Apr 8th, 2014 @ 4:09 pm | Author: Greg Vanney
Valley City State University is the first of four North Dakota University System institutions approved to participate in the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA).

SARA is a nationwide initiative to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and to make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. 

“Valley City State University is excited to be approved as part of the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement,” said Steven W. Shirley, VCSU president. “VCSU has been a leader in delivering online educational opportunities to students regardless of their geographic location, and this new approval will allow us to continue making these opportunities available to current and future students.”

The SARA agreements are overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and are being implemented by the four regional higher education interstate compacts: the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

North Dakota is part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC); it became the second state to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA).

In addition to VCSU, other North Dakota institutions approved for M-SARA participation include Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College and Minot State University.

Now that Valley City State University has been approved as an M-SARA participant, it is able to operate in other participating SARA states without seeking independent authorization.

“SARA participation eliminates some bureaucratic hurdles,” said Kerry Gregoryk, VCSU director of distance learning, “but what’s more important is that now we can more fully serve students from participating states. We hope other states join quickly so more students can obtain the high-quality online education that VCSU provides.”