Compliance Requirements (Non-SARA)
Institutional Approval by the State Higher Education Agency & State Program Approval
State Institutional Approval
Some institutions may choose not to participate in reciprocity through SARA to obtain state institutional approval, are located in a state that is not a member of SARA, or offer an out of state activity that is not subject to SARA policy.
These institutions must comply with any applicable state approval requirements in each state as directed by the state's laws and regulations.
Suggested first steps for compliance:
- Determine what activities of the institution occur in a state other than the home state of the institution.
- Determine what states the institution wishes to participate in the activities.
- Determine whether the activity is regulated in the states in which the institutions wishes to participate in the activity.
- Seek appropriate compliance (authorization/registration/exemption/not regulated) from the state.
- Check to see if the institution is subject to requirements by other state agencies.
You may wish to review:
- 10 Steps You Can Take to Begin the State Authorization Process
- State Institutional Approval Quick Chart - Chart to start research of state requirements.
- The State Authorization Guide - state by state surveys (formerly SHEEO Surveys)
Program approval - State Professional Licensing Board
The institution must determine whether program approval by the professional licensing board is required in the state where the student participates in activities of the program. This program approval is in addition to institutional approval by the higher education agency of the state (or though reciprocity). Please review the Professional Licensure Topic Area on this website for more information.
Other Required Approvals
Institutions that offer courses and activities outside of the United States should determine if the activity is regulated in the country where the activity occurs. Distance Education may be regulated in some countries. Institutions should understand the many nuances of tax laws and institution oversight when the institution wishes to provide online courses to students located outside of the United States.
Please review the following resources from our colleagues at Hogan Lovells US LLP:
- International online programs: Know the pitfalls (July 9, 2018)
- Presentation on compliance for international online programs (April 17, 2019)
- Doing your homework when offering online programs internationally (March 25, 2020)
- International online education programs: A global regulatory perspective (May 19, 2020)
- Online Education and Digital Services Tax: A Mexico Case Study (July 1, 2020)
Institutions may wish to seek outside counsel to assist. Here is one option: Education GOES International - service available by Hogan Lovells.
Talking Points - White Paper: Military-Affiliated Students: Managing International Compliance When Duty Calls. Prepared for WCET/SAN by our colleagues at Hogan Lovells: Bill Ferreira, Stephanie Gold, and Megan Wilson.
SAN members, by membership login, may wish to review the contact list of the SAN collated International Ministries of Education for countries worldwide.
Employment Law Related Interstate Compliance:
Multi-state workforce: Out-of-state regulatory considerations pertaining to benefits, taxes and policies for remote work - SAN created webpage of considerations (SAN member login required)
State Secretary of State, Treasury, or Revenue Registration
Some states require out-of-state institutions that offer education or have employees working in their state to register with the State Secretary of State, Treasury, or Department of Revenue in that state. Should the institution be required to register, the institution may be asked to obtain an Agent for Service of Process. This registration process and the requirement of an agent for service is not covered by SARA. SOS! SOS! Secretary of State Compliance Demystified is a helpful white paper to understand the secretary of state compliance process. Institutions should confer with their legal counsel.
SAN Members, by SAN membership login, may wish to review the SAN collated state information updated in January 2022 for Secretary of State information nationwide.
State Department of Taxation
A withholding account may be needed when the entity pays compensation to an employee in the state to deduct and withhold state income tax from the compensation paid to the employee. (institution employee/faculty working from another state)
State Department of Labor
Workers Compensation Insurance for faculty/staff working remotely from another state.
Institutions that employ faculty/staff to work remotely in another state may be required, by the state where the employee is located, to provide workers compensation insurance to the employee. – check with the state as they vary.
Workers Compensation Insurance for Field Placements - Colorado
Colorado requires that the institution ensure that the student has workers compensation insurance if the student is participating in a field placement in another state. We will address other states as they become known. Please note that student teaching is exempt from this requirement. Contact information for Colorado can be found here:
- Lead agency: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: https://cdle.colorado.gov/workers-compensation-act
- Regulations: C.R.S. 8-40-302(7) - requirements; C.R.S. 8-43-409 – consequences
- Contact: Julie Yakes; Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org; (303)318-8639
Internship Registration Requirements - New Hampshire
New Hampshire requires that programs such as internships, job shadowing, or mentor program have to be approved by the Labor Commissioner when a student is working for practical experience and is not being paid or is being a paid at a sub-minimum rate.
- Lead agency: New Hampshire Department of Labor: https://www.nh.gov/labor/inspection/school-to-work.htm
- Regulations: (RSA 279:22-aa; New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 805)
- FAQ: https://www.nh.gov/labor/faq/school-to-work.htm#approval
- Contact: InspectionDiv@dol.nh.gov
- Note that both the program and placement work site must be registered with the NH Department of Labor