PLEASE NOTE: THIS REGULATION ONLY GOVERNS ONLINE PROGRAMS, AND ANY PROGRAMS (to include brick & mortar programs) THAT HAVE OUT-OF-STATE FIELDWORK REQUIREMENTS.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education released new "program integrity" regulations in order for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. The State Authorization regulation required institutions offering distance or correspondence education to acquire authorization from any state in which it operates.
For the individual college seeking approvals from all 50 states (and Puerto Rico) this process is, in many cases, excessively complicated and prohibitively expensive. The Sage Colleges continue to seek approvals from as many states as realistically feasible, given our current student population and where we anticipate the majority of our future enrollments to come from.
If a degree program is 100% online (i.e. no offices, classrooms, or employees are located in the state and the institution is not incorporated in the state) then licensure is either not required, or a simple explanation of the degree programs is required. However, it must be determined if each of the degree programs offered has one or more of the following, as required by the curriculum:
- A student teaching component,
- A practicum or clinical,
- An internship/externship, or
- A field experience.
If the answer is "yes" to one or more of the above categories, more than likely, a physical presence has been triggered and licensure would be required. The hiring of adjunct online faculty does not constitute a physical presence.
Additionally, criteria are the same for each of the field experiences listed above. In order to determine if a physical presence has been established, we must evaluate the field experience (regardless of its name/title) to see if it contains one or more of the following criteria:
- Is the field experience required by the curriculum?
- Is course credit granted at the completion of the course?
- Is there significant interaction with the general public by the student?
If the answer is "yes" to one or more of the above questions, a physical presence has been triggered and licensure is required in most cases.
Sage Point of Contact
School of Professional and Continuing Education
A full list of approved and unapproved states is located here. Please pay close attention to those programs that do and do not have practicum/clinical requirements as often times authorizations differ: