PROV-016: Out-of-State Educational Activities

Date: 08/24/2020 Status: Final
Last Revised:
Policy Type: Executive Vice President & Provost
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Applies To:

Academic Division.

Reason for Policy:

State and federal law requires the University of Virginia to obtain state or U.S. territory approval to offer certain educational activities in that state or territory, a concept referred to as “State Authorization.” In addition, for programs that lead to certification or licensure by a state or U.S. territory, the University must disclose to prospective and enrolled students how such programs meet the initial certification or licensure requirements. This policy defines the types of educational activities that require approval from another region, also known as State Authorization; stipulates reporting and notification requirements by the University and appropriate Unit; and assigns role-based responsibilities required for institutional compliance.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Academic Program:

    A degree or non-degree program leading to a credential awarded by the University.

  • National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity (NC-SARA) Agreement:

    Agreement that provides a streamlined mechanism to obtain approvals from participating states and U.S. territories to operate credit-bearing programs within their state or territory. The Agreement sets thresholds which if exceeded require additional approvals from the state where the programs are operating. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all states except California are members of NC-SARA. The University of Virginia is a NC-SARA institutional participant.

  • Out-of-State Educational Activities:

    University-affiliated program activity occurring outside of Virginia or involving an enrolled student who resides outside of Virginia. Such activities may include but are not limited to:

    1. Online courses, online curricular programs, or recurring academic activity offered at a remote location, such as a weekly class or a recurring instructional activity;
    2. Supervised field learning placements that are offered as part of a program of study, regardless of credit earned, including clinical placements, internships, practicums, practice, and student teaching; and
    3. Business activities occurring outside of Virginia and related to a credit-bearing program, such as advertising, recruiting, proctoring, operating at a physical location, third party agreements or contracts that provide recruitment and enrollment assistance, and faculty or staff who reside in another state or U.S. territory at the direction of the university.

    Each state and U.S. territory determines what qualifies as Out-of-State Educational Activities that require approval and/or reporting. While these determinations vary by state or territory, generally they relate to academic programs and resources used to support the program. This would exclude, for example, a summer internship in another state that a student obtains through the assistance of a central office (e.g., Career Services), or summer research outside of Virginia that is not recorded in a student’s transcript to satisfy a degree program’s requirements.

    Out-of-State Educational Activities should be ongoing in nature and as such generally exclude activities that occur for less than a week, such as field trips, conference travel, scholarly visits, personal travel, or post-graduate placements.

  • Professional Certification or Licensure:

    A formal recognition based on standards set forth by a state or other governing entity that gives legal permission to an individual to practice a profession. Professional licensure laws and regulations vary by state and U.S. territory.

  • Student Location:

    The current address a student annually reports to the University as their residence when enrolled at the University. This address may differ from a student’s billing or permanent address.

  • Unit:

    As used throughout this Policy, encompasses schools, departments, and other components of the University.

Policy Statement:

The University must collect and maintain records on Out-of-State Educational Activities for academic compliance and reporting purposes.

All Units that engage in Out-of-State Educational Activities must collect, maintain, and report data on these activities annually to the Office of Institutional Research and Analytics.

The Distance Learning Compliance Coordinator (Coordinator) in the Office of Institutional Research and Analytics is the University’s solely designated individual to seek and maintain state authorizations for Out-of-State Educational Activities and will be responsible for related monitoring and reporting. Units are required to inform the Coordinator about changes in out-of-state activities to ensure these align with NC-SARA terms or the state requirements outside of NC-SARA purview.

  1. Collecting and Reporting of Data:
    1. Educational Activities:
      Units are required to collect and report certain data tied to Out of State Educational Activities to the Office of Institutional Research and Analytics (IRA). The Coordinator will work with Units to ensure that data which must be reported annually are collected and submitted to IRA a timely manner.

    2. Disclosing Professional Certification or Licensure Requirements:
      Units are required to disclose to prospective or currently enrolled students located outside of Virginia whether their Academic Program meets the educational requirements for initial Professional Certification or Licensure in the state or U.S. territory of the Student’s Location. Disclosure is not required if the Student Location is outside of the United States. This disclosure is predicated on a Unit’s investigation of how the Academic Program meets initial Professional Certification or Licensure requirements of other states and U.S. territories, which may differ from Virginia and may change annually. Units must work with the Coordinator to ensure the appropriate public and direct disclosures are being made in accordance with federal and state regulatory requirements.

  2. Roles and Responsibilities:

    • Must be familiar with Out-of-State Educational Activities operating within their Units and consult with the Coordinator before engaging in any new Out-of-State Educational Activity;
    • Report anticipated or emerging Out-of-State Educational Activities (e.g., an out of state student internship field placement, etc.) to the Coordinator;
    • Research Professional Certification or Licensure requirements outside Virginia in U.S. states and territories annually, and disclose state authorization and Professional Certification or Licensure status to prospective and enrolled students as required; and
    • Report any changes in out-of-state Professional Certification or Licensure requirements to the Coordinator.


    • Advise Units to facilitate compliance with state authorization requirements;
    • Initiate the approval process required of the state or U.S. territory in which an Out-of-State Educational Activity is located when those activities exceed NC-SARA thresholds or require approval or exemptions from a non-NC-SARA state; and
    • Report to Student Financial Aid whenever there is a change in status to any distance education program or state approval or exemption, including additions, deletions, and/or changes in approval or exemption status.
  3. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy and its related procedures may result in penalties levied against the University by the Department of Education or the revocation of the University’s membership in NC-SARA.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the Coordinator.

Related Information:

State Authorization website contains the following:
State Authorization Resources
State Authorization Reporting Forms (web portal)
Frequently Asked Questions
Authorizations Map

National Resources:
SARA Data Sharing Agreement
SARA Data Reporting Guide
SARA Manual
SARA Summary of new federal requirements
U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking 2018-2019
2020 Federal Requirements for State Authorization of Postsecondary Institutions

Regional Resources:
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and SARA
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and SARA

Major Category: Executive Vice President & Provost Policies
Next Scheduled Review: 08/24/2023
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President & Provost, 08/23/2020