Commissioner’s Update – November 19, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The following release was published Nov. 17 regarding Maine’s membership in the national initiative to broaden access to postsecondary learning.

Maine is now the 36th state to join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an initiative that will make distance-education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

SARA is an agreement among its member states, districts and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner, Bill Beardsley says, “SARA facilitates Maine’s interface with education opportunities across the country while bypassing the old case-by-case burdensome course approval system. Maine students benefit and state red tape is minimized with no loss of accountability. It is a state consortium approach we value.”

The Maine Department of Education will start accepting SARA applications from institutions of higher education beginning December 1, 2015.

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