Brandie Elliott / University of Missouri-Kansas City

At the MoKanSan State Authorization Summit in early January, Marshall Hill was on hand to discuss some upcoming changes and updates with the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

Puerto Rico has submitted the application to join NC-SARA and will affiliate with SREB. Hill expects them to be approved to participate in SARA within the next month or two.

Massachusetts is currently working on their application and are likely to submit in 2018, but probably not before July.

Communication is still occurring in California. There is no real time frame set up to see what type of application process California may inevitably submit to.

Regarding data reporting, Hill said that not much will change. Institutions will continue to report their enrollment numbers as usual. However, there will be a separate reporting of experiential learning placements by state and by two-digit CIP codes. The reporting of experiential learning placement numbers will be voluntary in 2018; it will be mandatory in 2019. He suggested that if institutions do not track this information currently, that they take this year to set a process in place. “If institutions don’t know where their students are and able to demonstrate that, you are vulnerable to so many risks,” Hill said. “Not just a risk with non-compliance for SARA, but also a risk for non-compliance with federal financial aid rules, accreditation rules, and lawsuits.”

He expected this year’s reporting to be dismal with a few standouts. He said that NC-SARA will reach out to the institutions that do have a handle on tracking experiential learning placements and, in conjunction with the State Authorization Network (SAN), do webinars.

Hill said the new experiential learning placement reporting is mainly about the trigger of physical presence issues and is mainly of interest to states. The states are less interested in how many placements in their state were made, but are more interested in how many people are placed within their state.