N.Y. Education Law Section 210-C
Interstate reciprocity agreement for post-secondary distance education programs


INTERSTATE RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT FOR THE POST-SECONDARY DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMS Article I Purpose, findings, and policy The states party to an interstate agreement desire by common action to establish comparable standards for the offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs and to facilitate more offerings of distance education courses to the students in their state. Article II Definitions As used in this section and any agreements and contracts made pursuant to it, unless the context clearly states otherwise:

(a)

“Accredited” shall mean holding institutional accreditation by name as a U.S.-based institution from an accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

(b)

“Approve” or “Approval” in the context of an institutional application to operate under the state authorization reciprocity agreement (SARA) means: a written statement by a home state that an institution meets the standards required by SARA and is eligible to operate under SARA.

(c)

“Complaint” means: a formal assertion in writing that the terms of this agreement, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by this agreement, are being violated by a person, institution, state, agency or other organization or entity operating under the terms of this agreement.

(d)

“Council” means: the National Council for SARA.

(e)

“C-RAC guidelines” and other uses of “C-RAC” refers to the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education Programs (Online Learning) for best practices in postsecondary distance education adopted by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC).

(f)

“Distance education” means, for purposes of an interstate reciprocity agreement under this section: instruction offered by any means where the student and faculty member are in separate physical locations. It includes, but is not limited to, online, interactive video or correspondence courses or programs. It does not include intrastate distance education activity.

(g)

“Home state” means: a member state where the institution holds its legal domicile. To operate under SARA an institution must have a single home state.

(h)

“Institution” means: a degree-granting postsecondary entity.

(i)

“Legal domicile” of an institution for purposes of eligibility in an interstate agreement means the state in which the institution’s principal campus holds its institutional accreditation and, if applicable, its federal Office of Postsecondary Education Identifier (OPEID) number. In the event that the OPEID number is assigned to a campus that is in a different state than the principal accredited campus, the SARA committees of the affected regional compacts shall determine which is the home state for purposes of SARA.

(j)

“Member state” means: any state, district or territory that has joined SARA.

(k)

“Physical presence” means: a measure by which a state defines the status of an educational institution’s presence within the state. The distance education activities of an educational institution with a physical presence within the state are not covered under an interstate reciprocity agreement under this Act and instead must meet the requirements of the state.

(l)

“Portal agency” means: the single agency designated by the state to serve as the interstate point of contact for questions, complaints and other communications related to the interstate compact and/or any regional compact.

(m)

“Regional compact” means one of New England Board of Higher Education, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, Southern Regional Education Board or Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or another SARA interstate regional compact for the mid-Atlantic states.

(n)

“State authorization reciprocity agreements” or “SARA” means: an agreement among member states, districts and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance-education courses and programs. Article III Interstate reciprocity agreements for postsecondary distance education (a) The commissioner shall have the authority on behalf of New York to enter into SARA and/or any regional compacts on behalf of this state with one or more other states to provide for the reciprocity of postsecondary distance education and to carry out all activities necessary to carry out such function.

(b)

Upon entrance into SARA and/or any regional compact, the department shall:

(i)

be designated as the portal agency and shall be responsible for the administrative and functional responsibilities of participation in SARA. The department shall not be responsible for all oversight activities of providers in the state, but shall be the portal for the state;

(ii)

consider applications from degree-granting institutions on the same basis and either: (A) approve any institutions that meet the standards of SARA, and agree to the process and commitments of SARA without differentiating by sector; (B) disapprove any institution that does not meet the standards of SARA, or does not agree to the process and commitments of SARA; or (C) may approve an institution applying for initial participation in SARA to participate on a provisional status in any of the following circumstances: (I) the institution is on probationary status or the equivalent with its institutional accrediting body; (II) the institution is using a letter of credit or is under a cash management agreement by the U.S. Department of Education; (III) the institution is the subject of a publicly announced investigation by a government agency, and the investigation is related to the institution’s academic quality, financial stability or student or consumer protection; or (IV) the institution is the subject of a current investigation by its home state related to the institution’s academic quality, financial stability or student or consumer protection.

(iii)

prescribe state processes for consumer protection and complaints in regulations of the commissioner, as required by SARA;

(iv)

operate under the processes, procedures and guidelines required by SARA, including the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissioners, if required by SARA;

(v)

serve as the default forum for any complaint filed against an institution approved by the state to participate in the state authorization reciprocity agreement and the department shall be responsible for coordinating any such efforts and shall have the authority to investigate and resolve complaints that originate outside of the state. All other state agencies and governing boards of such institutions shall assist as necessary in such investigations and report as needed to the department;

(vi)

impose as a penalty refunds or other corrective action to resolve complaints involving residents of other states;

(vii)

maintain written documentation of: (A) all formal complaints received; (B) complaint notifications provided to institutions and accrediting agencies; (C) actions taken that are commensurate with the severity of violations; and (D) complaint resolutions.

(viii)

report complaints and concerns to the institutions about which the compliant is lodged, the home state portal agency responsible for the institution, and, if appropriate, any accrediting bodies; and

(ix)

impose an annual fee on any institution participating in any interstate agreement, in an amount prescribed by the commissioner in regulations which shall be consistent with any fees required by the interstate agreement and any fees required for the state to administer SARA. Any institution that is removed from eligibility from SARA during the period of approval receives no fee refund; and

(x)

report any information required by the National Council for SARA. Article IV Institutional eligibility for admission to SARA An institution applying to operate pursuant to SARA under this section shall:

(a)

have its principal campus or central administrative unit domiciled in a state that has joined SARA and be authorized to operate in that state. Only distance education content originating in the United States or a U.S. territory is eligible to be offered under the agreement;

(b)

be a U.S. degree-granting institution that is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education;

(c)

agree to be bound by any standards, processes and/or guidelines required by SARA, including the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissioners, if required by SARA;

(d)

agree to remain responsible for compliance with the requirements of SARA and applicable laws, regardless of whether the institution engages in operations under SARA itself, or through a third-party provider;

(e)

agree to notify the education department of any negative changes to its accreditation status;

(f)

agree to provide any data requested by the education department, to the extent permitted by applicable law, and assist the department in resolving any complaints arising from its students and to abide by decisions of the department, in order for the education department to effectively monitor any activities under the agreement;

(g)

report any information required by SARA and/or this section. Article V Approved and accepted programs Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal or otherwise modify any law or regulation of this state relating to the approval of any other educational programs not covered by this section. Article VI Effect and withdrawal 1. This section shall become effective upon this state’s execution of SARA and/or regional compact for distance education.

2.

The duration of any regional compact and/or interstate agreement and the methods and conditions of withdrawal therefrom shall be those specified in their terms.

Source: Section 210-C — Interstate reciprocity agreement for post-secondary distance education programs, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/EDN/210-C (updated Aug. 18, 2017; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

201
Corporate name and objects
202
Regents
203
Officers
204
Meetings and absences
205
Quorum
206
Authority to take testimony and conduct hearings
207
Legislative power
207‑A
Disclosure of gifts made to institutions of higher education by foreign governments, persons and entities
208
General examinations, credentials and degrees
208‑A
Scheduling of examinations
209
Academic examinations
209‑A
Applications for admission to college
210
Registrations
210‑A
Admission requirements for graduate-level teacher and educational leader programs
210‑B
Graduate-level teacher and educational leadership program deregistration and suspension
210‑C
Interstate reciprocity agreement for post-secondary distance education programs
211
Review of regents learning standards
211‑A
Enhanced state accountability system
211‑B
Consequences for consistent lack of improvement in academic performance
211‑C
Distinguished educators
211‑D
Contract for excellence
211‑E
Educational partnership organizations
211‑F
Takeover and restructuring failing schools
212
Fees
212‑A
Return of deposits for professional and graduate schools
212‑B
Return of tuition for colleges, universities, professional, proprietary and graduate schools
212‑C
Teacher accreditation review fees
213
Extension of educational facilities
213‑B
Unlawful sale of dissertations, theses and term papers
214
Institutions in the university
215
Visitation and reports
215‑A
Annual report by regents to governor and legislature
215‑B
Annual report by commissioner to governor and legislature
215‑C
Promoting cost-effectiveness in public elementary and secondary schools
215‑D
State university of New York report on economic development activities
216
Charters
216‑A
Applicability of not-for-profit corporation law
216‑B
Private foundations, as defined in the United States internal revenue code of 1954: provisions included in the charter
216‑C
Special provisions for cutlery and knife museums that exhibit automatic knives
217
Provisional charters
218
Conditions of incorporation
219
Change of name or charter
220
Distribution of assets
221
Dissolution of educational institution by stockholders
222
Suspension of operations
223
Consolidation or merger of corporations
224
Prohibitions
224‑A
Students unable because of religious beliefs to register or attend classes on certain days
225
Unlawful acts in respect to examinations and records
226
Powers of trustees of institutions
227
Colleges may construct water-works and sewer systems
228
The Hamilton college sewer district
229
County educational institutions
230
Municipal training institute
231
Town and county officers training school
232
Departments and their government
233
State Museum
233‑A
Property of the state museum
233‑AA
Property of other museums
233‑B
New York state freedom trail commission
233‑C
Study
234
Indian collection
235
State science service
235‑A
New York state biodiversity research institute
235‑B
New York state biological survey
236
Public television and radio
237
Regents plan for higher education including approved plans of state university and city university of New York and plans of independent i...
238
Chair on geriatrics in the state university
238‑A
Statewide resource centers for geriatric education
239
Albert Einstein chairs in science and Albert Schweitzer chairs in the humanities
239‑A
Collection and distribution of student’s residual consumer goods
239‑B
Research dogs and cats

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Aug. 18, 2017

§ 210-C’s source at nysenate​.gov

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