State Authorization of Postsecondary Education

Announcing: New Web-Based Surveys!

SHEEO is excited to announce that our State Authorization Surveys are now offered through a fully online, web-based platform! Check out the new site of the SHEEO State Authorization Surveys today.

SHEEO State Authorization Survey

SHEEO provides a directory of agencies and individuals responsible for implementing state postsecondary quality assurance laws in the 50 U.S. States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as a compendium of state laws and regulations. These resources were originally developed in 2011 close cooperation with NCHEMS, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, whose Vice President Peter Ewell had led previous surveys of both state regulatory practices for postsecondary instruction, and of the cooperative relationships of states with accrediting associations. In 2014, SHEEO worked in collaboration with Pearson to develop a new web-based platform for the reporting and updating of survey data, which is now available for public use. 

SHEEO State Authorization Survey and Reports

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) establishes a state-level reciprocity process that supports national efforts to increase the educational attainment by making state authorization of postsecondary institutions more efficient, effective, and uniform in regard to necessary and reasonable standards of practice across states; more effective in dealing with quality and integrity issues; and less costly for states and institutions and, thereby, the students they serve.

SARA is administered by the four regional education compacts (Midwestern Higher Education Compact, New England Board of Higher Education, Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education), who are now accepting applications for participation from states in their regions. SARA is voluntary for states and institutions; once states are approved, they can begin to enroll eligible institutions. Application for institutional membership (in approved states) is open to accredited, degree-granting postsecondary institutions from all sectors.

For comprehensive information on SARA, please visit the website of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the national organization responsible for coordinating the efforts of the four regional education compacts.

For more information on the history and development of SARA, please visit The Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education page.

Additional Resources on State Authorization

SHEEO staff have gathered external resources on several additional aspects of State Authorization – Webinars, Federal Regulations, Reciprocity, Distance Education, and Accreditation – and created the following page of annotated links to allow consolidated access to this set of information.

State Authorization—Other Resources

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