For Students: Profesional Licensure and Certification Disclosures 

What is State Authorization?

State authorization refers to federal, state and professional licensing board regulations that impact educational activities offered across state lines and programs that lead to professional licensure or certification. Compliance with these regulations ensures that a Kent State University degree will be recognized, Kent State students will be eligible to sit for licensure in states other than Ohio, and Kent State students have access to state licensure information.

Authorization requirements vary by state and program and may impact university operations. At KentState, we have a team dedicated to researching regulations, seeking and maintaining compliance, and communicating changes in authorization status.

SARA

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a national initiative that increases student access to distance education courses and programs while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Institutions participating in SARA can offer educational opportunities in all 49 SARA member states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico without seeking individual approval in each state. Learn more at the SARA page

When considering Kent State University for your online learning needs, prospective students should consult our Status in Each State Map page for the most up-to-date information regarding state authorization for our online programs.

Disclosures

Accreditation

Kent State University is an affiliate of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Higher Learning Commission is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

A list of the accrediting bodies that also accredit or approve individual graduate and undergraduate programs can be found in the university catalog.

International Students

If you are an international student interested in enrolling in an online program, please note: A country may or may not regulate distance education provided to students in its jurisdiction and may or may not require foreign higher education institutions to comply with distance education regulations. At this time, Kent State University cannot guarantee that a program meets curriculum requirements or professional licensure requirements in your country. International students interested in enrolling in a Kent State online degree or certificate program please contact the program to verify eligibility, and contact the Office of Global Education before enrolling in online courses or programs.

State Consumer Protection Agencies

All Kent State University distance education students should attempt to resolve complaints with the University before they contact their respective state agency. View State Agency Contact Information

Student Complaint Resolution and State Contact Information

Frequently Asked Questions

State Authorization

Doesn't state authorization only apply to online programs?

State authorization regulations apply to all for-credit out-of-state educational activities. That includes online courses and out-of-state field experiences, such as internships and clinicals.

Licensure program disclosures are required for all licensure programs, regardless of whether the program is offered on-campus or online.

Why does it matter?

In order to offer educational opportunities to students outside Ohio, Kent State must comply with state, federal, and professional licensing board regulations. Federal regulations require an institution to be authorized in every state where a student is located in order to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.

Requiring authorization of distance education programs also protects students as consumers. Authorization ensures that a student is not investing in a program that is not legitimate or a program that does not lead to the license or certification the student was expecting.

SARA

What is SARA?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, also known as SARA, established a uniform standard for distance education for all participating states and institutions. An institution participating in SARA must be authorized only in its home state in order to offer educational activities in all 49 SARA member states.

Kent State joined SARA in 2015, which means Kent State can offer many educational activities in 49 SARA member states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Does SARA cover professional licensing board authorizations in other states?

SARA does not cover professional licensing board authorizations. If your program leads to licensure or is offered post-license, authorization may be required from the state professional licensing board before you begin online coursework or a field experience, such as a clinical or internship, in that state.

Out-of-State Field Experience

What is a field experience?

A field experience is a learning experience in which a student applies previously learned theories or skills under the oversight of a supervisor or mentor. Examples include practica, student teaching, clinical placements, or internships.

Can I complete an on-ground field experience in a state other than Ohio?

Yes, Kent State is authorized to place students in field experiences in all 50 states if your program is not in a licensed field. If your program is in a licensed field, like nursing or teaching, approval may be required from the professional licensure board in the state where the field experience takes place.

There are some limitations on the number of students that can be placed at a placement facility in SARA states and Colorado has additional requirements.

Your college will need to be informed of the state where you are completing a field experience.

Can I complete a field experience in Colorado?

Yes, but prior to beginning a field experience at a Colorado facility, you should work with your internship coordinator to ensure that Colorado worker's compensation insurance requirements are met.

The Colorado Workers' Compensation Act requires student interns to be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Kent State is not able to add students to its institutional workers' compensation policy.

Out-of-State Professional Licensure

After completing a program that leads to licensure in Ohio, can I seek professional licensure in another state?

Professional licensure laws and regulations vary from state to state. If you are planning to seek professional licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, it is highly recommended that you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements.

A Kent State program that leads to licensure or certification in Ohio may not meet educational requirements for licensure in another state.

International Students

I live outside the United States. Can I enroll in an Ohio State online program?

Kent State works to provide global access to its online programs. While the State Authorization Team carefully tracks issues related to international authorization, students should understand regulations and requirements related to online programs in their country of residence. This includes whether the country will recognize an online degree, if there are additional withholding taxes (in addition to tuition) in your country, and whether the program meets educational requirements for licensure or certification in your country.

I am an international student enrolled in an on-campus program in Ohio. Can I enroll in online courses, or switch to a 100% online program while living in Ohio?

There are restrictions on the number of online credit hours that an international student may count toward a full course of study each semester. The Office of Global Education can answer specific questions related to international students who are completing coursework while living in the United States.

Terms and Definitions

Accreditation

An external review process by which experts authorize or give credentials indicating that standards and expectations have been met by academic programs or institutions.

Certification

Formal "licensing" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body.

Experiential Learning Requirement

The purpose of Kent State's experiential learning requirement (ELR) is to provide students with direct engagement in learning experiences that promote academic relevance, meaning, and an understanding of real-world issues. Experiential learning opportunities exist in a variety of course- and non-course-based forms and may include community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, and culminating experiences such as internships, student teaching, and capstone projects, to name a few.

Licensure

Formal "permission" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body—for example, the certification of graduates in approved curricula of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.