Stephens College has been approved by Missouri to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.

SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. SARA pertains to approval of distance education courses and programs offered across state lines by institutions that already have degree authorization in at least one state. What SARA does is centralize the authorization process for each institution in a single state called the institution’s “home state.” Colleges or universities in a SARA state therefore only need their home state authorization to offer distance education to any other SARA member state.


Authorized States

SARA — the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement — is an agreement between member states, territories and districts of the United States of America. As of July 2019, 49 states (all but California), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined SARA.

Stephens College also is approved to operate in California via BPPE, the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education.


Dispute/Complaint Resolution

If you have a complaint about an online course or program please follow the policies laid out in the Stephens College Graduate Curriculum Catalog.

If the complaint cannot be resolved internally to Stephens College through our existing processes, online students have the right to file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE).

If a student lives outside of Missouri they may also file a complaint via their SHEEO.

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