State Authorization

Table of Contents

NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement)
What is State Authorization?
Why Does State Authorization Matter?
What Responsibilities Do Students Have Around State Authorization?
What Else Should I Do About State Authorization?
SARA Complaints Process
Licensure by Discipline
Nursing Boards by State


NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement)

Shawnee Community College is proud to participate in the nation-wide NC-SARA program, which ensures the overall quality of our online programs and allows us to accept online students from nearly any state in the nation.

To access a national map, a list of participating states, and a list of member institutions, visit the NC-SARA website. As a participating member in the NC-SARA agreement, Shawnee is authorized to offer online education opportunities to anyone in these participating states.

For information on student benefits of this agreement, visit this NC-SARA student web page.

SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Shawnee cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state of residence. Graduation does not mean licensure approval in your state of residence.

Prospective students who reside outside of the state of Illinois and who are interested in any Shawnee academic program, which may lead to professional licensure, are expected to inquire with the appropriate licensing agency in their home state or the state they plan to work in, prior to beginning the program in order to assure that the program is approved to provide the desired licensure.


What is State Authorization?

State authorization refers to state, federal, and professional licensing board regulations that impact where institutions of higher education can operate. Requirements to offer postsecondary education are different in every state. These requirements affect online programs, on-ground experiences, and programs that are designed to lead to licensure or certification in a professional field. Shawnee’s compliance with these requirements ensures that your degree will be recognized and that you would be eligible to apply for licensure in states other than Illinois.

Because each state has unique education requirements, Shawnee reviews the requirements of states that students enroll from. An institution can only offer education in a state if the program meets the minimum requirements for that state.


Why Does State Authorization Matter?

State authorization regulations were put in place to protect students from investing time and money in a program that could not be recognized in a student’s state.

Requiring authorization of distance education, field experiences, and licensure programs ensures that students are protected as consumers. In addition, disclosure requirements ensure that a prospective student knows whether a program meets educational requirements for licensure in each state before enrolling.


What Responsibilities Do Students Have Around State Authorization?

As a student, it is your responsibility to notify Shawnee if you are planning to move to another state. Staff will work with you to determine if Shawnee is authorized to offer your program in your new state and whether the program meets state educational requirements for licensure, if applicable.

If you decide to move to a different state while enrolled in classes, or a field experience, you must update your physical location address.


What Else Should I Do About State Authorization?

  • Contact the appropriate licensing agency in the state where you intend to work to verify the most up-to-date licensure requirements before beginning your program.
  • Check with your program’s internship or clinical coordinator prior to beginning an internship or field experience in a state other than Illinois to ensure Shawnee is authorized to operate in that state.
  • Students in on-ground programs that traditionally lead to licensure should contact staff to determine whether the program will lead to licensure in the state where they intend to seek a license.

Shawnee makes every effort to ensure information about educational requirements for licensure or certification is current; however, state requirements may change. Separate from educational requirements, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete professional examinations, background checks, years of professional experience, training, etc. If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification in a state other than Illinois, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in that state to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning an academic program.

If Shawnee has not determined whether completion of a licensure program meets educational requirements for licensure or certification in a state, you should contact the state licensing entity to determine whether completion of the Shawnee licensure program meets educational requirements for licensure in the state.


SARA Complaints Process

SARA consumer protection provisions require investigating and resolving allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity by the state’s SARA-participating institutions, including the provision of false or misleading information.

You are entitled to file a complaint if you believe you have reason to dispute any of the following:

a. Veracity of recruitment and marketing materials;
b. Accuracy of job placement data;
c. Accuracy of information about tuition, fees and financial aid;
d. Complete and accurate admission requirements for courses and programs;
e. Accuracy of information about the institution’s accreditation and/or any programmatic/specialized accreditation held by the institution’s programs;
f. Accuracy of information about whether course work meets any relevant Professional Licensing requirements or the requirements of specialized Accrediting Agencies;

g. Accuracy of information about whether the institution’s course work will transfer to other institutions; and
h. Operation of distance education programs consistent with practices expected by institutional accreditors (and, if applicable, programmatic/specialized accreditors) and/or the C-RAC Guidelines for distance education.

(Source: NC-SARA Handbook V24.3 Accessed 7/1/2024)


Filing A Complaint

SARA requires you to first file your complaint with the College. The procedure for filing complaints is described in detail on page 42 of the SCC Student Handbook.

As described in the handbook, the student will receive a final decision within 28 days of filing the original complaint. If 28 days have passed and you have not received a final decision or you wish to appeal the decision, then you may file a complaint with the State of Illinois SARA portal entity:

Nkechi Onwuameze, PhD Senior Associate Director for Academic Affairs

Illinois Board of Higher Education
1 N Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701-1377

(Note: This information has been placed on the College website to ensure compliance with NC-SARA reporting requirements. NC-SARA approval is required to ensure the College can have entirely online students and give students credit for internships outside the state of Illinois. Our maintenance of NC-SARA approval is evidence of our commitment to providing accurate and reliable information about out-of-state licensure requirements. This information was last updated: 7/2024)


Licensure by Discipline

Shawnee has not determined whether completion of a program meets requirements to apply for a license, certification, or endorsement in the states outside of Illinois.

Nursing, Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, and Teacher Education

NC-SARA Professional Licensure Directory

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)



Medical Coding Specialist




Medical Laboratory Technician (As of 7/1/2024, this program will no longer be accepting students)




Occupational Therapy Assistant




Cosmetology, Cosmetology Instructor Training, Nail Technology, and Esthetics





Nursing Boards by State

Shawnee has not determined whether completion of a program meets requirements to apply for a license, certification, or endorsement in the states below.

Alabama Board of Nursing

Alaska Board of Nursing

Arizona State Board of Nursing

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

California Board of Registered Nursing

Colorado Board of Nursing

Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing

Delaware Board of Nursing

District of Columbia Board of Nursing

Florida Board of Nursing

Georgia Board of Nursing

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (Nursing)

State of Idaho Board of Nursing

Indiana State Board of Nursing

Iowa Board of Nursing

Kansas State Board of Nursing

Kentucky Board of Nursing

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

Maine Board of Nursing

Maryland Board of Nursing

Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services (Nursing)

Michigan Board of Nursing

Minnesota Board of Nursing

Mississippi Board of Nursing

Missouri Board of Nursing

Montana Board of Nursing

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (Nursing)

Nevada State Board of Nursing

New Hampshire Board of Nursing

New Jersey Board of Nursing

New Mexico Board of Nursing

New York Office of the Professions (Nursing)

North Carolina Board of Nursing

North Dakota Board of Nursing

Ohio Board of Nursing

Oklahoma Board of Nursing

Oregon State Board of Nursing

Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing

Puerto Rico Board of Nursing Examiners

Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

South Carolina Board of Nursing

South Dakota Board of Nursing

Tennessee Board of Nursing

Texas Board of Nursing

Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (Nursing)

Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure

Vermont Board of Nursing

Virginia Board of Nursing

Washington Nursing Commission

West Virginia RN Board

Wisconsin Board of Nursing

Wyoming State Board of Nursing