Distance Education State Authorization and Student Complaints
If a student located in a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) state has a complaint about UNC Asheville, we encourage you to first use UNC Asheville’s internal procedure for resolution of student grievances and complaints or submit our Student Complaint Form.
N.C. Post-Secondary Education Grievance Process
The Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina System Office serves as the official state entity to receive complaints concerning post-secondary institutions that are authorized to operate in North Carolina. If students are unable to resolve a complaint through the institution’s grievance procedures, they can review the NC Post-Secondary Education Student Complaint Policy and complete the online Student Complaint Form or contact the agency below:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints, The University of North Carolina System
223 S. West Street, Suite 1800
Raleigh NC 27603
Telephone: (919) 962-4550
SACSCOC Student Grievance Process
UNC Asheville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). If a grievance is not satisfactorily resolved using the procedures above, students may file a complaint with this accrediting agency. Students who file a grievance with SACSCOC should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033
Telephone: (404) 679-4500
SARA-NC & NC-SARA Grievance Process
UNC Asheville is approved by SARA-North Carolina (SARA-NC) to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. As a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement-North Carolina (SARA-NC), UNC Asheville students may also file a grievance through SARA-NC by following that organization’s Complaint Process. Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to a SARA portal entity include, but are not limited to, complaints regarding the accuracy of job placement data, tuition or fee information, accreditation, whether a program meets licensure requirements, or course transfer information. SARA-NC does not resolve complaints about student grades and student conduct violations; these complaints fall under the jurisdiction of the institutional policy. The SARA-NC Student Complaint Form may be submitted by mail to:
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
c/o SARA North Carolina
P.O. Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27629
855-SARA-1-NC (or 855-727-2162)
TTY: 919-549-8614 ext. 4667
For more information about submitting a student complaint in your home state, please see this list of state agencies.
Professional Licensure & Certification Disclosure
In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations, all higher education institutions are required to advise students as to whether their curriculum provides them with the eligibility to apply for a professional license and/or certification in the state for which they plan to practice. SARA-NC 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 Carolina and are taking an online course or program leading to professional licensure, UNC Asheville cannot guarantee whether the courses or program meets the requirements for professional licensure in your state. To learn about the requirements in your home state, contact the appropriate state agency for teacher education in that state.
The Teacher Education Program at the Department of Education prepares candidates for North Carolina licensure. Successful completion of the Teacher Education Program and North Carolina licensure testing requirements will lead to a North Carolina teaching license.
State-by-state general disclosures are required by 34 CFR 668.43(5)(v) for academic programs designed to meet educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification that is required for employment in an occupation or is advertised as meeting such requirements. These disclosures refer only to educational requirements, and there may be other requirements, in addition to education, that must be met in order to qualify for licensure (e.g. sit for an exam, years of work experience, etc.).
The Education license conferred by UNC Asheville meets the state educational requirements for licensure in the following states:
California (with professional teaching license only)
District of Columbia
The Education license conferred by UNC Asheville does NOT meet the state educational requirements for licensure in the following states:
For more information about the university’s educational license, please contact
Dr. Tiece Ruffin
Chair, Department of Education
University of North Carolina Asheville
1 Univerity Hts.
Asheville, NC 28804
Further information can be obtained from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Licensure Office by visiting https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/educators-licensure or calling 800-577-7994 (toll-free within North Carolina) or 919-716-1800.