USF System Policy - State Authorization Requirements
State Authorization for Distance Education Programs and Students
All U.S. States require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state. As such, the University of South Florida and its online/distance educations programs must be authorized in certain states prior to offering those courses or programs to students residing in those states. The purpose of this policy is to create a USF System process to comply with any state authorization requirements applicable to USF System online/distance education programs.
State Authorization Q & A
Helpful answers to common questions regarding USF System policy and State Authorization requirements
Federal and State Regulations on 'State Authorization' of Distance Education
The State Authorization Regulation Chapter 34, + 600.9(c) "If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request."
Florida State Statues for Postsecondary Educational Institutions
The Legislature encourages privately supported higher education and intends to aid in protecting the health, education, and welfare of persons who receive educational services from independent postsecondary educational institutions in this state; to aid in protecting employers and others who depend upon people whose educational credentials are from independent postsecondary educational institutions in this state; and to aid in protecting independent postsecondary educational institutions that currently operate or intend to begin operating in this state. The Legislature finds that both individuals and independent postsecondary educational institutions benefit from a state system that assures that all institutions satisfactorily meet minimum educational standards. The Legislature further recognizes the role of federally recognized accrediting associations in setting standards for independent postsecondary educational institutions and encourages the use of recognized accreditation standards as general guidelines for the licensure of independent postsecondary educational institutions.
State Authorization Online Program/Course Questionnaire
The questions below reflect some of the most common areas of state-determined physical presence. Program requirements and how you market the program are critical in determining authorization to offer the online program or individual course in each state. Submit one form for each online program or course. Forms will be processed as they are received.