State Authorization of Distance Education

UAMS complies with federal Program Integrity standards, including those for seeking approval of state higher education agencies before the University enrolls online students in a given state.  Prior to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), each state had a different set of standards and procedures for granting approval of education programs, so seeking approval and tracking the states for which UAMS had obtained approval to operate was challenging.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

SARA is an initiative among member states, districts and territories to establish comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs.  SARA is a compact which governs distance education activities offered across state lines; Arkansas joined in July 2015 and UAMS was officially approved to operate under SARA in August 2015. UAMS may offer online distance education program to students who live in all SARA states.  Currently California is the only state that is not a member of SARA. UAMS may offer online distance education to students who live in California because California does not restrict public institutions from offering online education to residents. Students who reside in California can follow the complaint process listed here. All other students enrolled in SARA states follow the UAMS policy.

Benefits of SARA membership include the opportunity to expand educational offerings to member-state residents, regulation of on-the-ground instruction offered by out-of-state institutions, an established student complaint resolution process, and a uniform standard for defining physical presence, applicable to all participating states and institution.

Arkansas State Authorization Network (SAN) Membership

There are three SAN partners which comprise the Arkansas SAN Membership:  the University of Arkansas System, the University of Arkansas Global Campus, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (joined June, 2018).  The purpose of the SAN membership is to provide readily available resources at reduced cost to support compliance for all U of A institutions.

Notice: Professional Licensure

All UAMS programs that communicate with potential distance education students about a program which leads to licensure must let the student know if their program meets that state’s licensure requirements.

Applicants who are applying to programs leading to licensure in states other than Arkansas must be aware of the various state professional licensure requirements. Please check licensure requirements by state at CareerOneStop or use the link below:

https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-licenses.aspx

State Authorization of Distance Education Map – as of June, 2018

Please contact Dr. Kristen Sterba at 296.1275 for the latest information regarding disclosure requirements.

Resources for State Authorization