State Authorization

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (SLCHS) must comply with a state’s regulations before any educational activity can occur within that state. Those regulations determine whether SLCHS may offer you a place in a course or program.

SLCHS participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC- SARA). Missouri became a SARA state in December 2014. Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences became a SARA institution in July 2015. This allows students from NC-SARA approved states to enroll in:

  • Online degree programs, certificates, and endorsements that include internships, externships, co-ops, field experiences, student teaching, and clinical placements, and

  • Campus-based courses with out-of-state internships, externships, co-ops, field experiences, student teaching and clinical placements

The SARA States and Institutions
Click here for NC-SARA map

Online Courses and Programs
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (SLCHS) online courses and programs are available to students in all SARA states. If the program includes internships, field experiences, student teaching, and/or clinical placements, please check with the Program Director if you reside in or plan to be educated in Florida, Massachusetts or California. The following programs include clinical placements:
Nursing, RN-BSN (Degree Completion)
Nurse Educator (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
Nurse Educator Certificate Program (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
Adult-Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
Adult-Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
Family Nurse Practitioner (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
Family Nurse Practitioner Second Master's Degree (Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing)
 
Courses within Campus-Based Programs with out of state student activities
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (SLCHS) campus based programs that require or offer clinical placements as part of the program are available to students in all SARA states.
 
If you reside or plan to be educated in Florida, Massachusetts or California, please check with the Program Director to be sure there are no restrictions in these non-SARA states.

State Authorization FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is state authorization?
  • What does it mean to “operate” in a state or to have a physical presence “trigger?"
  • What is the state authorization reciprocity agreement (SARA)?
  • What if we do not comply?
  • Additional information about state authorization
  • Is there a contact for more information about state authorization at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences?
 
What is state authorization?
States may require out-of-state institutions to obtain authorization to offer postsecondary education in accordance with its laws and regulations. State regulations vary from minimal to very strict requirements. In the majority of states, the need to seek authorization depends on the specific combination of that state’s laws and the activities an institution is conducting in that state. Those activities derive from how the state defines “operating,” “physically located,” or “physical presence.”
 
What does it mean to "operate" in a state or to have a physical presence "trigger?"
Each state statute defines “operating,” “physically located,” or “physical presence” differently including, but not limited to:
  • Offering distance education
  • On-ground recruiting
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Test proctoring
  • Employing faculty in that state
  • Internships, externships, field experiences, and clinical practicums.
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences must comply with all regulations and receive authorization from a state before allowing students to participate in any educational activities through the College.  While these regulations initially applied only to online education, it now applies to courses in campus-based programs that include internships, co-ops, student teaching, clinical placements, and/or field experiences occurring in states outside of Missouri.  Conducting state authorization analysis is necessary any time a student is engaging in educational activities outside of the State of Missouri.
 
States expect that institutions obtain approval before enrolling students, advertising, marketing, or performing other regulated activities in their state. The requirements as to which activities need authorization, the application processes, and the costs to comply vary greatly from state to state.
 
What is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)?
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) established uniform standards for physical presence. Missouri became a SARA state in December 2014, and Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences became a SARA institution in July 2015. Through reciprocity, an institution authorized under SARA in its home state would be considered authorized in all other SARA states. Currently, 47 states are SARA members. The only non-SARA states are Florida, Massachusetts, and California. 
 
What if we do not comply?
There is a range of possible penalties for noncompliance with state authorization laws and regulations. They include but are not limited to:
  • Cease and desist letters/orders from state regulators
  • Forced “teach-outs” where the state allows the student currently receiving education in their state to finish but does not allow any other students from the university to attend without authorization
  • Possible fines and institutional sanctions, e.g., institutional enrollment freezes
  • Lawsuits
  • Domino effect with accreditors
  • Damaged reputation
 
Additional Information About State Authorization
 
SARA Institutions as of April 17, 2017
 
Is there a contact for more information about state authorization at Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences?
Contact the Director of Admissions
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences
624 Westport Road | Kansas City, Missouri 64111
816-936-8718
 
Faculty and Staff: Information & Resources
 
 
Through reciprocity, an institution authorized under SARA criteria in its home state would be considered authorized in all other SARA states.  Missouri became a member in December 2014, and Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences became a SARA institution in July 2015. 
 
Currently, 47 states are members of SARA. See the state authorization website for current information.
 
There are three necessary participants for SARA: The Home Institution; the Home State; and the Away State.
Without all three there is no reciprocity.
 
Steps to Ensure Compliance With State Authorization
 
Issues SARA Does Not Address
  • SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Academic programs in fields that require state licensure may need approval from the boards overseeing those professions in that state. Students attending an institution that is not approved by the appropriate boards in their state may be restricted from participating in clinical experiences or kept from sitting for the licensure exam.
  • The National Council for SARA and the four regional compacts that administer SARA require that any college offering courses or programs potentially leading to professional licensure keep all students informed as to whether such offerings meet state licensing requirements.
  • SARA also does not deal with offerings provided free and beyond the scope of current regulation of the degree programs of accredited academic institutions (free, non-credit MOOCs, etc.). Nor does it explicitly deal with non-credit instruction, although if an institution participates in SARA, its for-credit and non-credit activities in SARA states are covered by the agreement.
What kind of information does the Director of Admissions need from my department?
Under the law, SLCHS is required to know where their students are located.  Student location must be tracked and reported, at least on an annual basis.  We will need your department’s assistance in ensuring we have a complete picture of all educational activities taking place in other states. 
We also need to know of any targeted recruitment and marketing practices.  Every semester, reports on online enrollment with demographic information need to be submitted to the Director of State Authorization.
 
More Information
 
Student Complaints
 § 34 CFR 668.43 (b) Institutional Information is a federal regulation which requires institutions to provide prospectively and enrolled students the institution’s accreditation information and contact information for filing complaints:
 
§ 668.43 (b) Institutional Information: The institution must make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint.
 
Complaint Process
If you are a student in an online program and you have concerns and/or complaints, please contact your dean of students first.
 
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (SLCHS) is dedicated to providing the best possible student experience throughout your college years. When an issue is brought to our attention, SLCHS will intervene in the matter to seek a solution. Most complaints can be resolved utilizing the internal process available.
 
Student rights and expectations are described in the Student Code of Conduct. The Dean of Students will investigate the nature of complaints, confidentially and impartially to either achieve equitable settlements and connecting students to the appropriate party for issue resolution. The College has in place an academic and non-academic grievance policy which will be adhered to.
 
External Resources
If an issue cannot be resolved internally and you are residing in a SARA state, under the SARA Complaint process, please contact the Missouri SARA State Portal Agency. Please see the link under the state name for complaint information in if you reside in.
 
SARA Student Complaint Process
Student complaints about grades or student conduct may not be appealed to the portal agency