skip to Main Content

State Authorization for Distance Education

As a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) is authorized to offer its online courses and programs to students residing in other State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) participating states.  For information concerning OTC’s authorization to offer online programs in non-SARA states, please contact:

OTC Online
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO 65802
Email: online@otc.edu
Phone: 417-447-8200

Complaint Resolution Process

OTC is dedicated to providing students with accessible, high quality, and affordable learning opportunities and is committed to resolving student concerns in a fair, timely, and efficient manner.  Most concerns can be resolved by communicating with the relevant faculty member, department chair/program director, or academic dean.  Certain types of student concerns can be addressed through OTC’s Academic Appeal and Refund Appeal processes.  If a concern cannot be resolved to the student’s satisfaction through OTC’s Grievance Procedure for Students, the student may seek additional assistance by filing a complaint with the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission.

In accordance with the SARA complaint process, students whose concerns have not been sufficiently addressed to the student’s satisfaction and reside in SARA states should contact the Missouri Department of Higher Education.  (Students residing in California or Massachusetts should follow those states’ complaint resolution guidelines.)

SARA Complaint Policies and Procedure

SARA Complaint Policies and Procedures, including those for consumer protection and the resolution of complaints, apply to interstate distance education offered by participating SARA institutions to students in other SARA states.  Only those complaints resulting from distance education courses offered by participating institutions to students in other SARA states come under the terms of the SARA.  Complaints about a SARA institution’s in-state operations are to be resolved under the state’s provisions, not those of SARA.

  1. Complaints against OTC go first through OTC’s procedures for resolution of grievances.
  2. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by OTC’s policies and processes along with the laws of the State of Missouri.
  3. If a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the OTC process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission. The Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission shall notify the SARA portal entity for the state in which the student is located of receipt of that appealed complaint. The resolution of the complaint by the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission, through its SARA complaint resolution process, will be final, except for complaints that fall under the provisions of 7, below.
  4. While the final resolution of the complaint rests with the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission, the portal entity in the complainant’s location state may assist as needed. The final disposition of a complaint resolved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission shall be communicated to the portal entity in the state where the student lived at the time of the incident leading to the complaint, if known, to the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission.
  5. While final resolution of complaints (for purposes of adjudication of the complaint and enforcement of any resultant remedies or redress) resides in certain cases with OTC (complaints about grades or student conduct violations), or more generally with the Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission (all other complaints), the regional compact(s) administering SARA may consider a disputed complaint as a “case file” if concerns are raised against the State of Missouri with regard to whether the State of Missouri is abiding by SARA Policies and Standards. The regional compact may review such complaints in determining whether the State of Missouri is abiding by the SARA standards. Similarly, a complaint “case file” may also be reviewed by NC-SARA in considering whether a regional compact is ensuring that its member states are abiding by the SARA standards required for their participation in the agreement.
  6. The Missouri Department of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission shall report quarterly to NC-SARA the number and disposition of complaints that are not resolved at the institutional level. Such data will create transparency and can be used in determining whether a regional compact is ensuring that its SARA member states and those states’ institutions are abiding by the standards required for participation in the agreement.
  7. Nothing in SARA Policies and Standards precludes the State of Missouri from using its laws of general application to pursue action against an institution that violates those laws.

A full copy of the SARA Policy and Operations Manual may be viewed at NC-SARA’s website.

Programs That Might Lead to Professional Licensure

SARA has no effect upon professional licensing requirements.  As these requirements might differ from state to state, students seeking to enroll within a program of study leading to professional licensure, certification, etc. should contact the appropriate accrediting organization within their home state for final determination as to whether their state’s licensing/certification requirements would be met upon successful completion of that program of study. Students should contact the Department Chair / Program Director of their intended program of study for help finding the appropriate accrediting organization within their home state.

Listed below are the online/hybrid programs of study whose curriculum has been designed to prepare students to take the relevant national licensure or certification exams:

The Early Childhood Development, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and Hearing Instrument Science9 programs are designed to meet Missouri’s professional licensing requirements.

1 Refer to the Dental Assisting National Board website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure. Note: Missouri Expanded Function permits are recognized only within Missouri.

2 Refer to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure. Additionally, an online search for “Dental Practice Act (insert state name here)” should provide at least one website containing the required qualifications needed to obtain a valid license within that state. Note: Not all regional board certifications are accepted by every state.

3 Refer to the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure.

4 Refer to the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure.

5 Refer to the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure. Note: State licensing requirements supersedes national licensing requirements.

6 Refer to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website for information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure.

7 Refer to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NCBOT) website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure. Note: NCBOT test results must be presented to the relevant state agency to obtain a valid license within that state.

8 Refer to the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting website for additional information regarding professional licensure.

9 Refer to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website for additional information regarding specific state requirements for professional licensure.

Back To Top