Appendix National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) Notifications and Procedures
Smith College School for Social Work has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
What is NC-SARA?
SSW participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). As a member organization, we are required to provide any student enrolled in one of our online courses with the following:
- Professional Licensure Disclosure
- SARA - Student Records Management Policy
- Student Complaint Procedures for Online Students
Latest review: August 2022, Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
In compliance with Federal Regulations, 34 CFR §668.43 (2019 Rule), and State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) Manual version 19.2, the Smith College School for Social Work provides the following disclosure related to the educational requirements for professional licensure in social work.
This disclosure is strictly limited to the School’s determination of whether its Master of Social Work (MSW) educational program, if successfully completed, would be sufficient to meet the educational licensure requirements in a state for the practice of social work. This determination is based on the educational and curricular requirements of each state for licensure (excluding any special or temporary licensure that may be granted) and does not imply that other requirements for licensure do not exist or have been determined to have been met by this program or that any necessary approvals for clinical placements have been secured at the time of enrollment. The School cannot provide verification of an individual’s ability to meet licensure or certification requirements unrelated to its educational programming. Such individual determinations are made by state licensing boards, and are fact specific determinations.
This disclosure does not provide any guarantee that any particular state licensure or certification entity will approve or deny your application. Furthermore, this disclosure does not account for changes in state law or regulation that may affect your application for licensure and occur after the date of this disclosure.
Enrolled students and prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact their State’s licensure entity using the links provided to review all licensure requirements imposed by their state(s) of choice.
The School for Social Work has designed an educational program curriculum for its Master of Social Work program that if successfully completed is sufficient to meet the requirements for the first level of licensure at the master social work level in all of the states/territories of the United States.
Please visit the Association for Social Work Boards website for a list of state-specific licensure requirements.
If you have any questions about your coursework as it pertains to licensure readiness, please contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at email@example.com
Smith College School for Social Work has established student records management policies that ensure the protection and security of student academic records. As a part of the Smith College Office of the Registrar, the SSW Registrar maintains in perpetuity the confidentiality, integrity, and security of all physical student academic records in its on-campus office. All digital records are maintained and secured in accordance with the following relevant Colleges’ policies governing records management and in conformance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule.
Acceptable Use Policy: Comprehensive policy on the college's standard for acceptable use of all institutional Information Technology related resources and services.
- Comprehensive Information Security Program: An umbrella document that brings together multiple information and data security processes and policies intended to enhance the overall security of the information that touches all aspects of the college.
- Staff Handbook
- Student Handbook
Safeguarding Student Records in the Event of College Closure
In the event of institutional closure, Smith College School for Social Work will comply with all requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (Mass DHE) and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NECHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to secure records and afford students access to their records. The institution would comply with all requirements including:
- NECHE’s Considerations When Closing and Institution of Higher Education;
- NECHE’s recommendations for Teach-Out Plans and Teach-Out Agreements;
- Mass DHE’s Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Institutional Closure requirements;
- Mass DHE’s Records from Closed Institutions for transcripts and diploma information.
Questions or concerns regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Smith College School for Social Work at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSW Complaint Procedure: If any student participating in distance learning has a concern about the course and/or its instruction, they are asked to first try to resolve instructional concerns with the faculty member teaching the course. If the student concern is not resolved at this level, students are encouraged to meet with the chair of the curricular sequence or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who oversees the M.S.W. curriculum and its implementation. The ADAA may be reached through email at email@example.com.
After all instructional or administrative remedies have been exhausted with the School, the student may submit a SARA Complaint with the Department of Education.
For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Smith College, located at smith.edu/academic-grievances, if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.
For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures described above, if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form. The AGO consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in:
- Non-SARA Member States or Territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.)
Additional information from the DHE's SARA complaint website is below:
The SARA complaint process is as follows:
- Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
- After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via this website: https://www.mass.edu/foradmin/sara/complaints.asp
- The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint;
- Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.
Additional Information More information about DHE's complaint processes can be found here.
Smith College will not in any way retaliate against an individual who reports a perceived violation of Smith policy, state, federal, or local law. Further, Smith will not tolerate retaliation by any employee or student.