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Majors & Degrees

Distance Education: Student Out-of-State Location

Policy 1.1
Approved by: President
Responsible Officer: DSU State Authorization Coordinator
Responsible Office: Office of Online Education
Originally Issued: 06/29/2020
Last Revision: 06/28/2021
Category: Academics
Related Policy
SDBOR Policy 2.3.8 Distance Education
SDBOR Policy 1.5.2 South Dakota State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
Federal Register


The 2019 state authorization federal regulations (effective July 1, 2020) require institutions to meet requirements for state reciprocity agreements [34-CFR 600.2], state authorization [34 CFR 600.9(c)], and professional licensure notifications [34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v) and 34 CFR 668.43(c)] in order to grant federal aid to a student participating in postsecondary education in a state for which the institution is not located.

II. Definitions

  1. Consequences of Residency Change. The effects of relocating to a state where the institution does not meet state requirements, or in the case of a gainful employment program, where the program does not meet licensure or certification requirements in the state.
  2. Distance Education Course: As defined by federal regulations 34 CFR 600.2 , distance education courses use one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor or instructors and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor or instructors, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies that may be used to offer distance education include: 1.) the internet, 2.) one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices, 3.) audio conference, or 4.) other media used in course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed previously. As further defined by SARA policy, distance education also includes interactive video and correspondence courses or programs. Additionally, refer to AAC Guideline 5.5 – Delivery Method Code Guidelines.
  3. Distance Program: Any academic program (i.e., certificate, minor, or major) with curriculum approved by the Board of Regents to be offered through correspondence or online delivery.
  4. Experiential Learning Activity. Out-of-state learning placement such as, but not limited to, clinicals, internships, externships, supervised field experience, co-curricular courses, fellowships, seminars, or student teaching offered by SARA participating institution in locations outside the home state.
  5. Licensure and Certification Changes. To prospective and enrolled students, any determination by the institution that the program ceases to meet licensure or certification prerequisites of a state within 14 calendar days of that determination.
  6. Licensure and Certification Determinations. To prospective students, any determination by the institution that the program does not meet licensure or certification prerequisites in the state of the student’s residence.
  7. Licensure and Certification Prerequisites. Applicable licensure or certification requirements for the occupation the program prepares a student to enter and whether the program meets those requirements:
    1. Applicable educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification for the occupation for which the program prepares students to enter in any state in which the program’s enrolled students reside and for any other state for which the institution has made a determination regarding such prerequisites.
    2. Whether the institution’s distance education program or correspondence course satisfies those applicable educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification.
    3. For any state for which the institution has not made a determination with respect to the licensure or certification requirement, an institution is required to disclose a statement to that effect.
  8. NC-SARA. The national council for SARA.
  9. Operate. Activities conducted by an institution in support offering distance education degree or non-degree course or programs in a state, including but not limited to, instruction, marketing, recruiting, tutoring, supervised field experiences, experiential learning placements, out-of-state learning placements, and other student support services.
  10. Physical Presence. A measure by which a state defines the status of an educational institution’s presence within the state.
  11. Professional Licensure (Licensure). A process of state or other governmental entities that establishes standards or practice and gives legal permission to practice a profession by provided licenses to individuals who meet those standards.
  12. Professional Licensure Notification. Required and readily available disclosures by institutions regarding educational requirements for programs leading to professional licensure or certification regardless of modality pursuant to 2019 federal regulations and SARA.
  13. SARA. State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.
  14. State Authorization. An institution that is approved by a state in which its enrolled students reside to offer a postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in another state in which it has no physical location.
  15. State Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). An agreement between two or more states that authorizes an institution to provide postsecondary education through distance education to students residing in those states and does not prohibit any state in the agreement from enforcing its own statutes and regulations.
  16. Student Location Determination. The home state of the student upon initial enrollment or, if applicable, a change of state location obtained due to formal receipt of information from a students through DSU institutional procedures.
  17. Supervised Field Experience. Student learning occurrences in a host state that are comprised primarily of the practical application of previously studied theories and skills, under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member, or other qualified professional who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the Institution where the student is enrolled, whether or not credit is granted. The Supervised Field Experience is part of a program of study offered by the enrolling SARA Institution. Examples include practica, student teaching, clinical placements, or internships.


  1. State Authorization. The institution shall comply with federal regulations for state authorization to ensure the granting of Title IV federal financial aid to students participating in postsecondary learning opportunities outside of South Dakota.
  2. Physical Location of Student Upon Enrollment. The institutional shall implement a location determination process for all students during initial enrollment.
  3. Change of Physical Location While Enrolled. The institution shall collect any change of current address or physical location while a student is enrolled at DSU.
  4. Experiential Activity.
    1. The institution shall determine what, if any, federal, state, reciprocity agreement, or international laws are applicable to student participation in experiential activities outside of South Dakota.
    2. The institution shall track the location of its enrolled students involved in experiential activities.
  5. Programs Leading to Licensure or Certification.
    1. The institution shall determine what, if any, federal, state, reciprocity agreement, or international laws are applicable to student located outside of South Dakota enrolled in a DSU program leading to licensure or certification.
    2. The institution shall track the location of its enrolled students involved in programs leading to licensure or certification.
  6. Written Documentation. The institution shall provide written documentation of the determination of a student’s location to the Secretary of State upon request.

Independent off-campus study by individual students not engaged in a supervised field experience is exempt from requirements of SARA and does not constitute a physical presence of a postsecondary institution in a SARA member state.



  1. Distance Education Information. Prospective and current students shall, but are not limited to, check the websites below for distance education details. If a prospective online student will be located outside of South Dakota, the student shall, prior to application at DSU, verify that DSU is authorized to offer distance education courses in his/her respective state or international location.
    1. Online Programs by State and International (source: Office of Online Education)
    2. Licensure and Certification Disclosure (source: DSU State Authorization Coordinator)
  2. Initial Student Location Determination. All students shall report their physical location by state or outside the country during the enrollment process for each semester.
  3. Student Change of Location During Semester. In situations where a student’s educational plan changes after registration, that student shall inform the institution of any change in a physical location. A student can change his/her address in Self-Service Banner by using the Student Personal Information feature.
  4. Enrolling in Experiential Activity. Prior to registering for experiential learning activity classes in a state other than that of physical location, each semester a student shall consult his/her advisor or DSU personnel with direct oversight of the academic program as distance education regulations and authorization are subject to change.
  5. Enrolling in a Program That Leads to Licensure. Prior to enrolling in a program that leads to licensure or certification, a student shall consult with his/her advisor, appropriate faculty member, program administrator, or personnel in the Office of Online Education prior to enrolling in that program and prior to any relocation to ensure that the students can sit for licensure or certification upon completion of the academic program.



REVISED: 06/28/2021