State authorization (SA) is a legal and regulatory term for a college’s compliance with individual statutes, regulations, and rules in each state in which it operates, has a physical presence, or engages in educational services, programs, or activities. Physical presence can mean anything from enrolling a student from another state in an online program to recruiting students at fairs or conferences. State authorization is different from institutional or programmatic accreditation, or approval from professional licensing boards, but our office assists programs and departments with this area of compliance as well. We work directly with university stakeholders to gain the necessary approvals to engage in educational activities outside of Utah, our home state. A list of our current state approval or formal exemption status and Consumer Complaint Process can be found within the Institutional Catalog.
Western Governors University formally became a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) on October 14, 2016, which results in more efficiency in the state authorization process and more educational options for our students. For additional information on NC-SARA please refer to their website: http://nc-sara.org. Because WGU is based in Utah, our portal agency is the Utah System of Higher Education and all NC-SARA complaints or grievances should be sent to the state as described below.
Students who have a complaint against Western Governors University should first file a complaint with the institution. If Western Governors University does not resolve the complaint, students may file a complaint with the Utah Board of Regents at www.higheredutah.org/sara. The Board of Regents will only consider complaints that were previously unresolved by the institution and may refer a complaint to another agency for investigation.