Professional Licensure for Students

Many students attend colleges and universities to become a doctor, nurse, teacher, psychologist, engineer or one of the many other occupations regulated by state and/or other government entities. States and other government entities have established standards of practice for the occupations or professions they have chosen to regulate, and they provide legal permission to practice those professions only to individuals who meet those standards.

Here’s what should matter to students: before enrolling in an online/distance education program intended to satisfy a particular state’s educational requirements for the practice of a particular occupation, the student should be assured by the institution that the program actually does meet the requirements of the state in which he or she intends to practice. SARA institutions are required to provide that information; institutions that participate in federal student financial aid programs must meet similar federal requirements.

Professional Licensure Process

Information for States and Institutions: SARA does not cover professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensing in fields such as nursing, teacher education, psychology, etc. We acknowledge the seriousness, pervasiveness and complexity of that issue. SARA, in alignment with federal regulations, does, require that proper notification be given to students as to whether courses and programs will meet the professional licensure requirements in states where students are located.

Information about the Professional Licensure Directory

At NC-SARA we hear frequently from institutions, states and territories about how best to handle professional licensure disclosure in the context of SARA institutional approvals. We hope to bring some efficiency to assist institutions in providing clearer and more accurate disclosures to all students.

NC-SARA has worked with the SARA State Portal Entities (SPEs) and regional compacts to create the Professional Licensure Directory, which provides contact information for five programs that lead to a professional license. We chose the programs with the most enrollments per the data provided by our participating institutions. At NC-SARA our data shows that the vast majority of the programs leading to licensure among participating institutions are in five fields:

  1. Counseling
  2. Nursing
  3. Psychology
  4. Social work
  5. Teacher Education

This resource will NOT house regulations or requirements. It is exclusively general contact information. We will update the contact information twice annually. We hope that this Professional Licensure Directory helps in your regulatory compliance.