2016: A State Authorization Odyssey


The past few months in the world of state authorization have been fast and furious. Since acceptance into NC-SARA this summer, the University of Missouri-Kansas City increased its offerings of most online degree programs for 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, with more on the way. As discussed in a previous article, our participation in SARA includes internships, clinical practicum, externships, or other field experiences.NC-SARA approved institution graphic

Yet, acceptance into SARA does not mean an institution has “free reign” in all SARA states. Stipulations do apply. With internships, clinical practicums, externships, or other field experiences, there is a limit of 10 students per program per location. SARA does not cover an institution if they exceed that number. SARA also does not cover professional licensure requirements. It is up to each institution to inquire with the appropriate licensing board/agency. Some states need registration with the Secretary of State.

For the most current list of states and online degree programs UMKC offers out of state residents, please view the State Authorization web site.


On August 17, the MoKanSan State Authorization Summit took place in conjunction with the FaCET and UMKC Online conference: Focus on Assessment. MoKanSan, the Missouri-Kansas State Authorization Network, brought together like-minded individuals to hear the top minds in the field discuss hot topics in state authorization. Presenters included Cheryl Dowd, director of the WCET State Authorization Network; Marshall Hill, executive director of NC-SARA; Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis at WCET; and Leroy Wade, interim commissioner of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The group discussed current trends in state regulations, including the department of defense MOU, the new regulations proposed by the Department of Education, SARA, as well as a Q&A session. Attendees, from California to New York, had an in-person or live-stream option.

MoKanSan panel

MoKanSan Panel Discussion with (left to right) Leroy Wade, Marshall Hill, Russell Poulin, and Cheryl Dowd

MoKanSan brings together not only those in the state authorization field in Missouri and Kansas, but also welcomes those nation-wide for networking, collaborating, and information-sharing. The MoKanSan State Authorization Summit will now be every August. Other events throughout the year bring members together for networking and discussion of emerging topics of the fluid landscape of state authorization. Besides more face-to-face and web-based events, there will be a MoKanSan newsletter/blog and e-mail listserv to answer burning questions from the members.

For more information on UMKC’s participation in SARA, MoKanSan, or state authorization issues, please contact Brandie Elliott, State Authorization Coordinator.