State Authorization and Professional Licensure Compliance


Compliance applies to both online and on-campus programs.

State Authorization compliance applies to USD's authorization for students to participate in online courses as well as learning placements and other opportunities taking place off-campus/outside South Dakota.  Physical presence is where the student is located while taking part in that activity.  Every state has its own set of regulations and definitions of what constitutes a physical presence activity in their state. It's USD's responsibility to know the types of physical presence activities that trigger the need to be authorized in that state, district, or territory.

Reporting Off-Campus/Out-of-State Activities is required to ensure proper state authorization and to comply with annual data reporting requirements for participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  A one-page Physical Presence Checklist (Note: See attachments on this page ​​​​​) indicates the types of activities that need to be reported. 
Note: See attachments on this page 

  • If you have an activity listed on the Physical Presence Checklist complete the Off-Campus/Out-of-State Activity Report (OAR) survey by clicking the OAR Button on this page, Note: This is needed EACH TIME an activity is scheduled
  • For more details see the related article Reporting Off-Campus/Out-of-State Activities

SARA is a voluntary State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement among its member states which establishes uniform national standards for out-of-state activities.  South Dakota is a member state of NC-SARA (National Council for SARA) and USD is a member institution of SD-SARA (South Dakota). Membership in SARA means that USD has reciprocity with respect to consumer protection statutes with many other states through NC-SARA. Essentially, USD’s and South Dakota’s consumer protection laws and regulations with respect to educational goods and services apply to USD students in locations which are also part of SARA (the reciprocity agreement). Thankfully, federal regulations allow institutions to meet state requirements through this state authorization reciprocity agreement. However, SARA doesn't cover everything and SARA comes with its own set of requirements, some of which are more robust than state and federal regulations; i.e., Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act and professional licensure disclosures.

Professional Licensure compliance applies to determining whether program curriculum meets educational prerequisites for professional licensure, certification, or endorsement within and outside South Dakota. Compliance includes providing two types of disclosures: public (general) and individual (direct). See related articles: Licensure-Track Program Determinations and Licensure-Track Program Disclosures for Prospective and Current Students


Compliance is required by:

  • Federal and State regulations and tied to USD’s ability to receive and disburse federal financial aid
  • State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) policy
  • HLC accreditation
  • South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 2:12: Distance Education
  • South Dakota Board of Regents Academic Affairs Guidelines 10.8: Student Location Guidelines

Compliance builds trust and demonstrates USD’s commitment to integrity and student success.  It’s in the best interest of USD’s students so they can:

  • Successfully achieve their educational objectives at USD
  • Ensure their degree fulfills the educational requirements for licensure and whether that degree makes them eligible to sit for licensure exams outside South Dakota
  • Receive full and accurate information about the programs in which they enroll
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Related Articles (3)

Making a formal determination whether an academic program's educational requirements meet prerequisites for professional licensure.
Providing the required public and individual disclosure notifications to prospective and current students
Required to ensure proper state authorization and to comply with annual data reporting requirements for participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).


Service ID: 161
Wed 6/2/21 7:10 AM
Wed 6/8/22 9:42 AM