What is State Authorization?
Each state has laws and regulations which govern educational activities within the state. These include education provided by entities within the state and outside of the state. These laws and regulations are in place to protect the citizens of the state.
South Dakota State University must comply with laws and regulations set forth by states before any educational activity can occur within that state. These activities include courses and programs offered fully online, internships, externships, co-ops, field experiences, student teaching and clinical placements
Who does this affect?
Any student enrolling in distance education courses who reside outside of the state of South Dakota or any student who is participating in any field experience (ex. internships, student teaching, clinicals, etc.) outside the state of South Dakota.
How does SDSU comply with these laws and regulations?
SDSU participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). South Dakota became a SARA state in November, 2014. SDSU became a SARA member institution in March, 2015. SARA is a national initiative that increases student access to distance education courses and programs while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Institutions participating in SARA can offer educational opportunities in all 49 member states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico without seeking individual approval in each state.
SDSU is not required to obtain authorization for fully online education in California (Bureau For Private Postsecondary Education). If you reside in or plan to participate in educational activities in California, please contact us for updates. Prospective students who reside in a U.S. Territory (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas Islands) or in another country should contact Continuing and Distance Education before enrolling.
Colorado: The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act requires student interns to be covered by workers' compensation insurance. SDSU is not able to add students to its institutional workers’ compensation policy as SDSU field experience students are not insurable employees as defined by South Dakota law. Please contact Continuing & Distance Education regarding questions related to these limitations.
New Hampshire: New Hampshire requires programs such as internships, job shadowing, or mentor program to be approved by the Labor Commissioner when a student is working for practical experience and is not being paid or being paid at a sub-minimum rate. Approval is required in advance to participation in such offerings, it is important to work with your internship coordinator and Continuing & Distance Education in advance to seek out approval.
International students are advised to understand and be apprised of the rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in the country in which they live; particularly: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.
If you’re considering enrolling in an online program, please also reach out to South Dakota State University Office of International Affairs.