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State Authorization

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Logo

What Is State Authorization?
Institutions must obtain approval from states for local and distance postsecondary educational activities relevant to the delivery of educational programs. Activities include online learning, non-classroom experiences, faculty members who live outside of North Carolina, proctoring, professional licensure and marketing. Compliance with individual state requirements is now part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Amended 2010. H 600.9 (c).

In What States Is Southwestern Community College Authorized To Offer Online Courses?
Southwestern Community College has been approved by NC to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

The states in which the college is authorized to serve students are listed below. If you reside in a state not on this list, you are not eligible to register for online classes at SCC at this time. If you have questions, please contact our admissions office at

NC-SARA States 
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia
Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia Washington
West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming  


Is Southwestern Community College accredited?
Yes, Southwestern Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Ln, Decatur, GA 30033, (404) 679-4500,  to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

What if I need help resolving a complaint?
If you have a complaint, you should attempt to resolve the complaint through the SCC grievance procedure.

Complaints should be addressed to the attention of the supervising dean (email and phone contact information contained in the included directory link):

Complaint forms will be mailed to:

Southwestern Community College
447 Drive, Sylva, NC 28779
Website: Complaint Grievance Procedures
Form: Student Complaint Information Sheet and Form

If a complaint cannot be resolved through SCC’s grievance procedures, students may file a complaint with SARA-NC (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement-North Carolina)

Contact Information:
SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
c/o SARA North Carolina
P.O. Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27629 or email to
Phone contact: (855) SARA1NC, toll free  or (855) 727-2162, toll free

These resources may also be helpful in resolving complaints:

North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints Unit

Contact Information:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
223 S. West Street, Suite 1800
Raleigh NC 27603
(919) 962-4550


Regional Accreditor (SACSCOC) Complaint Process

If a student has evidence that an institution is in significant non-compliance with SACSCOC standards, policies or procedures, the individual should inform SACSCOC using the Complaints Against Institutions: Policy Sheet and Form.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033

What about licensure programs offered by Southwestern Community College?

If you are considering taking a course, or enrolling in a program at Southwestern Community College that leads to licensure or certification and you do not live in North Carolina, please contact the individual below that corresponds to your program of interest to discuss licensure options prior to beginning your course of study.

Melissa Hyatt - Dean of Health Sciences (EMS, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Opticianry, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiography, and Respiratory Therapy)
800.447.4091, ext. 4331 or, 447 College Drive, Sylva NC 28779

Randy McCall - Cosmetology Program Coordinator/Instructor
800.447.4091, ext. 4238 or, 447 College Drive, Sylva NC 28779

Disclosures will be provided for all states and will indicate whether the program meets the State educational requirements for licensure or certification, does not meet the state educational requirements for licensure or certification, or a determination has not been made. The links below also lead to contact information for licensure in other states (for degree programs at SCC):

For information concerning continuing education certificates and programs leading to professional licensure, please visit the Workforce Development Professional Licensure Disclosure page.  

This information is updated annually each Spring.  Although we strive to connect you with the best information possible, Southwestern Community College encourages students to confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure and/or certification outside of the State of North Carolina prior to enrolling.  Contact your faculty advisor for assistance in this process.

Questions? Please submit a Help Ticket to SCC E-Learning
(under "Select Type of Help," choose "Moodle Assistance")
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