State Authorization Resources! Updated and New!

Published by: Lindsey Rae Downs | 6/1/2017

Tags: SAN, State Authorization

This week, WCET Frontiers welcomes Cheryl Dowd, our Director of the State Authorization Network. Cheryl is here to announce a new set of helpful state authorization papers. These documents will serve as excellence resources for our colleagues working in state authorization, or for those who may want to learn more about the topic. Thank you Cheryl for bringing us these great resources.

Enjoy the read (especially that cute elephant!) and enjoy your day!

~Lindsey Downs

Sometimes our friends working on state authorization have trouble making your voices be heard above the din. We thought we would amplify your voice with some new and updated state authorization papers!

Seven years ago, the U.S. Department of Education (US ED) brought attention to state authorization through the release of a federal regulation for state authorization of distance education (§ 600.9(c). Although the 2010 federal regulation was struck down by the federal courts on procedural grounds, our story does not end there.image of a grey elephant facing forward

Like the Who’s in Dr. Seuss’s classic tale who were not heard on Horton the Elephant’s clover, state regulations existed quietly, albeit enforceable, before the release of the federal regulation. That is, until the mighty “YOP!” of the release of the 2010 federal regulations that caused institutions to hear the states say, “we’re here!”  The states were indeed “here” and with enforceable state regulations for which the institutions were legally obligated to be compliant for their activities that occurred in those states.

During this early time, many institutions were perplexed about how to coordinate their compliance plan. Other institutions were in denial that another state would have any regulatory control of their institution’s activities in that state. Like Horton’s companions, they simply can’t see or hear the consequences. WCET embraced this issue by providing white papers called “Talking Points” and by creating a support organization called the State Authorization Network (SAN).

With new resources, institutions began to embrace the inevitable and followed expert advice and developed strategies for the state by state compliance requirements. Like the invention of the lightbulimage of several vintage lightbulbsb, radio, and air conditioning, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) was created and became a household name making compliance easier for the institutions who participate in SARA.

Years have passed with a flurry of federal activity including a 2014 US ED Negotiated Rulemaking Committee that did not result in a new federal regulation for the state authorization of distance education. However, in December 2016, the USDOE released new federal regulations for the state authorization of distance education with an effective date of July 1, 2018.

SAN Talking Points Resources

In honor of the continuing evolution of state authorization compliance, SAN offers updates to six already published Talking Points and offers three new Talking Points. The authors are experts in this topic area and are familiar friends of SAN. The papers are available in web form on the WCET website and available to download and share as PDF documents.

10 Steps You Can Take to Begin the State Authorization Process (5th Anniversary Edition)

Authors:  Terri Taylor-Straut and Beverly Wade


New paper, but original blog release: May 2012; Original Authors:  Marianne Boeke, Sharmila Mann, and Russ Poulin

The Intersection of State Authorization Agencies and the Professional Licensing Board

Author:  Sharyl Thompson


Original Release:  February 2015

Institutional Disclosures Regarding State Authorization and Professional Licensure Track Programs 

Author:  Sharyl Thompson


Original Release:  April 2015

Newly Published Federal Regulations and Professional Licensure Disclosures

Author:  Sharyl Thompson


New Paper

State Authorization: What is a Supervised Field Experience and Where is it Regulated?

Author:  Sharyl Thompson


Original Release:  December 2015

State Authorization and MOOC’s

Author:  Sharyl Thompson


Original Release:  April 2014

State Authorization, the State Authorization Network (SAN), and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA): Academic compliance requirements and valuable management tools

Authors:  Jenny Parks and Cheryl Dowd


New Paper

State Authorization and Non-Credit Courses and Programs

Authors:  Marianne Boeke and Jeannie Yockey-Fine


Original Release:  April 2014

State Authorization and Military Students

Authors:  Marianne Boeke and Jeannie Yockey-Fine


Original Release:  November 2013; Original Authors: Matthew Johnson, Jeannie Yockey-Fine and Marianne Boeke



We hope you enjoy the papers and find them useful! SAN is very grateful to our authors who are listed with each paper.

And a reminder to our compliance friends from Horton’s sage advice: “a person is a person, no matter how small.” Make yourself heard.

Happy Reading!

Cheryl Dowd



Cheryl Dowd,
Director, State Authorization Network

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