Cooperation among legislators, NDUS and education stakeholders brings new opportunities for students
Posted on 6/11/2014
Photo Caption: Jennifer Parks, director of M-SARA, joins Sen. Tim Flakoll and Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen after they accepted the award for being the second state to join the M-SARA agreement on behalf of the university system.
For More Information Contact: Linda Donlin, Director of Communications and Media Relations North Dakota University System Phone: 701.328.2962 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Dakota was recognized at the June 5-6 Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) biennial executive committee meeting as the second state in the nation to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (M-SARA). MHEC Commissioners North Dakota Sen. Tim Flakoll, President Pro Tempore and Chair of the State's Senate Education Committee, and Larry C. Skogen, interim chancellor of the North Dakota University System, accepted the award on behalf of the system.
SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.
"The award reflects a strong desire to enhance connectivity, reduce unnecessary costs and help protect college students," said Flakoll. "The drive for collaboration will melt away barriers to graduation for students in North Dakota and across the country. It will improve graduation rates and time to completion which will translate to reduced student debt and a brighter future for our grads."
MHEC is the facilitating agency for SARA membership in the Midwest. There are five MHEC commissioners from North Dakota who work together to support higher education in North Dakota and across the Midwest. The five commissioners are Flakoll, Skogen, State Board of Higher Education member Don Morton, North Dakota Rep. Dennis Johnson, and Turtle Mountain Community College President James L. Davis.
"North Dakota being one of the first states in the nation to join SARA is a testament to the desire of our state's legislators, the university system, the State Board of Higher Education and other education stakeholders to make access to education a priority for our students," said Skogen. "This agreement is a real game changer for higher education."
The North Dakota University System is the portal agency for SARA institutional applications. Currently, seven North Dakota institutions have been approved including: Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, Minot State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of North Dakota and Valley City State University.