State Authorization

State & Federal Compliance for Out-of-State Activities of Post-Secondary Institutions

For more detailed information about state authorization, please review the WCET | State Authorization Network (SAN) website.

States expect institutions to obtain approval for regulated activities that occur in their state. These activities may include; online learning, practical experiences, faculty teaching from another state, marketing, advertising, and more. The requirements as to which activities require authorization, the application processes, and the costs to comply vary greatly from state-to-state.

To ease the management of state by state institution compliance, national standards for interstate offering of distance-education courses and programs plus standards for other out-of-state activities are available for institutions who choose to participate in member States in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA).  SARA is an agreement among States for which States may voluntarily join SARA and institutions may “participate in” or “operate under” SARA by application to the “home state” of the institution. The SARA Manual is the resource for policies and standards for SARA member States and SARA participating institutions.  Additional direction is provided by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) on the NC-SARA website.

Institutions must also incorporate compliance with assorted–and ever changing–Federal regulations and activity and program compliance with State professional boards such as nursing, teaching and more. Sound like a lot to follow? It is. WCET is here to help.

For more information, please check out the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN) website, the Frontiers Blog, and The Guide (public resource for state regulatory information). More information can be found on the SAN website for these topic areas:

State Authorization 101

History of State Authorization

Federal Regulations

Military Students

Professional Licensure

SANsational Awards


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