The amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) include new requirements in individual state authorization regulations that effect colleges offering online and distance learning. Richmond Community College (RichmondCC) is striving to achieve and maintain compliance as established in HEOA 600.9 (c)
“If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary [of Education] the State’s approval upon request.” (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)
The Department of Education requires all post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state. RichmondCC and its online/distance education programs must be authorized in certain states prior to offering those courses or programs to students residing in those states.
Admission of out-of-state applicants to an online program or an individual course offered by RichmondCC is contingent on the College’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant's state of residence. If RichmondCC has not been authorized by the applicant's state of residence to offer online, distance, and/or correspondence education, the applicant is not eligible for enrollment in an online program or an individual course at the College. If you have any questions relating to state authorization, please contact our Distance Learning office at 910-410-1916.
The College reserves the right to refuse enrollment to any student wishing to enroll in online courses if the student resides in a state where RichmondCC is not authorized to offer distance education.
What is RichmondCC doing to stay in compliance?
RichmondCC is complying with Federal Requirements by monitoring incoming applicants for out-of-state students who may wish to enroll in online programs or individual courses. If an applicant from a State not authorized by RichmondCC attempts to enroll, the College will notify the student of their ineligibility and remove them from the course(s) for which they are registered.
Also, RichmondCC has applied and been approved to participate in the Southern Regional Education Board – Electronic Campus (SREB-EC), which has established a reciprocity agreement with the following member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Therefore, RichmondCC is exempt from applying for State Authorization in member states.
(Out-of-state students that are enrolled in a program that leads to professional licensure)
Richmond Community College has applied to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). However, NC-SARA does not have any dealings with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. If you are not a North Carolina resident, and you are taking an online course or hybrid program leading to professional licensure, RichmondCC cannot guarantee whether the course or hybrid program meets requirements for professional licensure in your state. RichmondCC recommends that you contact the appropriate licensing agency or board in your state or territory, including states participating in NC-SARA, prior to beginning your course of study.
Out-of-State Student Complaint Process
Richmond Community College’s goal is to resolve student grievances, complaints, and concerns in a prompt, fair, and friendly manner. Students residing outside of North Carolina while attending RichmondCC who would like to resolve a grievance should follow the College’s Student Grievance Policy. However, students who have exhausted the institutional grievance processes and are still not satisfied with the outcome may also file a complaint with the North Carolina Portal Entity (NCSEAA), and/or UNCGA.
Click here to view a list of State Authorization contacts for the individual states.
Complaints regarding grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and are not subject to review by NCSEAA.
Accreditation Contact Information
Richmond Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. If you have an unresolved complaint, you may contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone number: 404-679-4500, at http://www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Richmond Community College. Inquiries to SACSCOC should only relate to the accreditation status of the institution and not to general admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs or issues involving application of academic regulations.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) expects individuals to attempt to resolve complaints against the College through all means available to the student, including following the College's own procedures, before submitting a complaint to the Commission. Therefore, the Commission’s usual practice is not to consider a complaint that is currently in administrative proceedings, including institutional proceedings, or in litigation.
However, if there is substantial, credible evidence that indicates systemic problems with an accredited institution, the Commission may, at its discretion, choose to proceed with the review. In order to be considered, a formal complaint must be submitted in writing using the Commission’s “Complaint against Institutions: Information Sheet and Form,” signed, and two copies sent to:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
The Commission will not consider complaints that are not in writing or which are anonymous. All complaints must be submitted in “hard copy.” It will not consider complaints that are sent electronically or through fax transmission. Also, the Commission will not review complaints that have been submitted on behalf of another individual or complaints forwarded to the Commission.
For more information on State Authorization, please visit the following links (outside RichmondCC):
NC-SARA Approved States and Institutions
NC-SARA State Portal Entity Contacts
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
NC-SARA States and Institutions
Student Grievance Contact Information for Individual States
The links below are provided by Richmond Community College:
How to Apply
Financial Aid Information
New Student Orientation
Tuition & Fees
Tutoring and Proctoring Services
Student Withdrawal and Drops
Student User Accounts
Student Consumer Information
RichmondCC programs that are offered 100% online:
- Accounting - Accounting Specialist
- Associate in Arts-Univeristy Transfer
- Business Administration
- Criminal Justice Technology - Law Enforcement, Courts, & Corrections
- Non-Profit Leadership and Management - Non Profit Manager