The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) 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. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education became a member of SARA in 2017, thus allowing Housatonic Community College to apply to be a member of SARA.
Housatonic Community College is authorized to operate under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). Approval for institutional participation was granted by the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education on November 15, 2018. Further information is located on https://nc-sara.org/
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
CT State Office of Higher Education SARA Portal: http://www.ctohe.org/SARA/Default.shtml
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Student Questions Page: https://www.nc-sara.org/studentquestions
Complaints about Connecticut Independent Colleges, Postsecondary Career Schools, and SARA Institutions
Postsecondary Career Schools, and SARA Institutions The Office of Higher Education is responsible for quality review of independent colleges and the regulation of postsecondary career schools located in Connecticut. As a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the Office also is responsible for the investigation and resolution of out-of-state students' complaints against all institutions of higher education based in Connecticut and offering distance education via SARA.
If you believe that HCC has not fulfilled its promises while operating under SARA, you may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education. We will investigate complaints concerning matters within our statutory authority and, if justified, take appropriate action. Generally, issues falling under our jurisdiction involve academic quality and licensing; issues regarding student life (such as student discipline, grading and housing) fall solely within the purview of institutions. The Office of Higher Education will act only on complaints that were unable to be resolved through the institution’s internal dispute resolution process. Our agency cannot provide legal advice.
Filing a Complaint with the Office of Higher Education
Before contacting the Office of Higher Education, you must first exhaust the school’s internal grievance or complaint procedures. These policies are published in the HCC Catalog and Student Handbook, and are included above. Once you have pursued your concerns using the HCC’s procedures, and have not reached a mutually agreeable resolution, you may proceed with filing a formal complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To do so, complete an Initial Review form and send it to or mail to the address at the bottom of the form.
Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Blvd, Suite 707
Hartford, CT 06103-1841