Recent amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 include changes in regulation for State Authorization that may impact online, distance, and correspondence education providers. The relevant language includes:
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 the State’s approval upon request. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)
Southeastern Community College is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval in the following states: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Exemptions/Authorizations for states not listed are currently in progress which include Alabama and Florida. The college will endeavor to seek authorization in any state as needed per enrollment of students in online courses offered by the institution.
The U.S. Department of Education requires disclosure to consumers residing in all states. The list below provides contact information for each state.
State Authorization is a legal issue dealing with a college’s adherence to state requirements for colleges to secure authorization to offer instruction in that state. Institutions offering distance education courses or programs must provide current and prospective students with the contact information for filing complaints with the college, its accrediting agency, and with the state agencies that handle complaints in the student’s state of residence.
The State Authorization Federal Regulation Chapter 34, ß 600.9(c)
If an institution is offering post-secondary 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.
States regulate which institutions can offer education to its citizens. Southeastern Community College (SCC) must comply with the state regulation requirement based on the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. To meet this requirement, SCC has joined NC-SARA to serve students in states outside of North Carolina.
The states in which the college is authorized to serve students are located at nc-sara.org/directory. If you reside in a state not on this list, you are not eligible to register for online classes at SCC at this time.
If you have questions, please contact a member of the Distance Learning team at SCC:
California is not part of NC-SARA. As an out-of-state public institution, SCC is not under the purview of the California Bureau of Private Post-secondary Education. SCC is in compliance with California regulations to offer online/distance learning programs to California residents.
SCC is a member of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS). Students are advised to begin the process at the institutional level.
SCC is dedicated to resolving student complaints in a timely, fair, and amicable manner. Distance Learning students attending SCC who would like to resolve an academic or non-academic related complaint should follow the student grievance process. If assistance is needed for a non-academic complaint, please contact the Director of Student Services (contact information below).
Students who wish to file a grade appeal should follow the grade appeal process, located in the Student Handbook. If assistance with an academic complaint, please contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
If a complaint cannot be resolved through the institution’s complaint process, students may file a complaint with the North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints unit. Please review the NC Post-Secondary Education Student Complaint Process, print and complete the NC Post-Secondary Education Complaint Form and submit the complaint to:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
University of North Carolina System Office
910 Raleigh Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
Website (complaint policy): northcarolina.edu/wp-content/uploads/reports-and-documents/academic-affairs/student_complaint_policy.pdf
Website (complaint form): northcarolina.edu/wp-content/uploads/reports-and-documents/academic-affairs/student_complaint_form.pdf
If for some reason the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, the next step would be to file a complaint with SCC’s accrediting agency. SCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Students who file a complaint with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.
The contact information for SACS is:
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033-4097
SARA-NC Contact Information:
SARA North Carolina
North Caroline State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
T: 855 SARA-1-NC (727-2162)
T: 919 549-8614 Ext. 4667
The programs below lead to licensure or certification. If you are considering a program at SCC that leads to licensure and/or certification and you do not live in North Carolina, please contact the appropriate Division Chair or Director of Nursing.