STATE AUTHORIZATION RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a national initiative to provide more access to online courses while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies. SARA allows institutions to provide online courses outside of their own state borders by seeking and maintaining state approvals via a streamlined process. To learn more about SARA, please visit: nc-sara.org.

On March 2, 2015, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) approved the State of Ohio to join SARA. On September 22, 2015, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved institutional participation for The Ohio State University. The State of Ohio approved Ohio State University to participate in NC-SARA on September 11, 2015. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

Current authorized SARA member states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

NC-SARA Complaint Information can be found at: nc-sara.org/content/sara-and-students.

SARA Contact Information


Eastern Gateway Community College
David Moffat
Dean of Distance Learning
Eastern Gateway Community College
4000 Sunset Blvd.
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 264-5591
dmoffat@egcc.edu

State of Ohio
Matt Exline
Assistant Director of Program Approval Operations
Ohio Board of Regents
25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH  43215
(614) 728-3095
mexline@regents.state.oh.us

Professional Licensure

Important Note for Students: If you are considering an online academic program that leads to a professional license, it is highly recommended you contact the appropriate licensing agency where you plan to receive instruction before beginning your academic program. SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements.  Academic programs and individual graduates must meet standards set by that state’s licensure requirements in order for a graduate to be eligible for a license.

Student Grievance Procedure

Explanation

The Student Grievance Procedure provides a way for students to seek resolution to decisions, conditions, and practices of Eastern Gateway Community College, its faculty and staff, which they allege are violations of the Student Rights or other published college policies and procedures. As students pursue their educational goals, they will be treated with professionalism and respect by college employees Grievances do not include student grades or academic appeals. Students shall not be retaliated against for filing a grievance.

The Student Grievance Procedure outlines the steps to resolve alleged violations of the Students Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities Statement or other published college policies and procedures. Students will attempt to resolve alleged violations with the staff member who is directly involved. Should a staff member directly involved in facilitating the resolution procedure be the object of an alleged violation or formal grievance, the Provost will appoint a replacement.

Steps 1, 2 and 3 (if applicable) below must be completed before proceeding to Step 4. It is intended that alleged violations be resolved at any point in the process when the parties involved can agree on a resolution. All documentation submitted or created during the resolution process shall be added to the student complaint file. Students with a grievance shall follow the procedures and time lines outlined below.

Procedure

Step 1 – Direct Resolution.

The student discusses the grievance with the college staff member who is directly involved and attempts to find resolution within a timely manner. The student may choose to be accompanied by a support person such as a staff member, an enrollment specialist, or an officer of the College during this discussion. The student must state a proposed resolution. If no resolution is reached at Step 1, the student moves to Step 2.

Step 2 – Resolution with Department Head or Immediate Supervisor If the grievance is not resolved directly with the college staff member, the student discusses the grievance and seeks a resolution with the staff member’s department head (or immediate supervisor). The student may choose to be accompanied by a support person during these discussions. The student must state a proposed resolution. Appropriate written documentation will be maintained by the department head, (or immediate supervisor) and documentation will be filed in the student complaint file. If no resolution is reached at Step 2, the student moves to Step 3. If the staff member has no dean, or if the dean has heard the student in the role of immediate supervisor, the student moves to Step 4.

Step 3 – Resolution with Dean
If the issue is not resolved with the staff member’s department head, the student may seek resolution with the supervising dean. Appropriate written documentation will be maintained by the dean and documentation will be filed in the student complaint file. If no resolution is reached at Step 3, the student moves to Step 4.

Step 4 – Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development
If the issue is not resolved by discussions in Step 1, 2 or 3 (if applicable), the student has 10 working days to request a student grievance form and information about filing a formal grievance from an EGCC Enrollment Specialist. The signed and completed form shall be submitted to the office of the Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development within five (5) working days after requesting the form from an Enrollment Specialist. The Student Grievance Form requires a statement of proposed resolution of the grievance and a summary of prior actions taken. Within seven (7) working days of receipt of the Student Grievance Form, the Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development will contact the parties involved, provide them a copy of the completed Student Grievance Form, and attempt to clarify the issue and arrive at a solution which is mutually satisfactory to the student and employee. During the Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development investigation, the persons involved may include a representative or other support person with first-hand knowledge of the issue. If resolution is reached, the Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development will summarize the resolution in writing for the student grievant and college employee. Documentation will be added to the student complaint log.

Step 5 – Appeal Process
If resolution is not reached, the student has the right of final appeal of the issue to the President. The final appeal process requires the student to prepare and deliver a written appeal request to the President within seven (7) working days after the Office of the Provost or Vice President of Employee & Student Development gives notice to the student of the result of the investigation. The written appeal request must include an explanation of why the issue remains unresolved and provide the proposed remedy to the grievance. Within ten (10) working days of receiving the student appeal, the President will review the grievance, investigation process, and proposed resolutions. The President may consult with the administrative team in the review process to assure consistency within EGCC. Documentation will be added to the student complaint log.

The forms for Student Grievance Procedure are available from an Enrollment Specialist.