Offering distance education courses outside of New Mexico
New Mexico Tech has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and is authorized to offer distance education courses outside of New Mexico but within the United States . To-date, forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands belong to SARA.
The one state that so far does not belong is California, which nevertheless allows Tech to offer distance education courses to its residents free of authorization regulations.
NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. For more information on NC-SARA, please visit www.nc-sara.org.
Handling of complaints
In compliance with 34 CFR 668.43(b) Code of Federal Regulation and U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) rules, an institution offering distance education must “provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint.” This process refers to the student’s available recourse if the distance education student has exhausted all possible avenues for complaints at the institution related to consumer protection and the issue has not been resolved to the student’s satisfaction.
All current, former, and prospective distance education students, regardless of their residency, must first submit any grievances, complaints, or concerns directly to New Mexico Tech in accordance with university policies. This step must be completed prior to seeking external resolution for an issue. Please note that student complaints about grades or student conduct cannot be addressed through the SARA/distance education complaint process and must be addressed by the university. The procedure for filing a grievance can be found here: https://www.nmt.edu/academicaffairs/Student_Grievances.php.
If the student bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of Tech’s process, and the complaint does not deal with grades or student conduct violations, they may appeal to the portal agency of the home state in which the institution is legally domiciled for consumer protection issues. The New Mexico Higher Education Department is the state portal agency and will notify NC-SARA of an appealed complaint in efforts to seek resolution.
Contact information for the NMHED: 2044 Galisteo Street, Suite 4, Santa Fe, NM 87505-2100; phone: 505-476-8400; fax: 505-476-8454; https://www.hed.nm.gov/students-parents/nc-sara. Students may also file consumer protection complaints with the university’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission.
The SARA portal agency in the state where the student is located will be notified that a complaint has been received and may assist as needed. Portal agencies for each member state can be found here: