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State Authorization

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)

§600.9c states:
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) 410-1961.

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.  RichmondCC has applied and has been approved to participate in National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement and through this participation is authorized to offer online courses to residents of SARA-member states and territories.

SARA North Carolina State Portal Contact Information 

Terrence R. Scarborough, M.P.A.
Director of SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Phone:  (919) 549-8614, ext. 4667


State Website:

State Portal Links 

SARA North Carolina Student Complaint Process

SARA North Carolina Student Complaint Form

Professional License/Licensure 

Although we strive to connect you with the best information possible, Richmond Community College cannot confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure and/or certification outside of the State of North Carolina.

Please contact the respective department contact at Richmond Community College of the program that you want to pursue.

Richmond Community College does not currently offer any online degree programs that lead to professional licensure, nor do our students conduct field placement experiences outside of North Carolina.

The following programs offered at Richmond Community College may lead to professional licensure/certification:

Curriculum Programs:

Associate Degree Nursing
Business Administraton: Project Management Certificate
Early Childhood Education
Emergency Medical Science
Healthcare Management Technology
Information Technology
Mechatronics Technology
Medical Assisting
Practical Nursing
Nursing Assitant - Pre-Nursing

Continuing Education Programs:

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician
Auto Dealer License Renewal: NC DMV (Renewal Only)
Basic Law Enforcement Training
Detention Officer Certification
Electric Lineman
Emergency Medical Responder
Emergency Medical Technician
Fire Safety
Industrial Safety
Medication Administration
Medical Administrative Assistant
Medical Billing & Coding
NCCER Core: Electrical, Level 1-4
NCCER Core: HVAC, Level 1-4
NCCER Core: Plumbing, Level 1-4
Nursing Assistant I
OSHA 10 & 30 Industry Certification
Real Estate
Vehicle Safety Inspection: NC DMV Licensure (new or renewal)

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 SARA North Carolina Portal Entity (NCSEAA), and/or North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints.

Institutional Complaint Process:

Please review the Richmond Community College Grievance Policy.

Submit a Student Complaint Form to the Vice President of Student Services containing a sufficiently detailed statement of all the circumstances or events of your grievance.  If there are documents in existence that relate to the substance of the grievance or that would facilitate communication or understanding of the grievance, these should also be attached. The Student Complaint Form can be submitted to Sharon Goodman, Vice President of Student Services, by emailing it to or by mailing it to:

Sharon Goodman
VP of Student Services
1042 W. Hamlet Ave.
Hamlet, NC 28345

Phone Number:  910-410-1734

*All complaints must be submitted in writing with all supporting documentation to the Vice President for Student Services within thirty days of the action, incident or conduct upon which the grievance is founded, occurred or was first brought to the individual’s attention.

RichmondCC Student Complaint Form

State Complaints Process:  

If a complaint cannot be resolved through the institution's complaint process, students may file a complaint with the North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints unit. Please review the NC Post-Secondary Education Student Complaint Policy, print and complete the NC Post-Secondary Education Complaint Form and submit the complaint to:

The University of North Carolina System Office
c/o Student Complaints
910 Raleigh Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
Phone Number:  (919) 962-4550
Website:  The University of North Carolina System Office - Post-Secondary Education Complaints

Complaints regarding grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and are not subject to review by NCSEAA.

SARA-NC Complaint Process

Students may also file a complaint through SARA-NC. SARA-NC is the portal for North Carolina. Students should follow the SARA-NC Complaint Process and use the SARA-NC Complaint Form (PDF).

Contact Information:
SARA North Carolina
North Caroline State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

T: (855) SARA-1-NC (727-2162)
T: (919) 549-8614, ext. 4667

Website: SARANC

Unresolved Complaints

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 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.

State Authorization Liaisons Per State

Directory of State Authorization Agencies and Lead Contacts

Student Complaint Information by State and Agency


Important Links

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

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
Placement Testing
New Student Orientation

Tuition & Fees
Counseling Services
Tutoring and Proctoring Services

Student Handbook
Graduation Information
Student Withdrawal and Drops
Student User Accounts

Student Consumer Information

RichmondCC programs that are offered 100% online:

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