2.12.1 State Authorization and Location

A. Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that UT Tyler is in compliance with the state authorization and location portion of U.S. Department of Education 2019 Federal Regulations. Specifically, this policy: informs units of regulations related to the required disclosures of whether specific academic program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure outside of Texas; articulates the process of how student location is determined at UT Tyler; specifies the procedures for public and individual disclosure and reporting; and notes the procedure for tracking required experiential learning that occurs outside of Texas.  

B. Persons Affected 

This policy on State Authorization and Location will affect prospective and admitted students (undergraduate and graduate) interested in or registered in academic programs which lead to professional licensure/certification whose location is outside of Texas. This policy also affects units responsible for providing information, tracking, and reporting of these requirements including academic departments, Academic Affairs, Registrar’s Office, Enrollment Management, and the Office of Information Analysis. This policy required the University disclose to students their eligibility to sit for licensure upon completion of their academic programs and protects our academic programs, faculty, and students. It also tracks experiential learning outside of Texas that occurs as part of required curricular experiences. 

C. Definitions 

U.S. Department of Education – The Federal agency that provides regulations relating to the accreditation of institutions of higher education as well as state authorization requirements for distance education. The new U.S. Department of Education 2019 Federal Regulations require notification for all program curriculum on whether completion of the program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in a particular state or U.S. territory. This notification is required for programs provided in any and all delivery modes (e.g. face-to-face, hybrid, virtual/online, etc.). It also requires the tracking and reporting of experiential learning outside of Texas. 

National Council for State Authorization (NC-SARA) – UT Tyler is a member of this regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education programs. 

State Authorization –the requirement that institutions are authorized in the states and U.S. territories in which they offer credit-bearing educational activities (courses or experiential learning). There must be disclosure of this information at the public level (e.g. websites – general and at the program level) and at the individual student level. 

Disclosures –written communication noting whether UT Tyler is authorized to provide the program curriculum that meets educational requirements for licensure or certification in a specific state or U.S. territory. 

Location – Where a prospective or admitted UT Tyler student is located (living) while earning credits in an academic program that leads to a professional licensure or certification. As noted by the U.S. Department of Education, this is independent of a student’s specified state of residence. 

D. Policy 

Effective July 1, 2020, prospective students or UT Tyler students interested in or registered in an academic program that leads to licensure or certification will receive a written disclosure prior to the first day of courses if the academic program does not lead to licensure in their location or the institution has not made a determination if the academic program is authorized in their location. In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education 2019 Regulations, if a student is already enrolled in the program and the institution makes the determination that the program’s curriculum does not meet state educational requirements in a state for which an enrolled student is located, the institution must provide a direct disclosure within 14 calendar days of making that determination. 

E. Responsibilities 

  1. Enrollment Management is responsible for providing public notifications to prospective students and individual notification to admitted students related to state authorization.
  2. Academic Affairs provides a list of academic programs whose curriculum leads to professional licensure or certification. 
  3. Academic departments are responsible for notifying Enrollment Management whether their academic curriculum that leads toward professional licensure or certification would allow students from a particular state or U.S. territory to sit for the professional licensure/certification examination. 
  4. The Office of Information Analysis will submit required reports for UT Tyler. 
  5. Academic Affairs will pay the annual fees for membership in NC-SARA to the THECB. Traditionally, this has been paid from an Office of Digital Learning cost center. 

F. Procedures 

Student Location will determined as part of the admission and acceptance process to UT Tyler and is based on location data provided by the student. In order to determine if a student’s location has changed, each term that a student registers for courses, the student will provide the city and state of their location. As noted by the U.S. Department of Education 2019 Regulations, a student’s location can be different from official state of residency. A daily query will be run by the Registrar’s Office during the registration period so it can be determined if students from programs leading toward a professional licensure/certification are now located in states where we currently do not know their state authorization. The query will also show whether a registered student’s location has changed and needs to receive an individual disclosure related to state authorization. 

If there is a new state where a determination of state authorization is needed for a particular academic program, the Registrar’s Office will reach out to the academic department for this determination. The department will report the information within 48 hours to Enrollment Management so that the Public Disclosure websites can be updated as well as an individual disclosure made to the needed student. 

In addition, Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management will assist the Office of Information Analysis in gathering needed information related to state authorization, reports for NC-SARA for online courses, and required reporting related to experiential learning. 

G. Review 

This policy will be reviewed every five years or when the U.S. Department of Education or NC-SARA changes rules and/or regulations that would require revisions to this policy. 

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  06/12/2020