State Authorizations

STATE AUTHORIZATION

What is State Authorization and what does it apply to?

On October 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released the following new regulation for higher education institutions as "§ 600.9(c) State authorization:  "If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request."

In general, the federal regulations relating to State Authorization relate to any activities that the University pursue that touch outside of our state borders. This relates to Online Learning initiatives and programs, recruitment and promotion, internships and practicums, and to a number of other variables. The UAH Director of Institutional Research & Assessment Dr. Suzanne Simpson is available to answer additional questions relating to this regulation.

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Accreditation:

UAH is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor's master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of UAH.

Several UAH programs are accredited by their respective accrediting agencies. Academic programs in chemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society. Eight undergraduate engineering programs (aerospace engineering option in mechanical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, industrial and systems, optical, and mechanical) are accredited by the ABET, Inc. Both undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Computer science holds accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. All programs, both undergraduate and graduate, in the College of Business are accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition, The University of Alabama in Huntsville is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Teacher education programs are approved by the Alabama State Board of Education, according to standards of the National Association of the State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), for the issuance of appropriate professional certificates for service in public schools, and the Department of Education at The University of Alabama in Huntsville is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

What does UAH have to do to become compliant with requirements in the different states in order to offer our programs to students, and what may I be expected to do?
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What is the SARA compact? The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary online education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. SARA Overview and Update.

The state of Alabama is a member of the SARA compact. Here is a list of states in the southeast region and throughout the U.S. that have made progress towards becoming members of SARA. Alabama is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements) and UAH is an approved SARA institution. For students, the SARA initiative seeks to provide greater access to academic programs, lead to better resolution of student complaints, increase the quality of distance education, and increase opportunities for student clinicals, practicums, and internships outside of Alabama. For more information about UAH and SARA, email us at State Authorization. See if your state is a member of NC-SARA. See also, state of Alabama approved SARA institutions.

At the present time under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, students residing in the below member states are allowed to take courses and/or 100% online programs at UAH.  Hybrid programs are also available if the student chooses to pursue those programs. 

SARA STATES
1 ALASKA
2 ARIZONA
3 ARKANSAS
4 COLORADO
5 CONNECTICUT
6 DELAWARE
7 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
8 FLORIDA
9 GEORGIA
10 HAWAII
11 IDAHO
12 ILLINOIS
13 INDIANA
14 IOWA
15 KANSAS
16 KENTUCKY
17 LOUISIANA
18 MAINE
19 MARYLAND
20 MICHIGAN
21 MINNESOTA
22 MISSISSIPPI
23 MISSOURI
24 MONTANA
25 NEBRASKA
26 NEVADA
27 NEW HAMPSHIRE
28 NEW MEXICO
29 NEW JERSEY
30 NEW YORK
31 NORTH CAROLINA
32 NORTH DAKOTA
33 OHIO
34 OKLAHOMA
35 OREGON
36 PENNSYLVANIA
37 RHODE ISLAND
38 SOUTH CAROLINA
39 SOUTH DAKOTA
40 TENNESSEE
41 TEXAS
42 UTAH
43 VERMONT
44 VIRGINIA
45 WASHINGTON
46 WEST VIRGINIA
47 WISCONSIN
48 WYOMING
49 U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

*Please note that Alabama is also a SARA state.

**For experiential learning in SARA states students are allowed to participate in internships/practicums/clinicals dependent upon course requirements and also dependent upon professional licensure requirements.  Please talk to your department about professional licensure state requirements.  However, if a group of students are placed at the same location for the internship/practicum in the same program, the department is only allowed to have no more than 10 students at each site per program.  A program is defined as (e.g., M.S.N. Nursing, B.S.N. Nursing).  These two programs could have up to 20 students for a summer internship under SARA regulations at a clinical site in a state other than Alabama. If you have further questions about experiential learning, please contact Dr. Suzanne Simpson for more information for SARA States to find out more information on physical presence triggers.
Non-SARA States that students pursuing 100% online degrees and/or courses ONLY are allowed to reside in the following states:
48. CALIFORNIA
50. MASSACHUSETTS (Bill signed in to law by Governor.  Waiting on further action by state of MA.  Keep checking back for further advancement of MA to potentially be added to SARA soon.)

*If you wish to participate in experiential learning in a Non-SARA state, please contact Dr. Suzanne Simpson for more information on physical presence triggers.

What is the timeline for approval?

UAH is operating under an effort to show significant progress, or "good faith" effort towards compliance.   Due to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement we are able to provide 100% online courses and programs to students residing in states within the SARA agreement.  We are also able to provide the same to those Non-SARA states listed above.  UAH is also making "good faith" effort toward compliance with on the ground international programs and distance education programs in Territories and Canadian Provinces.

International Residents:
  • India (Please contact Dr. David Berkowitz, Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies for more information.)
Territories and Canadian Provinces:
  • American Samoa: 100% online courses and programs only students
  • Republic of Palau: 100% online courses and programs only students
  • Currently being reviewed under SARA standards-check back often for updates
    • Puerto Rico
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Guam
    • North Mariana Islands
    • Republic of the Marshall Islands
    • Canadian Provinces
Military Bases
  • If you are military personnel and would like to enroll in one of our degree programs that are 100% online you can do so through the SARA agreement.  All military personnel and their dependents qualify to take courses and or start a program while deployed.  If you are a civilian on a military base and wish to take courses online through UAH in another SARA or non-SARA state, or overseas, this agreement does not apply.  The SARA agreement for military bases is for active military personnel only.
Additional Resources Relating to State Authorization: