State Authorization for Online Learning

The U.S. Department of Education requires higher education institutions to be authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state.  Massachusetts recently passed legislation to join the National Council for State Authorization Agreements (NC-SARA), which establishes a state-level reciprocity process for online higher education courses.

Berkshire Community College students enrolled in online courses who have a complaint must first follow the steps outlined in the BCC Student Grievance Procedure, found in the BCC Student Policy Guide:

Berkshire Community College will make every effort to resolve complaints via internal institutional processes.  If the attempt to resolve the complaint via internal institutional processes fails, students enrolled in online courses who are residents of states other than Massachusetts, and when such state is a SARA participating state, may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (PDF) via the SARA Complaint Form.  Online students located in non-SARA member states or territories, and students located in Massachusetts, may also file a complaint via the MA Department of Higher Education’s General Complaint Form.

A student who has questions about this process can email