State Authorization Rules
On October 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released new program integrity regulations. One of the regulations focused on the need for an institution offering distance or correspondence education to acquire authorization from any outside state in which it operates. An institution is required to demonstrate efforts to comply in each state in which it serves students, and states expect that institutions already be in compliance with their regulations before serving any students in those states.
What This Means
Before accepting enrollments for online and correspondence courses from students residing outside of Texas who are not planning on relocating to Texas, Texas State must be in compliance with the distance learning regulations of the states in which students reside.
Texas State Joins NC-SARA
Effective March 22, 2016, Texas State University has been approved by the State of Texas to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. NC-SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establish comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. NC-SARA makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.
States from Which Texas State May Accept Enrollments
Because of the NC-SARA membership, as well as authorizations previously obtained from individual states and ongoing compliance with applicable state authorization rules, Texas State is now able to accept student enrollments for online and distance education courses from students who reside in all states.
Internships or Practicums Not Authorized in Alabama
However, Alabama does not authorize programs requiring an internship or practicum, so students from Alabama may not enroll in an online degree program that requires an internship or practicum that takes place in Alabama.
To view documentation of Texas State's compliance with state rules, download Texas State's comprehensive State Compliance Documentation (download Adobe's free PDF reader if you need it).
If you are a resident of Alabama or you have questions about Texas State's approval to enroll students from your state, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the current status of your state with regard to this USDOE state authorization requirement.