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NC-SARA Institution Seal of Participation

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. RichmondCC participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

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.

Protecting Students' Privacy

Richmond Community College is committed to protecting student privacy. We administer and enforce student privacy laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) . In addition, we provide technical assistance to help schools and school districts safeguard information about students. Students are informed of their rights to privacy in the “Access to and Release of Student Records (FERPA)” section of the RichmondCC Student Handbook and in the “Access to and Release of Student Records (FERPA)” document on the Student Consumer Information web page of the RichmondCC web site.

  • The RichmondCC Distance Learning Student Manual advises students of the procedures in place to protect their privacy, identity, and personal information.
  • RichmondCC takes all possible measures to protect the identity of students by requiring a secure and unique username and password for accessing any web-based college supported learning environment, such as Self-Service, Moodle, and student e-mail accounts. Students only have access to their own personal information when logged into web-based accounts.
  • Students are advised through the Acceptable Use Guidelines in the RichmondCC Student Handbook not to share their unique username and password with any other persons to protect their personal information and privacy while using the college’s supported web-based systems.
  • Students are advised that if a password reset is needed, they must complete the RichmondCC Password Reset found on the RichmondCC website. To maintain security, students are required to provide verification of identity before account information is released to change the password through entering their seven-digit RichmondCC student identification number or username, student first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of their social security number
  • Students have access to the RichmondCC Help Desk. To maintain security, students are required to provide at least two forms of identification before any student account information is released. Those forms of identification may include date of birth, home address listed with the College, and/or the student’s seven-digit RichmondCC identification number.

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

SARA North Carolina Portal Liaison:
Terrence R. Scarborough, M.P.A. - Director of SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box  41349
Raleigh, NC 27629
Phone:  (919) 248-4667

State Website:

State Portal Links:

SARA North Carolina Student Complaint Process

SARA North Carolina Student Complaint Form

Complaints Against Richmond Community College

Institutional Complaint Process:

If you feel you’ve been mistreated by Richmond Community College or any other college student or employee, we ask that you go through our grievance procedure as outlined below:

Step 1

Submit a Student Complaint Form to the Vice President for 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 Sheri Dunn-Ramsay, Vice President for Student Services, by emailing it to or by mailing it to:

Vice President for Student Services
1042 W. Hamlet Ave.
Hamlet, NC 28345

Phone Number: (910) 410-1907

*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.

Step 2

The Vice President for Student Services will quickly take action on the grievance in cooperation with the individuals within RichmondCC and will submit a written report to the grievant within fifteen (15) calendar days. In the event that the action taken by the Vice President for Student Services is deemed unsatisfactory to the grievant, the grievant may submit in writing to the President a request for review of the action taken by the Vice President for Student Services.

*A written request for review must be received by the President within twenty (20) days after the date that the report of the Vice President for Student Services was mailed to the grievant. Along with the grievant’s written request for review, the grievant should submit to the President a copy of the written report received by the Vice President for Student Services, along with a copy of the original grievance, and related documents that the grievant submitted to the Vice President for Student Services.

Step 3

The President shall act within 30 calendar days to render a written decision on the grievance and a copy of this written decision will be mailed to the grievant. The decision of the President shall be final. All grievance matters are handled confidentially.

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 (NCP-SEC) 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:

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

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

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 Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27629

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


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.

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

Professional License/Licensure

Richmond Community College (RichmondCC) has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). However, NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure.

Richmond Community College does not currently offer any online degree programs that lead to professional licensure.

Please contact the respective department contact at Richmond Community College of the program that you want to pursue at RichmondCC to discuss licensure options prior to beginning your course of study. Please contact the appropriate licensure board(s) in any state you may want to pursue licensure prior to beginning a RichmondCC academic program in order to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements. 

Students may view the disclosure for each program or certificate to know which state Richmond Community College curriculum:

  • meets state educational requirements for licensure or certification,
  • does not meet state educational requirements for licensure or certification.

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

Professional Licensure General Disclosures for Curriculum Programs (Please click on the program name): 

Associate Degree Nursing    |   (Licensure Contact by State)
Early Childhood Education   |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Emergency Medical Science    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Medical Assisting    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Practical Nursing    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Nursing Assistant - Pre-Nursing    |  (Licensures Contact by State)

National/Industrial Certifications:  

Healthcare Management Technology    |  (Certification Information)
Information Technology    |  (Certification Information)
Mechatronics Technology     |  (Certification Information)

Professional Licensure General Disclosures for Continuing Education/Short-Term Programs:

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician     |   (Licensure Contact by State)
Auto Dealer License Renewal: NC DMV (Renewal Only)    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Basic Law Enforcement Training    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Detention Officer Certification    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Emergency Medical Responder    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Emergency Medical Technician    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Fire Safety    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Medication Administration    |  (Certification Information)
Nursing Assistant I    |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Pharmacy Technology  | (Licensure Contact by State)
Phlebotomy  | (Licensure Contact by State)
Real Estate  |  (Licensure Contact by State)
Vehicle Safety Inspection   |   (Licensure Contact by State)

National/Industrial Certifications:  

Electric Lineman    | (Certification Information)
Medical Administrative Assistant    |   (Certification Information)
Medical Billing & Coding    |  (Certification Information)
NCCER Core: Electrical, Level 1-4     |  (Certification Information)
NCCER Core: HVAC, Level 1-4    |  (Certification Information)
NCCER Core: Plumbing, Level 1-4    |  (Certification Information)

Additional State Licensure Agencies & Licensure Information

Please note: The links and information below are maintained by both private and public organizations that are not affiliated with the College, and the links are provided for reference purposes only to users. In addition, the inclusion of these links on the College’s website should not be perceived as an endorsement by the College, and the College is not responsible for any content or information on the webpages.

Directory of State and National Contacts:

U.S. Department of Education
Virtual Learning Community’s Licensure List

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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