and on the slides are now outdated but we are keeping this resource available for historical reference.

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.