Update on State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Update on State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)


March 21, 2016
Dear Commissioner Elia and Members of the Board of Regents:
We, the undersigned, representing public and private not‐for‐profit colleges and universities across New York State, write to express our ongoing and strong support for New York joining the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). We are appreciative of all of the work done to date by the State Education Department, Board of Regents, the New York State Legislature, and the Governor to advance this effort and urge forward momentum without delay.
In so doing, we must underscore that recent public criticism of SARA neglects to mention the critical protections it provides, including measures to make it harder for disreputable online providers to operate in New York. In fact, the intent of SARA is to support high-quality online providers like SUNY, CUNY, and New York’s independent colleges and universities.
Through participation in SARA, New York is not giving up consumer protection; it is actually advancing a more effective, multi-layered approach to consumer protections and state rights. SARA developed, in part, because it has become very difficult for states to effectively regulate and maintain the quality of online educational opportunities being made available to their residents by out-of-state providers. SARA seeks to address this issue by creating a shared responsibility for ensuring the quality of online education and highlighting existing opportunities to address bad actors.
The fact is that SARA-member states maintain the authority to enforce all of their “general purpose laws” against out-of-state entities, including those laws related to consumer protections and fraudulent activities—exactly those areas generally associated with predatory, online education companies. In fact, state attorneys general retain the ability to take action against any in- or out-of-state institution that violates consumer protection laws of their respective states.
In addition, not all institutions in a state are automatically eligible for participation in SARA. Each state must assure that participating institutions are in compliance with state rules, regulations and standards of good practice in online education, and have a transparent way to receive and address student complaints. We have pledged to support the State Education Department in this effort.
Moreover, per federal regulations, each state already has to have in place a means to resolve complaints from out-of-state students enrolled in online education provided by institutions in their state. In fact, when an institution participates in SARA, it agrees to allow its own state agency to evaluate courses and programs to ensure compliance with guidelines for online education established by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions and to investigate any claims that the institution does not meet those standards. In order to ensure transparency, SARA quarterly posts the number and status of complaints, for each state and institution, and failure to address ongoing institutional abuses could lead to a state being removed from SARA.
Finally, New York’s colleges and universities are proud of the high-quality, student-centered programs and courses that are provided to online learners in New York and beyond. The rigorous online instruction provided in New York is in direct contrast to what is delivered by the “bad actors” highlighted by critics. Our state’s online programs provide important access to working adults, stay-at-home parents, active military personnel and veterans, and students with disabilities. Our online courses and programs provide flexibility and increased options for traditional-age college students as well.
Without SARA, we would miss the opportunity to participate in a more transparent and collaborative consumer protection effort. At the same time, each of our New York State institutions would need to continue the daunting task of registering with each individual state, or choosing not to provide New York-based learning opportunities to citizens in particular states because the processes are too time consuming or expensive.
SARA provides an efficient and effective mechanism for regulation of online higher education across the United States while also providing a level playing field for private, not-for-profit, and public institutions to deliver education in a reasonable and responsible manner. Over the past two years, it has been our goal to have an open and transparent dialog with all interested parties, and we believe that the support we have received from the Board of Regents, the New York State Legislature, and the Governor is a testament to the importance of this initiative to New York’s students and higher education institutions.
We strongly encourage the New York State Education Department to move forward with joining SARA, and we stand ready to assist you in any way.
Laura L. Anglin James B. Milliken Nancy L. Zimpher
President Chancellor Chancellor
Commission on Independent The City University of New York The State University of New York
Colleges and Universities

OSCQR Online Course Reviewer Webinar


The Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence will be offering the following professional development opportunities in April:

Become an OSCQR Online Course Reviewer Webinar

The Open SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) rubric helps online practitioners identify how the instructional design and accessibility of online and blended courses can be improved. In this workshop, you will be introduced to the OSCQR rubric and peer review process, tour its features, have the opportunity to discuss the standards, and practice applying them. You will then have the opportunity to join the COTE community as an OSCQR course reviewer, as well as submit your own course for review.

When: (choose one)
April 15, 2016, 1:30PM – 4:30PM
April 28, 2016, 9:30AM – 12:00PM

Course Fee

  • CPD Member Campus: $125
  • SUNY Campus(Non-CPD Member): $150
  • Non-SUNY: $175

Warm regards,
The Open SUNY COTE Team

QbD Registration open


Registration for Quality by Design (QbD) is now open to all SUNY faculty and staff.

Course Dates: February 8–March 6, 2016 (Four Weeks)

Mode of Deliver: Asynchronous Online – Blackboard Learn

Facilitated By:  Open SUNY COTE Fellows

Through QbD participants will be able to identify the design and pedagogical characteristics of a quality course and integrate these qualities into their own course development. This online faculty development course and open educational resource (OER) provides open access to high quality course content and opportunities for participants to engage in meaningful discussions with experts and peers on topics relating to learner support, course design, interaction, and assessment.  QbD is designed so that participants can choose from a variety of learning activities and assignments to fit their needs and time commitments. Participants will have the opportunity to earn SUNY COTE badges issued through Credly.

Space is limited, so enroll today!

To Register: http://www.cvent.com/d/3fqmw1

For more information please visit: http://commons.suny.edu/qbd/

Follow QbD on Twitter: @SUNYQbD

This collaborative project is being developed through a partnership among the University at Buffalo, Binghamton University, Empire State College, OPEN SUNY COTE, andSUNY Center for Professional Development.


Michaela Rehm

Open SUNY & Academic Program Assistant

SUNY Center for Professional Development

6333 St. Route 298, Suite 102, East Syracuse, 13057

Tel: 315.214.2418    Fax: 315-437-0835

Connect with SUNY CPD: FacebookTwitter

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You are currently subscribed to fact2-reps as: jrtoriseva@genesee.edu.
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Blendkit 2016


Are you interested in leading a cohort from your campus to participate in BlendKit2016? An exciting blended learning professional development opportunity for online instructional designers, faculty and other online practitioners interested in blended learning is available! Open SUNY COTE is pleased to invite you to participate in BlendKit2016.

The BlendKit Course, developed and offered by the University of Central Florida, is a set of subject matter neutral, open educational resources related to blended learning. The goal of the facilitated BlendKit Course is to assist participants in the design and development of a blended learning course via the consideration of key issues related to blended learning and practical step-by-step guidance that help participants produce actual materials for their blended courses. In addition to the BlendKit course materials (i.e., readings from scholarly works pertaining to blended learning, document templates, and practical step-by-step “how-to” guides), BlendKit2016 will provide an orientation, five weeks of facilitation in the form of regular email communications, weekly webinars with guest presenters, blogging/social networking interaction opportunities, and more.

A facilitated BlendKit 2016 course will be offered beginning February 22, 2016.

Open SUNY COTE is promoting local campus cohort participation in the BlendKit facilitated course, which would involve a campus-based cohort of interested participants led by an individual on the campus who would coordinate opportunities for additional local activities and interaction on weekly topics taking place in the BlendKit course.

Open SUNY COTE will facilitate its own cohort for those online instructional designers, librarians or faculty who are interested in participating in the BlendKit 2016 facilitated course who do not have a local cohort to join, and will provide some additional activities/opportunities for engagement and interaction around the weekly BlendKit course topics.

If you are interested in joining the COTE cohort, or leading your own campus cohort, please complete the following brief form:http://goo.gl/forms/rWaMr797QX

For more information about this blended learning professional development opportunity, please view the recorded informational webinar.

Warm regards,
The Open SUNY COTE Team

SARA Communications


As you are aware, Legislation was passed authorizing NYSED to partner with a regional consortium for the purposes of participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  Members of the Provost’s staff recently had a conference call with Owen Donovan of NYSED to talk about SARA.

At this time, NYSED personnel are hard at work on the technical tasks necessary to implement this effort, including working with the Division of Budget on the necessary approvals to collect and spend money and hire staff to support the initiative as well as crafting of the associated bill language.  As these approvals are tied to the New York State budget process, SED cannot begin the actual implementation of SARA until the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget is in place, including the specific language related to SARA.  In order to be prepared for New York State’s participation in SARA, NYSED staff have been in contact with the national SARA organization as well as representatives from regional consortia.

While NYSED is still building their financial models for campus participation, they are hopeful that they can provide some estimates on campuses costs early in 2016.  In the meantime, if you are planning your budgets, please be aware that in addition to fees associated with NYSED’s participation and efforts, campuses opting to participate in SARA will also be required to pay fees directly to SARA.  Information on these fees can be found at http://nc-sara.org/what-does-institution-do.

The Office of the Provost will continue to interact with SED and will keep you informed about this critical effort.




Zulaika R. Rodriguez-Awoliyi
Director of Provost’s Office Operations and

Special Assistant to the Provost
The State University of New York
State University Plaza – Albany, New York 12246
Tel: 518.320.1538    Fax: 518.320.1571
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FACT2 2015 Symposium – Accessibility: Designing Access for All Learners – Recordings Now Available!

The SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2) and the FACT2 Symposium Planning Team are pleased to announce that recordings from the FACT2 2015 Symposium – Accessibility: Designing Access for All Learners are now available.  You can access the following recordings via the FACT2 website in the SUNY Learning Commons at http://commons.suny.edu/fact2/category/news/  or the Symposium registration site at http://www.cvent.com/d/mrqrlr.

·         My Journal through Darkness (Kim Russell)

·         Keynote – Universal Design for Learning:  Applications for Higher Education (Whitney Rapp)

·         Panel:  Temple University’s Accessible Technology Initiative – Setting a Foundation, Addressing Challenges, and Looking Forward (Brent Whiting, Daniel White, Andrew Lessman)

·         IITG Panel:

o   The Necessity of Accessibility Online – Alfred State (Ellen Sidey)

o   Course Compliance Initiative – Niagara County Community College (Lisa Dubuc)

o   MOOC – Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners – Empire State College and Buffalo State College (Kathleen Stone and Ginger Bidell)

Assessment of Learning Outcomes Certificate Program

Assessment of Learning Outcomes Certificate Program


The Assessment of Learning Outcomes Certificate is designed for faculty, administration and staff members who are or will be either engaged in the assessment of learning outcomes at the course or program level or be responsible for designing, reviewing or coordinating curricular mapping or other academic assessment activities at their campus. The certificate courses focus on the importance of assessment activities in improving teaching and learning. Participants will learn how to develop learning outcomes, to use rubrics and other assessment tools and to identify strategies for using results to improve the academic experience for students and faculty.   The courses will also provide participants with the ability to develop skills to actively contribute to program review, curricular mapping and accreditation projects at their campus.

Participants must complete a series of three courses which contain various learning activities delivered in an  online format using Blackboard Learn. See details of delivery and activities within each course description. Each course will require approximately 1-3 hours of “outside” course work.

When completing this program, participants will be able to:

·         Demonstrate an understanding of the guiding principles of student learning assessment to improve teaching and learning and program development.

·         Ability to construct a curricular map and demonstrate an understanding of the implications of curriculum mapping for assessment of learning outcomes.

·         Construct learning outcomes and develop an assessment plan for a course, learning activity, academic major or program.

·         Develop and apply rubrics to assess learning activities (both face to face and online).

·         Identify strategies for using assessment results to improve learning (closing the loop).

·         Coordinate activities related to academic assessment on their campus.



Program Completion Requirements:

To earn the Assessment of Learning Outcomes Certificate, participants must complete all three courses.

Certificates will be awarded individually to allow participants maximum flexibility in taking what they need and want from the program without being obligated to complete the entire program.

Current Course Offering:  Registration is OPEN!

               ALO_Course 1.4: Assessment for Improvement of Teaching and LearningOnly 2 seats remain

January 4 – March 14, 2016

Instructor: Cathleen Morreale

ALO Course 2.4: Planning and Implementing an Assessment of Student Learning

March 28 – June 6, 2016

Instructor: Linda Sturges, Ph.D

ALO_Course 3.4: Closing the Loop: Using Assessment Results for Improvement

September 12 – November 18, 2016

Instructor: Carol Van Zile-Tamsen


Upcoming Course Offering: Registration will open shortly.

ALO_Course 1.5: Assessment for Improvement of Teaching and Learning

March 28 – June 6, 2016

Instructor: Cathleen Morreale

ALO Course 2.5: Planning and Implementing an Assessment of Student Learning

September 12 – November 18, 2016

Instructor: Linda Sturges, Ph.D

ALO_Course 3.5: Closing the Loop: Using Assessment Results for Improvement

January 2 – March 10, 2017

Instructor: Carol Van Zile-Tamsen



CPD Member: $225.00 per course

SUNY Non-Member:  $275.00 per course

Other:  $325.00 per course


SUNY CPD Membership Points can be used to pay for this program. 


Sponsored by the SUNY Center for Professional Development and the SUNY Council on Assessment

Questions?  Contact Michaela Rehm, Michaela.rehm@suny.edu  / 315-214-2418