State Authorization



Mr. Ron Leonard
Director of Special Initiatives
P: (334) 242-2211

Welcome to the Alabama State Portal Agent (ASPA) website. As an Alabama institution with a main (primary) campus physically located in Alabama, your institution may be eligible to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

To be considered by NC-SARA, we recommend that you review the NC-SARA website or simply Google NC-SARA for more information. This information is to ensure that your institution is accredited by a Department of Education recognized accrediting body, provides assurances of financial stability, and maintains a student complaint process comparable to the onsite process available to resident students.

The following steps are provided to assist you in the application process:
  • STEP 1: The institution’s representative should go to the NC-SARA website and download the appropriate document: Institution_Application_Final_1.8.21_1.pdf. When completing the appropriate application, please do not check the boxes under the heading, "STATE Entity to complete this column". That column is reserved for the State Portal Agency. Also please download the NC-SARA Manual. It can be found at :

  • STEP 2: In addition to the documents from STEP 1, a "Memorandum of Understanding between the Alabama State Portal Agent (ASPA) and the Institution" should be downloaded and completed. The Initial Application MOU can be found at The Renewal Applicatoin MOU can be found at
  • STEP 3: Upon completion of the NC-SARA Application and the ASPA MOU, submit both in hard copy along with an institutional warrant (check) for the state service portal fee (only) based upon full-time enrollment (FTE) for the institution as provided on the scale within the MOU. Warrants (checks) should be made out to "State of Alabama (ACHE-ASPA)." All documents and warrants (checks) should be mailed to the attention of Ron Leonard at one of the following addresses: Physical Location: Alabama Commission on Higher Education, 100 North Union Street, Suite 782 Montgomery, AL 36104-3758. Mailing address: P.O. Box 302000, Montgomery, AL 36130-2000
  • STEP 4: Upon receipt of the SARA application, MOU, and ASPA fee payment, the ASPA will notify the institutional contact that the review is being conducted. If approved for membership, the ASPA will notify the institution by email and NC-SARA through the SalesForce System. The institution does not need to submit its application to NC-SARA. If denied membership, the ASPA will notify the institution of the decision and circumstances of the decision.
  • STEP 5: With the completion of the registration review process by the ASPA, the institutional representative must register in the NC-SARA System and pay national fees using the "SalesForce" link provided by NC-SARA once they receive notice of SPA approval. Once payment is made and confirmed at the aforementioned site, the institution will be notified. NC-SARA provides two means of payment: credit card or institutional check. Upon posting, the institution will receive a "welcome letter" from NC-SARA.

All institutions participating in SARA are encouraged to continue reviewing the NC-SARA website and the Alabama Commission On Higher Education's website for updated information and available student complaint information.

Thank you for your application. Allow me to wish you good luck and welcome to SARA. You may contact me at if you have questions. All inquires should be from the reciprocity institutional representative.

Please send all required materials to the attention of Ron Leonard using one of the following addresses:

UPS or FedEx:
Alabama Commission on Higher Education
100 North Union Street, Suite 782
Montgomery, AL 36104-3758
Standard Address:
Alabama Commission on Higher Education
P.O. Box 302000
Montgomery, AL 36130-2000

Non-Resident Institution Authorization


Dr. Jim Conely
Senior Program Officer
P: (334) 242-2235
Under provisions of Ala. Code §16-5-10 (14) (1975), the Commission has jurisdiction over non-resident institutions defined as postsecondary institutions or corporations offering educational programs in Alabama with main campuses or headquarters located outside the state. 

Alabama is the only state within the United States where jurisdiction over private school licensure and programmatic review for degree granting institutions is divided between two (2) state agencies, the Alabama Community College System and the Commission.

To facilitate these dual agency assignments of responsibility, a Memorandum of Agreement between the Alabama Community College System and the Commission provided for the integration of programmatic review of non-resident institutions with the licensure process.

In addition, both the Commission and the Alabama Community College System serve as clearinghouses for information about private/proprietary institutions that offer their programs to Alabama residents.