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State Authorization

On November 2, 2016, Lenoir-Rhyne University was approved by SARA-NC to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. A “State authorization reciprocity agreement”, SARA, is an agreement between two or more States that authorizes an institution located and legally authorized in a State covered by the agreement to provide postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students in other States covered by the agreement.

Due to evolving changes in higher education regulations, this information is reviewed quarterly and subject to change based on legislative and administrative revisions by each state. Currently, Lenoir-Rhyne University will no longer be able to offer online programs or courses for students residing in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Supervised Field Experience
Courses and programs incorporating a “supervised field experience” are covered by the provisions of SARA. Under SARA a “supervised field experience” means a student learning experience under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional, located in the host state, who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled, whether or not credit is granted. Examples include practicum, student teaching, or internships. However, see below regarding programs for licensed professions.

Professional Licensure
Disclaimer Statement: However with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s approval, NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. If you are not a resident of North or South Carolina, and you are taking an online course or program leading to professional licensure, Lenoir-Rhyne University cannot guarantee whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in your state. Lenoir-Rhyne recommends that you consult with our program contact or the appropriate licensing agency or board in your state or territory – including states participating in NC-SARA – prior to beginning your course of study. Please click to review national licensing bodies or email our program contact about licensure below:

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
LR Faculty Contact: Professor Richard Greene
Athletic Training
National Athletic Trainers' Association
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Michael McGee
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
National Board Certified Counselor
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Neal Gray
Dietetic Internship
Commission on Dietetic Registration
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Julie Covington
U.S. Department of Education
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Amy Rottmann
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Kerry Thompson
Occupational Therapy
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Toni Oakes
Physician Assistant
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Richard Ball
School Counseling
American School Counseling Association
LR Faculty Contact:
Dr. Neal Gray

Grievance Resolution
Lenoir-Rhyne University is committed to providing splendid services to all prospective and enrolled students. If you have a concern or grievance, we encourage you to utilize our internal process first by following our procedures outlined in the University Student Handbook (pages 50-55).

If you have questions regarding student grievances or to request a Student Grievance Form, please contact:

Becky Sharpe, Division of Student Life
LR Box 7484
Cromer Center, Room 205
Hickory, NC 28603
Telephone: 828.328.7247
Email: Becky.Sharpe@lr.edu

NC Independent Colleges & Universities Complaint Process
In the event our internal resolution to your grievance fails to reach a satisfying resolution, students may continue the grievance process with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice. Grievances can be submitted electronically or by mail:

Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General’s Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Telephone for NC Residents: 877.566.7226
Telephone for Outside of NC: 919.716.6000
En Español: 919.716.0058
Access to online general complaint form

SACSCOC Student Complaint Process
Lenoir-Rhyne is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). If for some reason the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the next step would be to file a complaint with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s accrediting agency. Students who file a grievance with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure. The contact information for SACS is:

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Telephone: 404.679.4500

SARA-NC Complaint Process
As a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – North Carolina (SARA-NC), students may also file a grievance through SARA-NC by following their Complaint Process. SARA-NC does not resolve complaints about student grades and student conduct violation. These complaints fall under the jurisdiction of institutional policy. The Student Complaint Form (PDF) may be submitted by mail to:

SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 855.SARA.1.NC (727-2162)
Telephone: 919.549.8614, ext. 4667
Email: complaint@saranc.org

If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state authorization liaisons in each SARA state can be found on the NC-SARA website. State by state contact information for agencies responsible for receiving student consumer complaints is available online.