What We Do

Ensure Quality and Compliance

Standard quality control certification assurance concept, checkbox icon of guarantee

Our office is charged with ensuring high-quality online program design and delivery, financial accountability, and student services. We lead in online learning by establishing standards for other institutions to follow and setting an example through strict adherence to regulations.

Federal Regulations


Penn State is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have an opportunity equal to that of their nondisabled peers to participate in the University’s programs, benefits, and services, including those delivered through electronic and information technology. Penn State Online Education products and services are designed to be accessible for all users and comply with federal regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

For information about accessibility and usability, visit Penn State Accessibility.

Reciprocity Agreements


NC-SARA Participating Institution seal
Penn State has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Online Education’s Office of Compliance and Contracts holds the responsibility for maintaining the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) standards that allow Penn State to operate in all U.S. states and territories. In establishing comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs, SARA’s goal is to reduce the challenges for students taking online courses offered by postsecondary institutions that are based in a state other than the student’s residence. SARA is overseen by the national council, NC-SARA, and administered by four regional education compacts.

A member since the beginning of NC-SARA, Penn State leads many initiatives in educating other institutions about SARA standards. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Compliance and Contracts office hosts an annual workshop for Pennsylvania institutions.

Learn more about PA-SARA Workshops.