State Authorization Network (SAN)

As a service to member colleges, DigiTex offers membership in the State Authorization Network (SAN) of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). SAN provides information, training, webinars, meetings, and other resources and activities to help colleges comply with the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and other federal regulations and policies related to distance education. DigiTex pays SAN an annual membership fee of $8,000 and extends the resources from the organization to its member colleges at no cost. This consortial agreement saves Texas public community colleges $220,000 annually on SAN membership fees.

Membership in SAN does not include participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement that governs Texas institutions. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is the state portal agency for SARA. Any accredited, postsecondary institution with its principal campus or central administrative unit domiciled in Texas is eligible to apply. Click here for more information on the THECB’s application and fee process for SARA participation.

Special Meeting for SAN Members

Our friends at the State Authorization Network (SAN) have generously offered to lead a special meeting for all DigiTex members on January 12, 2022 at 10:00 AM CST. To read more about the subjects addressed in this meeting, as well as to register, click on the image to the right to access our meeting flyer. We hope to see you all there virtually!

Resources Available through SAN

The State Authorization Network exists to help its members navigate the challenging waters of state authorization compliance more efficiently and effectively. To that end, the SAN portal features numerous resources to help you stay informed with timely updates. Among the many useful resources, you will find the following:

Onboarding Training

Newcomer onboarding training to acquaint you with the many resources available through SAN

Coordinator Calls

Monthly coordinator calls featuring expert discussions of various state authorization topics & updates on recent legislative changes

Articles & White Papers

Articles, blog posts, & white papers on varied topics including military students & professional licensure requirements, among many others

eNewsletters

eNewsletters containing updates about recent legislative changes to state authorization requirements, links to trainings, & more

Podcasts & Webinars

Recordings of podcasts & webinars addressing individual subjects related to compliance

Discussion Boards

Access to the MIX/SAN Discussion boards for networking with other compliance professionals and asking your own questions

Reduced Rates

Reduced registration rates for many training and workshop opportunities

Many of these resources are available to SAN members only. DigiTex members can contact Heather Walker for logon information to the portal.

For a brief, visual explanation of the benefits of SAN and its resources, please access our infographic, and feel free to share it widely with other interested colleagues at your institution.

State Authorization FAQs

For additional questions about our consortial membership in SAN and how it can benefit you and your institution, please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions. 

State authorization is a complex subject. When your institution chooses to provide distance education to students from other states or countries, it must abide by the laws governing instruction in those locations. However, these laws vary widely and may be quite confusing at times.

Under ordinary circumstances, an institution would need to seek authorization to offer online classes with each state individually. To ease compliance issues within the United States, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) was formed. By joining NC-SARA, an institution is agreeing to abide by a set of accepted standards among all participating institutions whenever providing distance education in participating states.

The State Authorization Network (SAN) exists separately from NC-SARA and is meant to provide information and training to individuals who are involved in state authorization compliance efforts at their institutions. SAN seeks to keep its members informed about updates to the laws governing state authorization and provide clarification regarding some of the more confusing aspects of compliance. Additionally, it offers webinars, workshops, and other training resources to allow state authorization compliance professionals to network with others in their field and gain a deeper understanding of some of the major issues related to state authorization.

No, membership in SAN does not include membership in NC-SARA. If your institution wishes to join NC-SARA, please contact Jessica Acton at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for more information. If you need her contact information, please reach out to Heather Walker with DigiTex.

Individual institutional memberships in SAN cost $4,000 apiece. If each of the 55 community colleges in Texas were to purchase its own membership, the cost would be $220,000 total!

As a consortium, DigiTex is eligible to purchase a bulk membership for its members for only $8,000. This allows us to provide you, our member colleges, with a FREE membership in SAN.

If your institution is not a member of NC-SARA, this may make state authorization compliance more challenging, but it will not exempt your institution from following the laws governing online education in other states. If your institution offers any online classes to out-of-state students, it must still abide by the laws governing online education in those students’ states of residence.

The expert contact for all questions related to state authorization for Texas institutions is Jessica Acton at the THECB. Contact Heather Walker for her information.

Jessica Acton at THECB is the first contact for any institution that wishes to join NC-SARA. Contact Heather Walker for her information.

Many of the resources on the SAN website are only available to members, so you will need our DigiTex member logon information to fully access all resources. Contact Heather Walker to receive the logon information.

Through the eNewsletter, monthly coordinator calls, webinars, and notices on the website, SAN provides regular updates to its members regarding changes to state authorization legislation. To access this information, contact Heather Walker for the DigiTex SAN membership logon information.

SAN has an excellent onboarding training for newcomers to help acquaint you with the many resources available through their website. If you are interested in participating in this training, contact Heather Walker.

There are also a wide variety of webinars and workshops available through SAN. Information about these opportunities will be disseminated through the SAN eNewsletters, to which you will have access once you are logged on to the SAN website and registered for their newsletters.

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