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BSC distance ed more accessible across state lines

Posted on 4/21/2014

Bismarck State College is one of four institutions in North Dakota approved by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA).

SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

In North Dakota, Valley City State University, Lake Region State College and Minot State University also were approved.

According to Lane Huber, chief distance learning officer, the agreement simplifies delivering distance education in the states within the group.

"All states in SARA allow online education to be offered by the approved institutions within its sister states. Prior to this, we were required to get permission from each state individually."

Currently, institutions of higher education must seek authorization from each individual state in which they operate online. SARA provides criteria that member institutions must meet in order to provide distance education in other states. Under this agreement, participating states then automatically authorize other members to offer distance education in their state, saving them time and authorization fees.

For institutions that deliver online education in many states, the SARA agreement will reduce the cost of state authorization by thousands of dollars per year. All participating institutions must be accredited and adhere to a set of best practice guidelines for distance education.

More information about North Dakota's part in the agreement can be found here on the NDUS website.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit

About Midwestern Higher Education Compact
The purpose of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact is to provide greater higher education opportunities and services in the Midwestern region, with the aim of furthering regional access to, research in and choice of higher education for the citizens residing in the several states which are parties to the compact. For more information, visit

Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
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