State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

Southwest Minnesota State University offers online courses and programs to in-state students and out-of-state students and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

SMSU is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements), which means we share a reciprocity agreement with all states who are part of the NC-SARA group. 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.

SMSU is approved by the State of Minnesota to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. For a map of additional states belonging to SARA, visit the NC-SARA map.

Student Consumer Complaint Process

Pursuant to the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rule, institutions providing online education are required to provide all prospective and current students contact information of the state agency or agencies that handle complaints against postsecondary education institutions offering distance learning within that state.

We encourage you to seek resolution to any concerns by discussing them informally with a staff member at the University. If a complaint cannot be handled informally, SMSU students are encouraged to use the SMSU complaint process, outlined at Student Grievance and Complaints.

If a complaint cannot be resolved at the University level, you may contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. If you reside in another state, you may contact your State Portal Entry Contacts for further information.

Last Modified: 5/29/18 9:55 AM