The regulations have prompted establishment of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) to streamline the state authorization process. Universities located in a state choosing to participate in NC-SARA are authorized to provide distance education programs to residents of NC-SARA states without having to seek separate approvals from each state. The authorization to do so is subject to post-secondary education regulations of the member states and of requirements set forth in the NC-SARA agreement. NC-SARA also governs placement by universities of their students in supervised field experiences (see definition below) located in a state other than the home state of the university.
According to University Policy 4.1.21 a distance education program is defined as a program in which a student could earn a degree or certificate by taking 50 percent or more of the work (credit hours required for the degree or certificate) in distance education courses. A distance education course is one in which 75 percent or more of the instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication or equivalent mechanisms, with the faculty and students physically separated from each other.
If a student changes their location to another state, they should update their information at the Illinois State University Registrar's Page.
If a student lives outside of Illinois and has a complaint regarding the education that they are receiving at Illinois State, complaint procedures have been established to assist them. We encourage students to seek resolution to any concerns by discussing them informally with a staff member at the University. If a complaint cannot be handled informally, students may seek resolution of their concerns by following procedures set forth on the complaint resolution website of the University. If a complaint cannot be resolved at the University level, the student may contact the Illinois Board of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission. If the student resides in another state, they may contact the SARA Portal Agency of that state for further information (see the state-by-state tab).
A state's laws may require individuals to be licensed or have a certificate to practice a profession in that state. If a student lives outside Illinois and is pursing a degree in a field that requires a license or certification to practice, it is important for that student to determine whether their degree from Illinois State will qualify them for that license or certification. The state-by-state tab provides licensure and certification information by state. Students considering a program of study that leads to professional licensure, endorsement, or certification should contact the appropriate credentialing agency or licensing board in the state where they plan to work prior to enrollment at Illinois State University. If information regarding the field is not provided in the entry for the student's home state, then the student should consult the licensing agency indicated for their state for further information.
Dr. J. Cooper Cutting
Assistant Vice President for Academic Planning