State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Effective December 1, 2016, Kentucky is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  As described on the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements website (, the “State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.” A list of SARA members states and institutions can be found at the following link:

The Education Professional Standards Board has the authority and responsibility to “set standards for, approve, and evaluate college, university, and school district programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel” for Kentucky pursuant to KRS 161.028(1)(b). Programs that could lead to educator certification or licensure in Kentucky must be approved by the EPSB. The EPSB’s process for approving educator preparation programs is generally set forth in Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR). Specific requirements for educator preparation programs located out-of-state and on-line are set forth in 16 KAR 4:030.

In order for the EPSB to approve educator preparation programs which are located out-of-state or are exclusively offered on-line, the educator preparation program will have to demonstrate compliance with the following Kentucky requirements:

  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation has been accredited or approved, as applicable, by the provider’s state of origin;
  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation has been regionally accredited;
  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP);
  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation is not based only upon the completion of a written or verbal assessment;
  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation has a selection and admission process that meets the requirements of 16 KAR 5:020;
  • Demonstrate that the program of preparation complies with 16 KAR 5:040 as it relates to the admission, placement, and supervision of teacher educator candidates in student teaching subject to the field experience limitations set forth under SARA.
  • Demonstrate that advanced teacher programs of preparation reflect alignment with Teacher Leader Model Standards as required in 16 KAR 1:016.
  • Demonstrate that the educator administration programs of preparation reflects the applicable Kentucky Administrative Regulation (Chapter 3).

For those out-of-state providers and on-line providers seeking program approval from the EPSB will need to submit documentation demonstrating compliance with the requirements set forth above to:

Sharon Salsman
Division of Educator Preparation, Assessment and Internship
Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board
300 Sower Boulevard, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

The documentation will be reviewed in accordance with Section 22 of the 16 KAR 5:010 with a recommendation presented to the full EPSB. The EPSB will then approve, approve with conditions, or deny approval of the program at one of the Board’s regularly scheduled Board meetings. EPSB staff will communicate that decision to the program provider seeking approval of that program.

Please note that the EPSB is also responsible for setting standards necessary to ensure the consistency and quality of classroom and field experiences including early practicums and student teaching experiences in accordance with KRS 161.028(1)(b)(5). The EPSB approves these field experiences and student teaching as part of educator preparation programs. The EPSB does not review and approve field experiences and student teaching separate from educator preparation programs.

Checklists outlining the submission requirements for initial and/or advance programs are available for review by institutions;

  SARA Review Worksheet - Initial programs

  SARA Review Worksheet - Rank Change/Additional Certification

  SARA Review Worksheet - Other School Professional

Staff have received inquiries from numerous out-of-state EPPs that are SARA institutions. Submissions for approval are reviewed on a rolling-basis. Response time is dependent upon the extent to which the institutional application is complete and EPSB workload. At this time, the only currently approved education preparation providers for residents of the state of Kentucky are:

  • Alice Lloyd College
  • American InterContinental University
  • Asbury University
  • Bellarmine University
  • Berea College
  • Brescia University
  • Campbellsville University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Georgetown College
  • Kentucky Christian University
  • Kentucky State University
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College
  • Liberty University
  • Lindsey Wilson College
  • Marshall University
  • Midway University
  • Morehead State University
  • Murray State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Spalding University
  • Teach for America
  • Thomas More University
  • Transylvania University
  • Union College
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Pikeville
  • University of the Cumberlands
  • Western Governor's University
  • Western Kentucky University

As EPPs who are SARA institutions are approved, they will be identified on our website.

Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2022, 1:36 PM