Regulatory Support

ODL monitors regulations related to distance learning and FSU's membership in SARA.* To ensure the university meets regulatory obligations, we provide information and support to colleges and departments regarding out-of-state field placement reporting, professional licensure notification, and out-of-state marketing and recruiting.

Programs Leading to Professional Licensure

Federal and SARA regulations require institutions to make "every reasonable effort" to determine if completion of a course or program meets state licensing requirements and to notify students if a course or program meets the requirements in their home state. Any course or program that may lead to professional licensure (regardless of delivery method) is included in the requirement, and the notification must be made in writing to prospective and enrolled students. 

Colleges offering programs designed to lead professional licensure are responsible for determining whether or not their program meets the licensing requirements in each state and for regularly reporting that data to ODL's NC-SARA liaison. Based on information submitted by the colleges, ODL maintains a student-facing professional licensure and certification database. ODL also notifies students who have applied to or are currently enrolled in programs leading to licensure whether or not their program meets the requirements for licensing in their home state. Information for students can be found at and by searching the professional licensure database. Please contact ODL's SARA liaison if you have questions about on what's required of your college or department.

Licensure Search

Want to stay up to date on state and federal guidelines for your program? Update your contact email, and we'll keep you in the loop!

Out-of-State Learning Placements

Because placement of students in other states is considered distance learning, tracking it meets our institutional requirement for participation in SARA. Each spring, ODL contacts colleges and departments to get data on out-of-state learning placements for both face-to-face and distance programs. These data are assembled in our annual report. For more information on what's required of your college or department, contact ODL's SARA liaison. If you're not sure we have the latest contact information for you, use our contact update form to update our records. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop!

Marketing & Recruiting

FSU is a member of SARA*  and approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Our membership enables us to admit students to online degree programs from all 50 states and most territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a SARA member, FSU is allowed the following marketing and recruiting activities in other SARA states:

  • Advertising to students whether through print, billboard, direct mail, internet, radio, television, or other medium
  • Having faculty, adjunct faculty, mentors, tutors, recruiters, or other academic personnel residing in a member state and working from their homes or another private, non-institutional site, provided that such staff are not engaged in activities that would otherwise constitute physical presence as defined by the Policies and Standards in section 5.12 of the NC-SARA Manual.
  • Using recruiters in a SARA member state. This provision is not restricted to recruiting for courses or programs offered under SARA and includes athletic recruiting.

California regulations restrict FSU from holding an administrative office for recruiting in the state of California but permit FSU the following freedoms when offering an online program to California students:

  • National advertising on television or publications (not targeted to residents within the state of California)
  • Local or direct advertising
  • Recruiter attendance at state or college fairs
  • Local physical presence (billboard, radio, TV, websites, etc.)

*State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (Florida State University has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.)

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