NC-SARA/ Distance Education

What is NC-SARA?

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that sets national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. NC-SARA allows students to benefit from educational services across state lines. NC-SARA centralizes the authorization process for each institution in a single state, referred to as the “home state.” By reducing the number of states in which an institution needs to apply for authorization, students benefit from expanded access to educational offerings and institutions benefit by reducing state authorization costs. New Mexico became a member on May 12, 2015.

How does NC-SARA benefit students?

  • Expands access to educational offerings
  • Should lead to better resolution of complaints from students in NC-SARA states
  • Reduces a rapidly growing institutional cost that is in one way or another passed along to students
  • Should enhance overall quality of distance education

What New Mexico institutions participate in NC-SARA?

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Central New Mexico Community College
Clovis Community College
Dona Ana Community College 
Eastern New Mexico University
EC-Council University
Luna Community College
National College of Midwifery
Navajo Technical University
New Mexico Highlands University
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Junior College
New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University Alamogordo
Northern New Mexico College
San Juan College
Santa Fe Community College
Southeast New Mexico College
Southwest University Of Naprapathic Medicine
Southwestern College
St. John's College - Santa Fe
University of New Mexico
University of the Southwest
Veritas International University
Western New Mexico University

What if I need to submit a complaint about one of New Mexico's NC-SARA institutions?

The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is New Mexico's state portal entity for NC-SARA and has authority to help facilitate resolution to student complaints, only after the student has utilized all internal complaint procedures at the educational institution. After receiving a Student Complaint Form, NMHED staff will review the form and attachments. NMHED may contact the student via email for additional information or clarification. If the initial review indicates the complaint is covered under NC-SARA's complaint policies, NMHED shall attempt to facilitate a resolution to the complaint by sending a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been made. Only complaints resulting from distance education courses, activities and operations provided by NC-SARA-participating institutions to students in other NC-SARA states are covered by NC-SARA policies. All parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint.

Note - Student complaints about grades or student conduct may not be appealed.

If you have additional questions about the complaint process please contact our office via email at:

CLICK HERE to download the NMHED Student Complaint Form.

Once complete, the form and supporting attachments should be emailed to the attention of the New Mexico Higher Education Department at:

How can I learn more about NC-SARA?

CLICK HERE to visit the NC-SARA Website

CLICK HERE to download the NC-SARA Manual

State Portal Entity Contact:

Alicia Armijo
New Mexico SARA Coordinator
New Mexico Higher Education Department
2044 Galisteo Street, Suite 4
Santa Fe, NM  87505-2100

CONTACT US: If you require additional guidance on how to direct your question or are not able to locate the information you are looking for on the New Mexico Higher Education Department's website, please send us a message.