Responses Last Confirmed:

South Dakota Secretary of State

Agency Contact

Krista Rounds
605.773.2797
Krista.Rounds@state.sd.us

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Shantel Krebs
605-773-3537
shantel.krebs@state.sd.us
Topic:

Types of Educational Providers Authorized

2A1.
Institution Types Authorized – Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below

_X__ Public, in-state degree granting institutions
_X__ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X__ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X__ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_X__ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
____ Religious

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

This authorization process/fee is only for institutions who have a physical presence in the state.

2B1.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state? Yes or No.

Yes

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

Institutions operating under an affiliation agreement whose terms make an accredited postsecondary institution responsible for awarding academic credit and educational credentials to its students and maintaining transcripts are also eligible for authorization in the State.

2B3.
If yes, what type of accreditation is required? Please, check all that apply as appropriate.

No response provided

Regional Accreditation Required for:
____ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
____ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
____

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

All institutions must be accredited from an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education as a regional OR national institutional accrediting agency. Therefore, South Dakota did not check any of the boxes above, as either is acceptable, but only one is required. Institutions operating under an affiliation agreement whose terms make an accredited postsecondary institution responsible for awarding academic credit and educational credentials to its students and maintaining transcripts are also eligible for authorization in the State.

2C1.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

No response provided

_X__ Institution   _____ Program   _____ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

2D1.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions? Yes or No.

No

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

 

2E1.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement? If so, for which types of institutions?

South Dakota does not have a state-specific tuition refund policy.

 

Topic:

Exemptions

3A1.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements? If so, for which types of institutions? Which types of programs? Please provide web link.

Institutions with a physical presence in South Dakota are exempt if they are one of the following types of institutions:

  • Established by the government of the United States
  • Established by the government of an Indian tribe whose tribal lands are located, in whole or in part, in this state
  • Established or owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation and awarding only religious degrees or certificates for the purpose of conferring clerical status or authority within that religion
  • Subject to the jurisdiction and
Topic:

Authorization of Distance Education

4A1.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No.

No

4A2.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard? Yes or No.

Yes

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

Online programs with no physical presence in the state do not undergo a formal authorization process. However, per SDCL 13-49-27.1, all institutions offering degrees in the state must:

  1. Be accredited through a regional or national institutional accrediting agency OR be actively seeking accreditation from a regional or national institutional accrediting agency for a period of no more than five years,

OR;

  1. Be participating in any federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

 

4B1.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No

No

4B2.
Clarifying comments:

Online programs with no physical presence in the state do not undergo a formal authorization process. However, per SDCL 13-49-27.1, all institutions offering degrees in the state must:

  1. Be accredited through a regional or national institutional accrediting agency OR be actively seeking accreditation from a regional or national institutional accrediting agency for a period of no more than five years,

OR;

  1. Be participating in any federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Religious institutions that offer credit or degrees solely for

Topic:

Physical Presence Policy - Common Triggers

5A1.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence? If available, please provide a link to that policy or a citation to the relevant regulation giving that standard.

 

Physical Presence in South Dakota is defined as “the ongoing occupation of a physical location in South Dakota for instructional purposes or the maintenance of an administrative office to facilitate instruction.

The following activities DO NOT trigger physical presence in South Dakota:

  • Delivery of distance education courses online, through correspondence or broadcast;
  • Advertising;
  • Recruiting;
  • Contractual arrangements to acquire goods or services, including education or examination proctoring services, with institutions or businesses physically located in South Dakota;
  • Courses
5A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Application Process

6A1.
Description – Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization. If available, please provide web links to the specific references to all applicable state laws, regulations, manuals, forms, or other pertinent docu

The application process is only for institutions who wish to have a physical presence in South Dakota. Those institutions will fill out the form on the Secretary of State’s website, and submit the completed form to the address or email indicated on the form, along with the initial $500 filing fee. The institution must renew their authorization annually, and the renewal filing fee is $250.

6A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Fees Associated with Authorization

7A1.
Application Fee – Is there an application fee to initiate the authorization process? If so, what is the fee or fee schedule? Please provide a web link if available.

Yes. For institutions wishing to have a physical presence in South Dakota, there is a $500 initial filing fee. Annual renewal filing fees are $250.

7A2.
URL for Fee Information
7A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Reporting

8A1.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?

There is no reporting requirement.

8A2.
URL for reporting

No response provided

8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

No response provided

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

No response provided

8A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

9A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

Per SDCL 13-48-40, The Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Protection, shall review and act on any complaint concerning postsecondary institutions providing educational programs at physical locations in the state, including, as necessary requirement a postsecondary institution to cease its operations in the state. (“Complaint” is defined as an allegation that a postsecondary institution does not meet the requirements of SDCL Chapter 13-48; or an allegation raised by a student that a postsecondary institution does not meet standards established by the institution’s accrediting

9A2.
URL for the complaint form
9A3.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

Complaints are handled through the South Dakota Attorney General’s office, not the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office. That does not change based on the type of institution.

 

9A4.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

9B1.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

No. Students enrolled in 100% distance education programs would refer those complaints to the home state of the institution, as that state would have jurisdiction over the institution.

9B2.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name – Jason Ravnsborg
  • Title – Attorney General
  • Agency – Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Protection
  • Address – 1302 E. Hwy 13, Suite 3, Pierre, SD 57501-8053
  • Email – n/a
  • Phone – 1-800-300-1986 (In-State Only); 605-773-4400
  • URL - https://consumer.sd.gov/
9B3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

10A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Authorization under SARA is handed by the State Portal Entity, which in South Dakota is the South Dakota Board of Regents.

The complaint procedures for SD-SARA can be found in SDBOR Policy 1:29 – South Dakota State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Complaints must first be processed through the institution’s own procedures for resolution of complaints. The SARA administrator will verify that all complaints have been received and processed by the institution, and will not consider complaints that have not gone through the institutional complaint process. Complainants who processed

10A2.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

There is no difference in the procedure based on the type of institution.

 

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions
10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
10A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Enforcement

11A1.
If your agency has written descriptions of the possible consequence of institutional non-compliance, please provide it (or provide a web link).

There are no listed consequences.

Topic:

Records Retention

12A1.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?

There is no process within the Secretary of State’s office. SOS relies on the teach-out procedures from HLC, which indicates where records are sent.

12B1.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?

They would need to contact HLC since Secretary of State’s office does not deal with retention of records

Agency Name

Contact Person

Contact Phone

Contact Address

Contact Email

Contact website

Topic:

Additional Information

13A1.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

As stated previously, South Dakota is unique in that non-SARA authorization and SARA authorization are handled by two different entities, and that distance education outside of SARA is not heavily regulated, as no formal authorization or registration is required.