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State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Effective December 1, 2016, Kentucky is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  As described on the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements website (, the “State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.” A list of SARA members states and institutions can be found at the following link:  

The Education Professional Standards Board has the authority and responsibility to “set standards for, approve, and evaluate college, university, and school district programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel” for Kentucky pursuant to KRS 161.028(1)(b). The EPSB’s process for approving educator preparation programs is generally set forth in 16 KAR 5:010 with the general requirements for all educator preparation programs set forth in 16 KAR 5:020 and 16 KAR 5:040. Specific requirements for educator preparation programs located out-of-state and on-line are set forth in 16 KAR 4:030. 

Prior to December 1, 2016, in order for an out-of-state education preparation provider (EPP) to operate in Kentucky, that EPP also had to comply with 13 KAR 1:020. Due to Kentucky’s membership in SARA, EPPs that are SARA institutions and are not operating a physical campus in Kentucky do not have to comply with 13 KAR 1:020.   However, P-12 educator preparation programs and any clinical/practicum as part of those programs require the approval of EPSB, and thus are not covered under SARA (See SARA Manual, Policies and Standards, Sections 5.2 and 5.13.a.). Accordingly, any EPP that is a SARA institution desiring to operate in Kentucky must request permission from the EPSB, demonstrate how it will meet EPSB’s regulations listed above, and be approved by the EPSB. 

Staff has already received inquiries from numerous EPPs that are SARA institutions. However, at this time, none have submitted paperwork to be reviewed and presented to the EPSB for approval. Therefore, the only currently approved education preparation providers for residents of the state of Kentucky are: Alice Lloyd College, Asbury University, Bellarmine University, Berea College, Brescia University, Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Jefferson County Public Schools ACES Program, Kentucky Christian University, Kentucky State University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lindsey Wilson College, Midway University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Spalding University, Teach for America, Thomas More College, Transylvania University, Union College, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Pikeville, University of the Cumberlands, and Western Kentucky University.

We do anticipate receiving requests from EPPs who are SARA institutions soon, and those approved will be identified on our website.



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