As a prospective or continuing student at the University of Colorado Boulder, you have a right to, and the university is required to provide you with, consumer information concerning your education and the university. You can review these required disclosures, and instructions on who to contact to obtain more information, by visiting the Student Right To Know. Much of the information is safety related or financial in nature, but other broad categories are included such as filing student complaints, graduation rates, the various costs associated with attending CU Boulder, and state authorization.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
In order to offer educational opportunities outside of Colorado – including via online education and through courses like internships, clinical placements, or student teaching - the University of Colorado Boulder must comply with applicable state and federal regulations relating to state authorization. Compliance with these regulations also assist the university in fulfilling its mission as a comprehensive public research university and ensures continued access to the education we provide, while allowing us to push beyond traditional academic boundaries.
The University of Colorado Boulder participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a national initiative overseen by the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) that supports student access to online education and other courses and programs offered at a distance. NC-SARA also provides an additional oversight for student consumer protection. By requiring member states to follow a uniform process for approving and reviewing participating institutions, and requiring participating institutions to comply with agreed upon policies relating to distance education and out-of-state learning opportunities, NC-SARA is able to assist in ensuring student access to educational opportunities are equitable and students remain well-served by their institutions.
Students are encouraged to review and understand how the university participating in SARA benefits them: SARA for Students.
State authorization regulations do not apply to students accessing courses or programs while located outside of the United States. International Students are advised to understand and be apprised of the rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in their country of residence, particularly if the country will charge any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs. International students are encouraged to contact the International Student and Scholar Services if they have any questions.
The University of Colorado Boulder encourages students initially to address complaints and grievances relating to academics, consumer protection, or other University policies with the specific individuals or units most directly connected with the issue at hand unless there are good reasons for not doing so such as a desire to maintain anonymity. Current University policies and procedures on Student Appeals, Complaints, and Grievances can be found in this guide. As with all issues of complaint, the student should initiate any grievance matters with the course facilitators and/or faculty, who will attempt to resolve the grievance, in consultation with course facilitator supervisor, the program director, and the departmental or graduate director.
Students Located Outside of Colorado: If a student located in a state outside of Colorado has a complaint that involves distance learning, that student must first seek resolution with the University of Colorado Boulder by filing a complaint with the appropriate person or office at the university. If the student bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the university’s internal processes, the student may file a complaint with university’s SARA State Portal Entity at the Colorado Department of Higher Education:
Students outside of Colorado may also file a complaint with the State Portal Entity where they are located.
Students located in California should direct complaints to:
Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to the SARA State Portal Entity include veracity of recruitment and marketing materials, job placement data, accuracy of information about tuition, fees, and financial aid, accuracy of course transfer information. Complaints and appeals involving grades or student conduct violations will not be reviewed by the SARA State Portal Entity. For additional questions about how SARA consumer protection provisions assist students, please review NC-SARA's Student Complaint Process.
If all other avenues provided have been exhausted, unresolved complaints may be filed with the Higher Learning Commission, the University’s regional accreditor.
If you have any questions about State Authorization, SARA and how this may affect you and your education at the University of Colorado Boulder, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Colorado Boulder has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.