Wichita State University seeks to make our online programs available to students in every state. Through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and with states directly, we work to ensure the required approvals are secured.
Wichita State University is currently authorized, licensed, registered or exempt in all 50 states, with exceptions noted in the state-by-state list linked here.
It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements in their state of residence before enrolling in an online program.
Kansas is a member of SARA and WSU is an approved SARA institution (as of 01/14/2015). As such, we adhere to an established, common set of standards for offering post-secondary distance education among member states. The goal of SARA is to make it easier for students to access educational offerings in other states.
For more information about SARA, please visit http://www.nc-sara.org
NC-SARA Member States:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Non-Participating SARA states are: California, Florida, and Massachusetts.
For states not participating in SARA, Wichita State University is required to comply with that states’ laws regarding distance education and provide a summary of each state’s requirements to offer distance education to its residents. See the state-by-state summary here.
SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Students that reside outside the state of Kansas who are considering a professional program should contact the appropriate board in their state of residency prior to beginning a course of study. WSU cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state of residence.
Course and program availability varies by state. Admission into a program is granted at the time of initial acceptance into the program and is dependent on program availability in the state where the student is physically located at the time of admission.
If a student moves to a different state after admission to the program, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student is physically present. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the institution of a change in physical presence.
Whether military personnel stationed outside the state of Kansas may enroll or continue in a WSU distance education program or not is based on where military personnel are stationed.
Wichita State University is committed to student learning and development and a campus culture of respect and responsibility. We greatly value your student experience and urge all students (on-campus and online) to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. Please refer to this website for student expectations and student rights. http://www.wichita.edu/studentconduct
For out-of-state students who reside in SARA States (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY) the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) has jurisdiction over Kansas SARA-approved institutions including Wichita State University in relation to non-instructional complaints.
For information on how to determine the appropriate complaint or grievance procedure for initiating a complaint against Wichita State University, please see the Distance Education/Complaint Information Page.
If grievances are not satisfactorily resolved after an internal attempt by the University, students who do not reside in a SARA state may file a complaint with an agency in the student’s state of residence. Click here to access a list of appropriate contacts from each state in which a student may file a complaint.
USCIS regulations allow students residing in the United States with an F-1 visa status to count one distance learning class towards their class requirement minimum. Distance learning courses are courses that do “...not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examinations or other purposes integral to completion of the class...” Because of these regulations, students residing in the U.S. with an F-1 visa are not eligible for online programs. If you have questions regarding this definition, please contact the Office of International Education 316-978-3232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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On January 14, 2015, WSU became an official member of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and began participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). A “State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement” is an agreement between two or more States that authorizes an institution located and legally authorized in a State covered by the agreement to provide postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students in other States covered by the agreement.
Courses and programs incorporating a “supervised field experience” are covered by the provisions of SARA. Under SARA a “supervised field experience” means a student learning experience under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional, located in the host state, who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled, whether or not credit is granted. Examples include practica, student teaching, or internships. However, see below regarding programs for licensed professions.
Generally, an institution has physical presence when it operates a campus, branch instructional facility whether leased or owned, or administrative office within the boundaries of a state. However, because the specific definitions of physical presence currently vary greatly from state to state, especially with regard to out-of-state institutions that seek to conduct any activity within another state, SARA has established its own uniform standard for physical presence vs. distance education. For purposes of participation in SARA, this standard applies, but it does not affect the application of existing state laws to colleges that choose to operate outside of SARA or which are based in states that are not SARA members.
For purposes of SARA, an institution has physical presence and therefore must meet the state’s current non-SARA requirements if it does any of these things in a state:
a. Establishes a physical location for students to receive synchronous or asynchronous instruction;
b. Requires students to physically meet in a location for instructional purposes more than twice per full-term (quarter or semester) course for a total of more than six hours;
c. Establishes an administrative office;
d. Provides information to students for the purpose of enrolling students, or provides student support services, from a physical site operated by or on behalf of the institution in the state;
e. Offers a “short course” that requires more than 20 contact hours;
f. Provides office space to instructional or non-instructional staff;
g. Maintains a mailing address or phone exchange in a state.
An institution does not have physical presence, and is therefore covered by SARA in SARA member states, if it is only:
a. Offering courses to individuals via distance education in ways that do not require students to gather physically in groups, excepting the special provisions in Section 6(1);
b. Advertising to students whether through print, billboard, direct mail, internet, radio, television or other medium;
c. Offering distance education courses on a military base if enrollment in such courses is limited to federal employees and family members;
d. Maintaining a server, router or similar electronic service device housed in a facility that otherwise would not constitute physical presence (the presence of a server or similar pass-through switching device does not by itself constitute the offering of a course or program in that state).
e. Having faculty, adjunct faculty, mentors, tutors, or other academic personnel residing in a member state (the presence of instructional faculty in a state, when those faculty teach entirely via distance-education and never meet their students in person, does not establish physical presence for purposes of this agreement);
f. Holding proctored exams on behalf of the institution in the host state;
g. Having contractual arrangements in the home or host state;
h. Offering educational field experiences for students, including an educational field trip arranged for a group of students that are normally in residence at an institution in another state;
i. Operating limited supervised field experiences. For purposes of this agreement, interstate supervised field experiences originating from campus-based programs in a member state are considered to be distance education and not to establish physical presence if they:
a. place fewer than ten students from each program in a member state who are physically present simultaneously at a single facility or site in a host state, and
b. do not involve any multi-year contract between a sending institution and a field site.
For states not participating in SARA, Wichita State University is required to comply with that state's laws regarding distance education. The information on the disclosures page provides a summary of each state’s requirements and which programas WSU is authorized to offer.
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