Out of State Students Policy
State Authorization for Distance Education
Olympic College, through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), is a participant in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA maintains a list of states and institutions nationally participating in SARA. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. The goal of SARA is to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. For more information, please visit SARA for Students.
Before offering classes via online/distance to students who reside outside Washington state, Olympic College, like all other higher education institutions, must obtain authorization from those states in order to offer classes to their residents. At this time, due to extraordinarily high costs to obtain authorization, and/or other limiting factors, we regret that Olympic College cannot offer distance education classes to students who live in N. Marianas.
Olympic College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. See the Accreditation page for more information.
According to the OC Student Location Policy, the student location is the State where the enrolled student resides and is based on the permanent home address entered in the Olympic College (OC) student management system ctcLink. For a prospective student, this is the State of the prospective student’s residency at the time of admissions as entered into the Online Admissions Application. The student location designation will remain in effect unless and until a student changes the U.S. State or territory in the student’s home address using OC’s ctcLink Student Homepage. Once a student enters a new U.S. State or territory, the college will consider that date of address entry as the effective date of a student’s revised location for the purposes of this policy.
SARA State Student Complaint Process
In compliance with the the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, 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 Olympic College's accrediting agency, followed by a state-by-state list the agencies in each state responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs. SARA consumer protection provisions require colleges and universities to investigate and resolve allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity by a provider, including the provision of false or misleading information. Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to a SARA portal entity include, but are not limited to, complaints regarding accuracy of job placement data, tuition or fee information, accreditation, whether a program meets professional licensing requirements, or course transfer information. Grade appeals and student conduct appeals are not allowed under SARA.
- Students with complaints about a distance education experience must first follow OC's Student Complaint Process.
- After following OC's Student Complaint Process including appeals, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may submit a complaint to the Washington Student Achievement Council who has the authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. You can also contact your state agency for assistance.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
According to Federal Regulations at 34 §CFR 668.43, Olympic College is required to disclose student educational requirements of programs leading to licensure that may not meet the licensing standards for students who have indicated residency in a state other than the state in which enrolled. NC-SARA provides some additional information and resources for students regarding licensure on their webpage under professional licensure.
OC Programs with Professional Licensure: