State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Complaint Procedures

Massachusetts recently passed legislation to join the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).  Students enrolled in online courses who are residents of states other than Massachusetts, and when such state is a SARA participating state, may submit complaints to the Dr. Renee White at white_renee@wheatoncollege.edu.

Efforts will be made to determine the appropriate course of action, and the student will be notified within 10 days following the receipt of a complaint. 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 appeal the College’s decision to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education which makes complaint forms available on its website.

The contact information for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is: One Ashburton Place Room 1401 Boston, MA 02108 617-994-6950.  Wheaton College will not in any way retaliate against an individual who reports a perceived violation of Wheaton College policy, state, federal, or local law. Further, Wheaton College will not tolerate retaliation by any employee or student.

Wheaton College, 26 East Main Street, Norton, MA, 02766 508-286-8200

For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories

After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Wheaton College, located at Remote Learning Complaint Form (SARA) (Google Form), if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form. The AGO consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in:

  • Massachusetts
  • Non-SARA Member States or Territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.)

For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories

After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Wheaton College, located at Remote Learning Complaint Form (SARA) (Google Form), if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.

Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below:

The SARA complaint process is as follows:

  1. Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
  2. After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via the URL below.
  3. The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint;
  4. Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.

More information about DHE’s complaint processes can be found: DHE Complaint Policy and Process (pdf). Please note these procedures are for both academic and non-academic SARA complaints. Please note these procedures are for both academic and non-academic SARA complaints.