State Authorization Regarding Online and Distance Education

The following information explains the University of Colorado Boulder’s status with regard to offering online education to students located outside of Colorado. Currently, students located in any state may now enroll in all online courses, programs, certificates or degrees offered by the University of Colorado Boulder.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) – In February 2015, the University of Colorado Boulder 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 (online) or correspondence courses to students in other States covered by the agreement.

Out-of-State Educational/Field Experience – Courses and programs incorporating a “supervised field experience” are also 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. Examples include practica, student teaching, or internships.

NC-SARA Member States, District & Territories

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, 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, US Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Non-Participating SARA states: California.

The University of Colorado at Boulder may offer online and supervised field experiences & activities to students in California. The California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions, thus Bureau approval for the University of Colorado Boulder to offer educational activities in California is not required.

International Students: International Students are advised to understand and be apprised of the rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in their country of residence, particularly:

  • If the country will recognize an online certificate or degree;
  • Whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country; and
  • If the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.

International students are encouraged to contact the International Student and Scholar Services in the Office of International Education if they have any questions.

Further information on SARA and the SARA complaint process:

Professional Licensure Disclosure
While at this time, the University of Colorado Boulder does not offer any programs, certificates or degrees online that lead to professional licensure, prospective and current students should understand their state licensing board’s requirements prior to enrolling in courses that could eventually lead to licensure. SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements. Academic programs and individual graduates must meet standards set by that state’s licensure requirements in order for a graduate to be eligible for a license.

Students are advised to contact Erika Swain, Assistance Director for Compliance and Authorization about information regarding their specific state of current or intended residence should they have any questions.

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


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