Thursday, June 2, 2011

General Thoughts, Questions, Advice

Use this area to comment on general thoughts, questions, advice, etc.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011



20 AAC 17.015 addresses criteria for institutions which can be recognized in an exempt status and internally it has been determined that our regulations don’t address online or distance instruction as clearly as we would like and thus we are now currently in a change in regulation process which will add an additional exempt category for online or distance delivered program that does not have a physical presence within the state. Additionally, the regulation change will include a definition of physical presence as meaning the presence of facility, equipment, faculty or staff within the state. Thus, as an out-of-state institution with no physical presence within our state that wishes to distance deliver instruction to Alaskan residents, we ask that you apply for an exempt status with our agency through the completion and submission of our Application for Exemption from Authorization form which can be found at the following link:


The Arizona State Board would not require licensure as long as there will be no physical presence in Arizona, as defined by A.R.S. § 32-3001 (5). The Board defines physical presence as the use of any Arizona address, Arizona phone numbers, contact information of anyone listing an Arizona address or program offerings in Arizona. The Board does not license, regulate or have jurisdiction over public institutions. Therefore the operation of institutions under the University System of Georgia (USG) would not require license by this Board.

Persons who are not operating private postsecondary programs under the Board’s jurisdiction are not required by law to obtain a statement of exemption or waiver from the Board. Similarly, the Board is not required to issue statements of exemption or waiver.


Before any course or degree can be offered to Arkansas residents it must first be certified by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB), regardless of the institution’s physical presence in Arkansas.

The AHECB meets quarterly to certify programs. You must first submit a Letter of Notification/Intent (Form 1) and then submit the program proposals on the forms found on the ADHE website. The proposal review process may take 3-9 months from the time of proposal submission depending on the number of programs. Nursing, education, counseling, and other licensure degrees go to the appropriate state agency for additional review.

The Institutional Certification Advisory Committees Rules and Regulations with forms

NOTE: If your institution is a part of the SREB Electronic Campus, please see the following letter from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education:

Dr. Noble,

The following message can be sent to the institutions that are part of the Electronic Campus.

Because many of your state programs have been reviewed and approved by the State of Georgia for inclusion in the SREB Electronic Campus, there is not a need for Georgia institutions that are part of the SREB Electronic Campus to obtain program certification for their degree programs under the Arkansas Rules and Regulations.

Please note that they must submit an application for certification if you plan to enroll Arkansans in programs not included in the Electronic Campus. I have included the link to the Arkansas Rules and Regulations.

Please send the list of programs that are part of the SREB Electronic Campus.

Also, send the list of programs that are not part of the SREB Electronic Campus that you will be submitting for certification.

Please feel free to call with any questions.


Zanette Douglas Institutional Certification Coordinator Arkansas Department of Higher Education 114 E. Capitol Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: 501.371.2012 Fax: 501.371.2002 E-Mail:


If you do not have a physical presence in California there is no requirement for approval with the State of California.


2010 Federal Regulations on State Approval of Out-of-State Private Institutions Offering Online Postsecondary Education


Letter from State of Connecticut, Department of Higher Education


If you are not incorporated in Delaware and do not have a physical presence (offices or classroom), we do not require DOE approval. Just notify us if the student is receiving financial aid.


No info provided at USG website. Contact info gathered from WICHE and from FL Commission for Independent Education website:


The Commission for Independent Education has statutory responsibilities in matters relating to nonpublic, postsecondary, educational institutions. In keeping with the Florida Department of Education's goal of producing a seamless educational system, some of these functions include consumer protection, program improvement, institutional policies and administration, data management, and the licensure of independent schools, colleges and universities.

Florida Department of Education
Commission for Independent Education

Samuel Ferguson
Executive Director
325 W. Gaines St, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Phone: (850) 245-3200
Fax: (850) 245-3233


Georgia Online Requirements


The institution(s) can apply for an exemption under the distance education - no physical presence exemption. Here is the link to the information on the Illinois Board of Higher Education website.

If you believe that your institution(s) meets the exemption criteria, please fill out the Distance Education Programs-Online Request Form and submit a signed copy to the IBHE. Staff will send a letter in response.


The Kansas Board of Regents Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education division oversees all private and out-of-state (public, non-profit and private) institutions for the state of Kansas. In order for us to accurately answer your question in regards to our regulations, we need to know more information. Please answer the questions below.

  1. Are any of your schools doing any direct marketing to Kansas students inside the state of Kansas (radio, newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, etc)?
  2. Do any of your schools require the student to complete an internship, clinical, seminars or other group on-ground supervised activities in the state of Kansas?
  3. Do any of your schools have any instructors for their online programs that reside in the state of Kansas?
  4. What is the current enrollment at each of your schools, including online students?
  5. How many students are Kansas residents at each of these schools?

Please use this link to direct you to our statutes and regulations that apply to private/out-of-state postsecondary education institutions. Kansas Board of Regents, Statues and Regulations


Kentucky links to:
Licensing Regulation
Fee Schedule

Licensure is required for an out-of-state institution to operate or solicit in KY and offer online courses and programs to KY students. “Operating or soliciting” is defined in the licensing regulation 13 KAR 1:020 Section 1 (8):

(8) “Operating or soliciting” means having a physical presence within Kentucky and includes: (a) An instructional or administrative site within Kentucky whether owned, leased, rented, or provided without charge; (b) Instruction whether theory or clinical, originating from or delivered within Kentucky utilizing teachers, trainers, counselors, advisors, sponsors, or mentors; (c) An agent, recruiter, in-state liaison personnel, institution, or business located in Kentucky that advises, promotes, or solicits for enrollment, credit, or award of an educational or occupational credential; (d) An articulation agreement with a Kentucky licensed college or state-supported institution; or (e) Advertising, promotional material, or public solicitation in any form that targets Kentucky residents through distribution or advertising in the state. In response to your inquiry, out-of-state institutions are licensed separately per our licensing regulation. Specifically, per 13 KAR 1:020 Section 2 (2): “An out-of-state college shall be licensed separately for each instructional site in Kentucky. An out-of-state college that is operating or soliciting using on-line instruction to Kentucky residents shall be considered to have an online campus which shall be licensed separately as an instructional site.”

If an institution will not be engaging in any of the “operating or soliciting” activities above (a-e), then please certify that in a letter to my attention- Sarah Levy- for our review to determine if licensure is required or not.

If an institution does seek to operate or solicit in Kentucky and offer its online programs to KY students, then the institution should contact me- Sarah Levy -so we can go over some common questions we get about the application for licensure, before the institution submits the application.

Kentucky Application for Licensure



Louisiana Revised Statute 17:1808 (LRS 17:1808) requires all academic degree-granting institutions operating in the State of Louisiana to register with the Board of Regents and be licensed unless otherwise exempt. Exemption from licensure is restricted to those institutions named in law and religious institutions that grant religious degrees exclusively. The degrees must be religious in nature by title and content.

The Board of Regents has adopted rules and regulations for the administration of RS 17:1808. For institutions domiciled in Louisiana, the term operating applies to the offering of courses and programs through any modality. For institutions domiciled outside Louisiana, the term operate shall mean the offering of courses that are physically delivered in the state of Louisiana and/or require clinical experiences in the state of Louisiana.

The term clinical experiences shall mean site-based learning activities (e.g. clinical, internships, student teaching, practicum, field-based experiences, etc.) in settings (e.g. hospitals, schools, businesses, etc.) in which candidates are working with patients, children, teachers, principals, etc. in Louisiana and are observed/assisted/evaluated by supervisors, preceptors, coaches, teachers, principals, or other individuals to determine that course and program requirements have been addressed.

If it is determined licensure is necessary, information will be provided.


If your institution currently provides, or plans to provide, online instructional services with no physical presence within the boundaries of this State, please link to, respond to and return the following online survey. The survey introductory clarifications, along with your responses, will serve to demonstrate your institution’s compliance with recent federal regulations concerning the delivery of online services in the State of Maine.

Maine Department of Education, Online Service Provider Notification Form


Letter from Maryland Higher Education Commission


The Massachusetts Degree Granting Regulations for Independent Institutions of Higher Education (610 CMR 2.00) shall apply and shall be limited to the following situations:

(1) Certificates of organization referred to the Board by the Secretary of State proposing incorporation of a college, junior college, university, or other educational institution with power to grant degrees;

(2) Proposed articles of amendment to the charter of an existing educational institution referred to the Board by the Secretary of State which will give the educational institution power to grant certain academic degrees, either earned or honorary;

(3) Proposed articles of amendment to the charter of an existing educational institution referred to the Board by the Secretary of State changing its name to a name which will include the term “college”, “junior college” or “university”;

(4) Actions by the Board implementing the requirement of M.G.L. c. 69, s. 31A that no educational institution chartered, located, offering courses, or otherwise doing business within the Commonwealth may award degrees within the Commonwealth unless authorized to do so by the Commonwealth; nor shall any educational institution chartered, incorporated, or organized in another state conduct within the Commonwealth any courses available to residents of the Commonwealth leading to the award of a degree unless the educational institution has received the approval of the Commonwealth for such courses.

(5) Actions by the Board implementing the requirements of M.G.L. c. 69, s. 30A that any institution of higher education not in compliance with Board’s regulations may have its degree-granting authority revoked or suspended, after the procedures described in 610 CMR 2.10(2) have been followed.

Any answers on the need to be licensed would be specific to the actual situation and would be formulated after a staff review of the actual in place constellation of facts at the time of such review. The answer depends to a great deal on how Massachusetts consumers are affected e.g., would the institution target Massachusetts residents in a systematic and continuous way as part of an overall effort to serve the education market in Massachusetts? Is the Institution trying to reach into another jurisdiction? What is the specific degree of interactivity?

The Board of Higher Education’s general policy is to require an institution to be licensed if an education institution chartered, incorporated, or organized in another state, conducts within the Commonwealth any courses available to residents of the Commonwealth leading to the award of a institution chartered, incorporated, or organized in another state, conducts within the Commonwealth any courses available to residents of the Commonwealth leading to the award of a institution chartered, incorporated, or organized in another state, conducts within the Commonwealth any courses available to residents of the Commonwealth leading to the award of a degree.


Establishing a Non-Public Postsecondary Educational Institution in Michigan


Letter from Minnesota Office of Higher Education


The Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (Commission or MCCA) is the approval authority for academic degree-granting postsecondary institutions domiciled, incorporated or otherwise located in Mississippi. The Commission is reviewing the U.S. Department of education regulatory changes in relation to Mississippi; however, currently, the Commission does not review out-of-state academic degree-granting institutions that offer academic courses and/or programs solely online.


Letter from Missouri Department of Higher Education


State of Montana Approval and Licensure Requirements


In Nebraska, you do not need approval to offer courses or programs that are entirely online with no physical presence in the state (defined as offering courses for college credit on an established schedule at locations other than the personal residence of individual students). If you would like to send me, Kathleen Fimple, a letter or email outlining the nature of your distance offerings in Nebraska or stating that you have no physical presence, I will reply with an email letter stating that you don’t need approval. We’ve developed a semi-form letter (it will state the name of your institution and address) to accommodate the new Title IV regulations and provide institutions a document for their files. The letter states that there is legislation pending, but in its current form it would not require you to apply.

If you state that none of your 35 institutions has a physical presence, we can provide a single letter covering the University System of Georgia.


State of Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education


New Mexico

New Mexico response letter

New York

If an institution has a “Physical Presence” in New York, then it must apply to the New York State Education Department for permission to operate in New York State. The Physical Presence policy can be found at the following link:

In short, you DO NOT need to apply for approval from the NYS Education Department if your institution merely:

● Communicates electronically with students in New York State (e.g., by computer or broadcast) in ways that do NOT involve an instructional site or an organized group activity;
● Advertises in New York State media;
● Recruits students, e.g., at college fairs, job fairs, or trade shows.

You DO need to apply for approval if your institution does any of the following:

● Operates an instructional site (a physical location at which instruction is given by a faculty member to a group of students) in New York State.
● Sponsors organized activities within New York State that are related to the academic program (e.g., advising, mentoring, study groups, examination administration for groups of students).
● Has a representative, whether paid or not, acting on its behalf within New York State to arrange or conduct instructional or academic support activities.

In addition, please note the following:

● For information regarding clinical internships in areas that lead to professional licensure in New York State, please contact the Office of Professional Education and Program Review

● For information regarding out-of-state college teacher preparation programs and student teaching placements in New York State, please see:

North Carolina

North Carolina Distance Ed responses document

North Dakota


Currently, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) authorization isn’t required for institutions offering course or degree programs exclusively online to Oklahoma residents and institutions are not required to complete an application. To better determine the extent of an institution’s physical presence, a letter from the institution’s chief executive officer to Dr. Houston Davis (address below) is recommended detailing the extent to which the institution in question will be delivering course and/or degree programs to Oklahoma residents.

If institution’s degree programs require internships, externships, practica, and/or clinicals that will be completed in Oklahoma, then the letter should also include an explanation pertaining to logistics associated with these programmatic requirements (i.e. compensation to the Oklahoma internship site, administration of the internships, etc.). The information within the letter will be used to determine the extent of the physical presence, if any, the institution will have in Oklahoma.

Institutions with a potential for physical presence in Oklahoma will be required to follow a defined process to seek authorization from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for the delivery of collegiate level course and/or degree programs.

NOTE: A statement of affiliation from the institution’s accrediting agency should be included, which lists the programs approved for distance learning.

Once the letter and information is received, the Vice Chancellor’s staff will review and respond appropriately.

Houston D. Davis, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
P.O. Box 108850
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101-8850


Oregon Student Assistance Commission
Office of Degree Authorization
1500 Valley River Drive
Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
(541) 687-7478

Application required - SEE THE WEBSITE:

Thank you for seeking approval to offer an online degree program to students in Oregon.
The Office of Degree Authorization is committed to:

· Ensuring access to quality online higher education for Oregon students

· Protecting Oregon students from substandard and fraudulent degree providers

· Protecting Oregon citizens from users of substandard or fraudulent credentials

Online degree programs may be exempt from state authorization if an ODA review determines that the degree offered is valid for use in Oregon, and that the program does not have any assistance in the state of Oregon, as defined by Oregon Administrative Rule 583-030-0015(23).

In order to determine if the institution is exempt from state authorization, submission of an Initial Approval Request form (available at the website) is required.


Pennsylvania Information Form for Out-of-State Entities

Thank you for your recent inquiry about Pennsylvania’s authorization of out-of-state institutions. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is requiring that you complete the attached form. Please submit this form to the Department via e-mail to

Questions about this form may be e-mailed to


Sandra Edmunds
Deputy Secretary
Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education

South Carolina

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

South Dakota

Letter from South Dakota Board of Regents


NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS: Distance Education Authorization


Texas is currently in the process of finalizing its response to the new federal guidelines. At this time we are requesting that institutions send a formal inquiry detailing their accreditation status, applicable degree programs, and a statement indicating whether or not the programs are completely online, contain some in-state instruction/practicum/internship, and whether or not the institution has a physical presence or agent located or planned for Texas.
Letters may be sent to:
Van L. Davis, Ph.D.
Special Projects Director, Academic Programs

We will be contacting institutions in mid- to late- March regarding the finalized policy.


According to the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act, §13-34-105(1)(e), a school or institution which is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education is exempt from registration with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.
Exemption Application
Exemption Form Instructions

However, the Utah legislature recently passed SB 210 in response to 34 CFR 600.9. The law will become effective after it is signed by the Governor on May 10, 2011. This will be a filing for those institutions that want to enroll Utah residents and meet the new federal guidelines. Please continue to visit the Utah Division of Consumer Protection website for future details. They will be forthcoming.

You may review SB 210 at


Dear Dr. Noble,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with my yesterday. I believe your idea to try to simplify this process for all of the institutions with the University System of Georgia is a great approach.

Vermont uses a definition of physical presence as the trigger that would require a postsecondary institution to go through our approval process. Physical presence is defined as any of the following within Vermont: classrooms, in-person seminars, administrative offices, delivery of direct services to students, or any physical gathering of students required as part of a course of study. Physical presence does not include an in-state practicum, internship, mentorship or teaching experience. We have adopted a practice and policy stating that advertising alone does not constitute a physical presence, and we do not intend to pursue review and approval of online schools marketing to Vermonters. Having faculty based in Vermont would only be a physical presence if they are meeting face to face with students.

I hope the above will be helpful to you as you review the 35 institutions included in the University System of Georgia. When you have the information on each of the institutions’ physical presence status please email me a list of all 35 schools with addresses, telephone numbers, and contact person for each. Also include the status of each of the school’s current and intended physical presence. I will then be able to generate individual letters based on each school’s specific circumstances.

Please feel free to keep my email handy in case a school has any question on the above definition.

Best Regards,

Cassandra Ryan

Cassandra Ryan State of Vermont Department of Education 802-828-3144 tel 802-828-1631 fax


Please see the attached link from the SCHEV website referencing Virginia’s physical presence requirement for state authorization. As the schools you represent are not physically located in Virginia and the mechanism by which instruction is initiated is not located in Virginia, the schools would not be eligible for Virginia authorization. Also, please note, that SCHEV would not authorize a system. Each school would need to seek approval, if the school intended to have physical presence in Virginia.

Physical Presence Memo


In Washington State, the Higher Education Coordinating Board has oversight over only those degree-granting institutions considered to operate in the state. In order to determine whether the institutions within University System of Georgia’s educational activities would be considered operation in Washington, please have each institution that offers distance learning programs complete the attached questionnaire and fax it to us at 360-704-6203.

This information will allow us to make a determination as to whether authorization under state regulations would be required for the institution’s educational activities. After we hear from each institution, we will be in touch with them via letter or email with a determination as to whether authorization is required. Please be aware that should authorization be required, the application process from the receipt of an application by our agency, could take up to one year.


West Virginia

West Virginia Questionnaire


Under s.38.50 (1)(e) 2., Wis. Stats., “[s]chools that are supported mainly by taxes” are exempt from EAB oversight. Because the exemption is not restricted to public institutions governed by the state of Wisconsin, the EAB has consistently interpreted it to mean any public college or university that is an instrumentality of a state is exempt. Because USG campuses are public institutions governed by the state of Georgia, they are deemed to be exempt from EAB oversight. However, should any of the campuses offer programs in a regulated profession, such as nursing or teacher training, you are advised to contact those respective oversight bodies (e.g., the Department of Regulation and Licensing or the Department of Public Instruction) about requirements specific to those program.