State Authorization & Complaint Process

Online Education

PennWest Edinboro abides by all federal and state guidelines regarding state authorization for distance learning and the complaint processes.

State Authorization

A federal regulation, effective July 1, 2014, requires all universities offering distance education courses in states other than their own to receive and maintain authorization from each state.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. Pennsylvania's SARA membership is effective Jan. 1, 2017, and PennWest Edinboro is a participating SARA institution. If you have any questions about PennWest Edinboro's state authorization, please email

Professional Licensure

If you are an online applicant who is applying to a graduate program leading to state licensure in a state other than Pennsylvania, please be aware of the various state professional licensure requirements. Use the links provided on the Graduate Application Page.


If you are a student enrolled in an PennWest Edinboro’s distance education program or course and have a complaint or concern, please refer to published Edinboro policies and follow the stated procedures to resolve the matter.

Students who are unable to resolve the issue through the faculty member, program coordinator and/or the department chair may contact the University Ombudsperson at or 814-732-1259. Student concerns will be addressed as soon as possible.

If you believe that the issue was not resolved by the university, you can file a complaint with the State System's Office of the Chancellor by filling out the System's official complaint form.

In compliance with U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) rules, an institution offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state.

PennWest Edinboro is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

PennWest Edinboro aspires to resolve prospective and current student complaints and concerns in an expeditious, fair and amicable manner. Distance education students who have exhausted all efforts to satisfactorily resolve a complaint in a timely manner through Edinboro’s policies may seek further guidance from their home state.

The Student Complaint Information by State and Agency list provides contact information for state education agencies. The State Contact Information in the linked list has been collected by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), and it will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Contact Us

Office of Distance Education
Ross Hall, Lower Level
220 Scotland Road
Edinboro, PA 16444
Phone: 814-732-1047

Dr. Jim Boulder
Director of Learning Technology Services
19 Ross Hall
Phone: 814-732-1047