2020 SANsational Winners Announced

SANsational award logo

September 22, 2020

Contact: Lindsey Downs

303-541-0234; ldowns@wiche.edu

Winners announced for the sixth annual SANsational Awards

WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) and the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 State Authorization Network SANsational awards: University of Kentucky; The Ohio State University; University of Michigan; and University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)

Boulder, CO – WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) and the State Authorization Network (SAN) are pleased to announce the winners of the 6th annual SANsational Awards. These awards recognize outstanding efforts by SAN member institutions and organizations in developing a high-quality, comprehensive solution to a challenging state authorization issue. Works recognized by the SANsational Awards present solutions that meet the needs of regulators, the institution and, most especially, students. These efforts serve as models which can be adapted or replicated by others.

The 2020 SANsational Award winners are categorized into two areas: (1) Licensure Programs: Notifications and disclosures for professional licensure in each state and (2) Compliance Innovations: Institution policy, tools, compliance teams, or other inventive or novel compliance management process.

Licensure Programs: Notifications and disclosures for professional licensure in each state

Awarded to:

Compliance Innovations - Institution policy, tools, compliance teams or other inventive or novel compliance management process

Awarded to:

  • The Ohio State University
    • Title: State Auth 101 Online Training Module
  • University of Kentucky
    • Title: Field Placement Coordination
  • University of Michigan
  • Title: Online and Hybrid Development Playbook
  • University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)
  • Title:  The State Authorization One Stop Shop

“The SANsational Awards is a yearly recognition of the outstanding work of the members of the State Authorization Network,” said Cheryl Dowd, the Director of SAN. She continued: “The efforts of this year’s winners demonstrate their committement to improvement at their own institutions, and publishing them through nomination for this award makes it possible for other institutions to see innovative ideas in compliance. We’re proud of the collaborative culture among the SAN member institutions. We’re here to acknowledge great work and help each other.”

Due to the the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will deliver the awards directly to each SANsational awardee in a safe manner throughout Fall 2020. Each month we will recognize and honor an award winning institution during a SAN virtual event that will be recorded and posted on the SAN website.

For more information on the webcast and the awards, please visit: https://wcetsan.wiche.edu/resources/sansational-awards

Additional Information on 2020 Award Winners

University of Kentucky

Awarded: Licensure programs - Notifications and disclosures for professional licensure program status in each state.

Title:  Licensure Disclosure Project

The University of Kentucky’s Distance Learning Team strives to ensure students have the most current and accurate licensure information possible to make informed decisions about their education. Over the last three years, our process has used collaboration with our academic programs, University Leadership, UK Legal, Information Technology Services, Admissions, and many other campus units to evolve into the streamlined process that is used to meet disclosure requirements. In addition to working with these units to create buy-in and to identify and improve student data sources, we utilize tools like LexisNexis to assist with regulatory research; we continue to refine and document workflows that provide a consistent method for reviewing licensure information and distributing that information to students in a timely manner; and we customize templates designed to facilitate clear, concise communication with programs, students, and state boards. However, as our list of programs requiring disclosures grew, we needed a more efficient way to manage that information and for stakeholders to view that information.

 To address this need, we worked closely with Information Technology Services to convert our standard compliance page from a long list of disclosures to an interactive database using Tableau as a framework. This process allows our team to easily enter and update disclosures in a database that connects to Tableau via a SQL server. Tableau converts that information into an ADA accessible dashboard that is embedded on the TLAI Out of State Educational Activities page and allows users to easily search by program and/or state. Students are directed to the dashboard via direct disclosures that are sent to new admits every two weeks and current students prior to the start of term. In addition, general disclosures posted on college websites, the UK Online portal, and provided in Admissions letters direct students to the dashboard for easy access. Academic programs, advisors, and college liaisons are also made aware of this information to maximize distribution of the information. Though we continue to improve our process, we believe that our current workflow, combined with the new compliance database, provides easy access to this information and ensures that our students have the information they need to make informed decisions about their education.

Contact:              Emily Woods, emily.woods1@uky.edu

Christina Walker, cswalker@uky.edu


University of Kentucky

Awarded: Compliance Innovations - Institution policy, tools, compliance teams or other inventive or novel compliance management process

Title: Field Placement Coordination

As part of the University of Kentucky’s efforts to ensure institutional-wide compliance with state laws and regulations and SARA stipulations, we felt the need to develop a process to ensure all programs conducting out-of-state field placements were legally authorized to do so. Previously, methods of determining authorization and tracking that information varied greatly from college to college, so our goal was to develop a deliberate and systematic process of determining such authorization status prior to activities occurring out-of-state, thereby avoiding violations and institutional liability, while also assisting with SARA reporting. The initial process to gather information and evaluate authorization was a slow one that involved administering surveys, facilitating communication and education, requesting access to information, and creating support of this work through a campus communication campaign.

Part of our communication strategy was to identify and train what we call state authorization liaisons. These state authorization liaisons became the college- or program-level “experts” in state authorization compliance who are often able to assist with more common compliance questions about out-of-state activities. The communication model creates a communication chain between central compliance coordinators and trained state authorization liaisons to divide the work of compliance across units and create accountability for programs to manage their compliance responsibilities. This allows us to complete a much more streamlined process that occurs annually from November until March. Details regarding programmatic out-of-state activities are housed on a password protected website that is visible to central compliance coordinators, state authorization liaisons, and program representatives, while disclosures regarding the ability to complete required placements, clinicals, etc. in each state are available to prospective students and the public on the TLAI Out of State Educational Activities page. In a constantly shifting regulatory field, this communication strategy allows us to quickly communicate new regulations and processes to liaisons, who in turn are able to advise faculty and students regarding out-of-state field placements.

Contact:              Emily Woods, emily.woods1@uky.edu

Christina Walker, cswalker@uky.edu


The Ohio State University
Awarded: Compliance Innovations - Institution policy, tools, compliance teams or other inventive or novel compliance management process

Title: State Auth 101 Online Training Module

Like many organizations, Ohio State requires employees to periodically complete online training modules on topics like data security and Title IX requirements. While completing required training, Ohio State’s state authorization team saw an opportunity to develop a similar training module to share basic state authorization information. The state authorization team worked with an educational technologist to develop an interactive “State Auth 101” course that includes video content and quizzes. The training module allows the team to widely share basic state authorization information with Ohio State faculty and staff. The Training Module can be found here:  https://osu.instructure.com/courses/91323.

Contact:              Lisa Siefker, siefker69@osu.edu 


University of Michigan

Awarded: Compliance Innovations - Institution policy, tools, compliance teams or other inventive or novel compliance management process

Title: Online and Hybrid Program Development Playbook

The University of Michigan's Online & Hybrid Program Development Playbook (Playbook) combines a discussion of strategy, administration, and design with an extensive outline of distance education compliance topics to provide a comprehensive resource for launching new online and hybrid programs across the University of Michigan's (U-M) 19 schools and colleges. The Playbook exists as a Google Doc maintained by a small team at U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation but reflects a highly collaborative effort with contributions from across U-M (e.g., from academic units, the Office of the General Counsel, the U-M Library, Information and Technology Services, the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Financial Aid, the International Center, and the Office of Research, Ethics, and Compliance). It originated out of perceived need to identify online education expertise across units, establish a network for administrative problem solving, and establish workflows where gaps existed in the then-current distance education infrastructure at a university that has no true central coordinating office for online education.

In its current form, the Playbook serves as an introductory guide to online and hybrid program development and compliance and as a directory to connect readers with appropriate subject matter experts on campus to engage in deeper discussion. It is commonly used as an exploratory resource for academic units contemplating new online or hybrid program development as well as more formally as part of the Provost’s online/hybrid program approval process. It is also frequently referenced during stakeholder conversations, including most recently during U-M’s COVID-19 transition to emergency remote instruction. Both the Playbook's content and the relationships formed during its drafting have proven incredibly valuable in the creation of new policies, procedures, and resources relating to distance education in recent years. The authors sincerely hope other institutions will now benefit from the work that has been put into this document and perhaps use it as a starting point in drafting playbooks of their own. 

Contact:              Ricky LaFosse, rlafosse@umich.edu


University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)
Awarded: Compliance Innovations - Institution policy, tools, compliance teams or other inventive or novel compliance management process

Title: The State Authorization One Stop Shop

How does one satisfy federal regulations, state regulations, and NC-SARA regulations while keeping current and potential students a priority? Create a one-stop shop website where many answers can be found with one click.

This particular website goes above and beyond UMKC’s previous state authorization website. Now students have more information at the click of a mouse including distance education offerings, consumer protection information, and a listing of each program leading to licensure or certification and in which states the educational requirements are met.

The One Stop Shop features a clickable map where students can select their home state to see which distance education programs are available. Each listed program is linked to its designated home page featuring more information. To satisfy NC-SARA requirements, student consumer protection information is included in case a student has a grievance or a complaint. To satisfy the Federal Regulations, each state web page has a list of both face-to-face programs and distance education programs that lead to licensure and certification and which category they fall into: meets educational requirements, does not meet educational requirements, or the institution has not made a determination. Finally, to meet a number of requirements, the contact information for certain licensing entities have been included so a student can request more information if need-be.

UMKC believes that the One Stop Shop for students will allow students and potential students to make an informed decision based on their educational and professional needs.

Contact:              Brandie Elliott, elliottba@umkc.edu


About WCET

WCET – the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies - is the leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of digital learning in higher education. WCET is a member-driven, nonprofit which brings together colleges and universities, higher education organizations and companies to collectively improve the quality and reach of technology-enhanced learning programs. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), WCET's parent organization, serves states, students, and institutions throughout and beyond the American West, and is one of four U.S. regional interstate compacts.

Learn more: http://wcet.wiche.edu

About the State Authorization Network (SAN)

Working collaboratively, institutions can navigate the state regulations processes more efficiently than working on their own. WCET's State Authorization Network (SAN) is the leader for guidance and support for navigating regulatory compliance for out-of-state activities of post-secondary institutions.

Learn more: https://wcetSAN.wiche.edu