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Out-of-State Compliance and Complaint Resolution

Overview

Online and distance education is an important part of the University of Northern Colorado's program offerings. We have been offering distance education since 1902 and online education for over a decade. Recent amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 include changes in regulation for State Authorization that may impact online and distance 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 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)

What UNC is doing

UNC is an active member of the NC-SARA reciprocity agreement (a national initiative to increase access to distance education while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies) and we work with additional state agencies so that we can continue providing educational access to students across the country.

Complaint Resolution

Step 1 – UNC Dean of Students

If you have a complaint about a course or experience with UNC, please reach out to the Dean of Students office for help resolving your issue.

Step 2 – Outside Support for Resolution

In compliance with the language passed in the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) conducted a Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010, institutions offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state. Below is information on UNC's accreditation agency, followed by links to the agencies in each state responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs.

UNC's Accreditor

The University of Northern Colorado is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has authorized the University to offer undergraduate and graduate level courses and certificates, as well as baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Information regarding the complaint process can be found on the HLC website.

NC-SARA or State-By-State Complaint Resolution Assistance

If a student located in a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) state has a complaint about an institution operating under NC-SARA, complaints must first go through the institution’s procedure for resolution of student grievances. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process, the complaint may then be brought to the NC-SARA portal agency in the institution’s home state: visit the Colorado NC-SARA portal agency.

The state where the student is located may also resolve the complaint. Choose your state of residence below if you have an unresolved complaint about a UNC program that you are attending at a distance from within that state.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California - note: California is not an NC-SARA state
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida - note: Florida is not an NC-SARA state
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts - note: Massachusetts is not an NC-SARA state
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming - Wyoming Department of Education at 307-777-7068