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State Authorizations for Distance Education


West Virginia Northern Community College is working in good-faith to achieve compliance as established in HEOA 600.9 (c):

“If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary [of Education] the State's approval upon request. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)”

Complaint Resolution
In compliance with the new regulations, an institution offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency, the West Virginia State SARA portal entity, and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state.

SARA Complaint Process

Students who are enrolled in a WVNCC course who have a complaint about a course or experience should follow WVNCC’s complaint, grievance, and appeal procedures.

Students located in a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) state who have a complaint about WVNCC, must first go through the standard procedure for resolution of student grievances. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of that process, a complaint may be brought to the WVNCC SARA portal entity. The SARA portal entity in the state where the student is located will be notified that the complaint was received and may assist as needed. Resolution of the complaint by the SARA portal entity in the institution's home state is final.

Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to a SARA portal entity include, but are not limited to, complaints regarding accuracy of job placement data, tuition or fee information, accreditation, whether a program meets licensure requirements, or course transfer information. Grade appeals and student conduct appeals are not allowed under SARA. 

Complaint resolution contacts by state
In compliance with Federal Department of Education regulations, click this link: Student Complaint Information by State and Agency Student Complaint Information by State and Agency for information about filing consumer complaints in the states in which WV Northern Community College offers distance education programs.

If you need additional assistance in locating state complaint procedures, please contact Janet Fike, Vice President of Student Services at 304-214-8845,

WV Northern Community College Accreditation
WV Northern Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The Commission has authorized WV Northern Community College to offer all its associate and certificates online. Click here for information about filing a complaint.

WV Northern Community Student Grievance Procedure
WV Northern Community College has a Student Grievance Process and form that you are encouraged to utilize. For information or questions about this procedure, contact the Vice President of Student Services, 304-214-8845,