State Authorization for Distance Education and Field Experiences


Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield Universities integrated and became Commonwealth University on July 1, 2022.  Lock Haven’s SARA webpage is no longer being maintained with the official establishment of Commonwealth University.  Please refer to the Commonwealth University's SARA page found here.

Due to new federal regulation, all universities offering distance education programs and field experiences in states other than their own must receive authorization from those states to do so.

The State Authorization Regulation Chapter 34, § 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 distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request."
Link to the e-CFR.


The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs.  Its intention is to make it easier for students to take online courses and complete field experiences offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.  

Pennsylvania's SARA membership is effective January 1, 2017, and Lock Haven University is now a participating SARA institution.  By participating in SARA, LHU is able to operate in every SARA state.  The SARA Map identifies other participating states and districts. 

The following states are not participating members of SARA, however, Lock Haven University is permitted to offer online programs and field experiences within these states.


Online Programs

Field Experiences





Public institutions are not regulated by The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands



Not members of SARA.

If you have any questions regarding state authorization, please contact Angie Hardy at


Lock Haven University is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education. 

Lock Haven University has many Specialized Program Accreditations.

Program approvals follow the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors Policies.

Please note that SARA does not address professional licensure issues. 
Courses and field experiences may be used as preparation for licensed/certified professions (teaching, nursing, counseling, Physician Assistants), which are state regulated. Lock Haven University programs provide for Pennsylvania licensure/certification requirements but do not assure compatibility with out-of-state licensure/certification requirements. 


Applicants who are applying to programs that may lead to licensure in states other than Pennsylvania must be aware of the various state professional licensure requirements. Please check licensure requirements by occupation and state at CareerOneStop.

Common licensing/certification boards are linked below: 



In compliance with 34 CFR 668.43(b) Code of Federal Regulation and U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) rules, an institution offering distance education must "provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint." 

Lock Haven University encourages all current, former, and prospective students, regardless of their residency, to FIRST submit any grievances, complaints, or concerns directly to the University as outlined by the Student Complaint Procedures.

If students feel the issue cannot be resolved by the university, they may contact the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or its accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Out-of-State On-line Program Students
Students located outside Pennsylvania may also choose to file a complaint with the appropriate agency in his/her state of residence. A list of the appropriate agencies is maintained by the NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements).  The University strongly encourages you to seek to address your concerns using University processes outlined on this page before filing a complaint with your state authorities.



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