The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate postsecondary distance education. Volunteer State Community College is a proud member of NC-SARA.

Why NC-SARA Matters

  • Improves distance education program quality nationwide.
  • Makes it easier for students to access distance education programs across state lines.
  • Reduces costs and bureaucracy for states and institutions.
  • Improves coordination between states for higher education opportunities.
  • Provides valuable oversight of distance education programs.
  • Shares out-of-state learning experience data like clinical hours and practice teaching.

Before You Begin Your Chosen Licensure Program

Do you have an intent on being licensed outside the State of Tennessee? If so, do the following:

  1. Contact the appropriate licensing agency in the U.S. States and territories where licensure is intended. This will enable you to obtain the most up-to-date information about licensure requirements. Volunteer State Community College has not made a determination on whether or not Vol State’s curriculum meets the State educational requirements for licensure or certification for states outside of Tennessee.
  2. Contact the Program Director listed below to discuss our program’s curriculum.

Program Information

Dental Assisting

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Emergency Medical Services

Health Information Management (A.A.S.)

Medical Coding Technical Certificate

Medical Laboratory Technology

Nursing (A.A.S.)

Ophthalmic Technician

Physical Therapist Assistant

Radiologic Technology

Respiratory Care Technology

Sleep Diagnostics Technology

Veterinary Technology

Volunteer State Community College Accreditation

Volunteer State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees and certificates. Questions about the accreditation of Volunteer State Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC's website (

Students who file a complaint with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.

Continuity Plans

Volunteer State Community College has multiple measures to ensure the college can operate effectively in a crisis.

The school's Emergency Management Plan (EMP) is designed to deal with actual or potential emergencies or crises on campus. The EMP conveys the operational, communication, and crisis response plans.

Teach-out Plans

Vol State follows all SACSCOC required standards for Closing a Program (including teach out plans), Site, Branch, or Institution using the campus Substantive Change Policy, SACSCOC Policy.

Tuition Recovery

Tennessee has a tuition guarantee fund (TGF). See Tenn. Code Ann. § See 49-7-2018. Fund monies are available to students who reside in Tennessee or attend an authorized location with a Tennessee address when those students are enrolled at an institution that closes without fulling educational obligation to students.

If Vol State would close and it is believed that students may have TGF claims, information is posted under Institution Closure Information page of the THEC website.

Surety Bonds

Tennessee requires Surety Bonds for authorized out-of-state institutions. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-2013 for specific bond requirements. For more information about bond requirements, contact Marcie Mills at

Record Retention

Vol State has a Records Retention and Disposal of Records Policy for all student records.

Volunteer State Community College utilizes the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering Service to ensure students have access to transcripts in the event of a catastrophic event or unanticipated closure of the institution.

The above examples of operational continuity measures, along with annual employee/staff and student training, aid in preparing the campus for handling disruptive situations.

Grievance Resolution

Normal inquiries or concerns such as those involving admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc. should be addressed directly to the appropriate office at Volunteer State Community College.

For Online and Distance Education Issues, Concerns, and/or Complaints

Volunteer State Community College students can find the Student Complaint Procedures Policy and Grade Changes Policy including grade appeal procedures in the Policies section of the Vol State Website.

Complaints Related to Accreditation and Violation of Applicable State Laws

Under the Federal Program Integrity rules (34 CFR 600.9 (a)(1)(i)(A)), the Tennessee Board of Regents system office has been designated as the authority to investigate complaints concerning Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) related to institutional accreditation or violations of State laws. Before a complaint is filed the student or prospective student must attempt to resolve the matter with VSCC. If the matter cannot be resolved, a complaint may be filed with the Tennessee Board of Regents at 1 Bridgestone Park, Nashville, TN 37214.

Students who file a complaint with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.

Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA

Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with Volunteer State Community College to seek resolution.

Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of Volunteer State Community College’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

To file a complaint with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) complete the THEC Request for Complaint Review Form, or contact Julie Woodruff.

Julie Woodruff 


Marcie Mills

Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards have been violated by the Volunteer State Community College operating under the terms of SARA.

For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website. Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instructions for filing a complaint.

If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state information 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.