State Authorization

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Kentucky is a SARA state

Eastern Kentucky University is a brick and mortar public University located in Richmond, Kentucky and recognized by Kentucky Revised Statute 164.290. Effective January 30, 2017 Eastern Kentucky University is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) member. For more information on NC-SARA you may visit Under the terms of SARA, EKU is operating in all other member states, also known as host states under the terms of SARA.

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

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What is SARA?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.  SARA establishes uniform processes and national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance learning. When states join SARA, they agree to follow those processes when approving eligible institutions’ participation in distance learning. They also agree to operate under SARA standards when interacting with other member institutions.

SARA’s policies help protect students and provide benefits to both states and institutions carrying out distance education in multiple states.  As of April 2020, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of SARA.  Over 2,100 colleges and universities participate in SARA.

Agency Information

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is Eastern Kentucky University’s regional accrediting body.

1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033
(404) 679.4500

For a list of program specific accreditation and membership please review the University’s online catalog, pages 374-375,

Eastern Kentucky University’s regional compact is the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
Wanda Barker Director, Education Technology
and Multistate Cooperative Programs
592 10th Street N.E. Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
Phone: (404) 875.9211 ext. 258

Eastern Kentucky University’s state regulating agency is the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education. The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education also serves as the state’s portal agency for state authorization purposes.

1024 Capital Center Dr #320
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-1555


  1. Student(s): Anyone who is planning to apply to EKU or anyone currently enrolled with EKU.
  2. Regulated/Regulations/Regulating: Rules, guidelines, standards, approval requirements set by an overseeing body in a state.
  3. Residential address: The address where you reside and receive mail.
  4. Location: Where you are located while the learning activities take place.
  5. Accredited or Accreditation: Holding institutional accreditation by name as a U.S.-based Institution from an Accrediting Agency.
  6. Accrediting Agency: An accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and whose scope of recognition, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, includes Distance Education.
  7. Affiliate Member: A State, territory, or district that affiliates with a Regional Compact under the terms of SARA in order to join SARA but is not a full member of that compact. The term “Member State” when used in this document includes affiliate members.
  8. Authorized: Holding a current valid institutional Charter, license, approval, or other written document issued by a state, the federal government or a recognized Indian tribe, granting the named entity the authority to issue Degrees and operate within a State or jurisdiction as a postsecondary education Institution.
  9. Complaint: A formal assertion in writing that a person, Institution, State, agency or other organization or entity operating under the provisions of the SARA Manual has violated the policies set forth in the SARA Manual or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated in the SARA Manual. See. SARA Manual • Version 20.1. January 1, 2020 Distributed February 6, 2020
  10. Council: The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, or in short form National Council for SARA, or NC-SARA.
  11. Exempt: The regulations established do not apply to EKU therefore we are allowed to proceed and/or operate
  12. Collaborating Organization: An organization that allows students enrolled in a program that requires students complete a field placement, internship, externships and/or practicum as part of the educational curriculum for which a student receives educational credit hours to come into their organization to obtain said educational credit hours
  13. Portal: Liaison entity that works with both the educational institutions and the regulating bodies to ensure compliance


EKU’s Policy on Polices,


SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) has no bearing on state licensure boards.

Licensure requirements are regulated by each state’s respective board(s) and must be met in order to obtain a license in that state. EKU reserves the right to offer program(s) that lead to licensure in the states where EKU has made every reasonable effort to determine its program(s) comply with each state’s regulations. Regulations are ever evolving and can change without any notification to the higher education institutions. Students are encouraged to contact their applicable state licensing board(s) to determine whether the program continues to meet requirements for licensure in that state both before enrolling and during the learning experience.

A full list of all applicable state board contact information can be found at:

Out-of-State Relocation

It is imperative for students enrolled in a program leading to licensure to notify their advisor in advance of any plans to relocate out of state. Advisors will help students determine authorization and licensure eligibility requirements if the student  relocates during the course of the program. Licensure regulations vary by state and relocating could affect whether a student will meet eligibility requirements for licensure and/or remain eligible for federal financial aid. Students must check with the state/territory licensing board where they desire licensure before relocating to ensure that they will be eligible for licensure or reciprocity.

Students must report their current residential address on their application for admission.

Students must also report where they will be located while enrolled at EKU to their advisor and/or program coordinator. Any out-of-state relocation that takes place must be reported to your advisor and the Registrar’s Office.


a. Complaints against an Institution operating under SARA policies go first through the Institution’s own procedures for resolution of grievances. Allegations of criminal offences or alleged violations of a State’s general-purpose laws may be made directly to the relevant State agencies.

b. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and the laws of the SARA Institution’s Home State.

 c. If a person bringing a Complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling Complaints, the Complaint (except for Complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the Complaint is made, to the SARA Portal Entity in the Home State of the Institution against which the Complaint has been lodged. That Portal Entity shall notify the SARA Portal Entity for the State in which the student is located of receipt of that appealed Complaint. The resolution of the Complaint by the Institution’s Home State SARA Portal Entity, through its SARA complaint resolution process, will be final, except for Complaints that fall under the provision “g” below.

d. While the final resolution of the Complaint rests with the SARA Portal Entity in the Home State of the Institution against which the Complaint has been lodged, the Portal Entity in the complainant’s location State may assist as needed. The final disposition of a Complaint resolved by the Home State shall be communicated to the Portal Entity in the State where the student lived at the time of the incident leading to the Complaint, if known.

e. While final resolution of Complaints (for purposes of adjudication of the Complaint and enforcement of any resultant remedies or redress) resides in certain cases with institutions (Complaints about grades or student conduct violations), or more generally with the relevant Institution’s Home State SARA Portal Entity (all other Complaints), the Regional Compact(s) administering SARA may consider a disputed Complaint as a “case file” if concerns are raised against a SARA member State with regard to whether that State is abiding by SARA policies, as promulgated in the SARA Manual. The Regional Compact may review such institutional concerns in determining whether a State under its SARA purview is abiding by SARA policies. Similarly, a Complaint “case file” may also be reviewed by NC-SARA in considering whether a Regional Compact is ensuring that its SARA member States are abiding by the SARA policies required for their membership in SARA.

f. SARA State Portal Entities shall report quarterly to NC-SARA the number and disposition of appealed Complaints that are not resolved at the institutional level. NC-SARA shall make that information publicly available on its website. Such data will create transparency and can be used in determining whether a Regional Compact is ensuring that its SARA member States and those States’ Institutions are abiding by the policies required for State membership and institutional participation in SARA.

g. Nothing in the SARA Manual precludes a State from using its laws of general application to pursue action against an Institution that violates those laws. SARA Manual • Version 20.1. January 1, 2020 Distributed February 6, 2020

Oversight of Complaint Investigation

 Investigation of a SARA-related Complaint against an Institution requires that a state board, agency or entity outside the institution’s immediate management be available to handle Complaints that are not resolved within the institution. A system board responsible for more than one separately Accredited institution may serve this role under SARA provisions. A board responsible for only one Accredited institution, or which lacks enforcement authority over an Institution, cannot serve as the SARA external oversight agency for such an institution. In such circumstances, the institution’s home-state SARA Portal Entity may serve that function.


Please be advised that there may be other factors that could prohibit your success in a program, such as a criminal record. If you are a convicted felon under federal law U.S.C. Title 18 you are not allowed to lawfully own a firearm which would inhibit your ability to find gainful employment in many of the Criminal Justice majors.

Having a criminal record could also affect your ability to successfully obtain professional licensure in many states and your ability to secure field placements, internships, externships and/or practicums.

Many collaborating organizations require students to submit to a drug screen, criminal background check, sex offender registry search, OIG (Office of Inspector General) search, federal finger printing and/or to submit copies of all your immunization records, including OSHA training certificates, HIPPA training certificates and CPR certification. These tests are at the expense of the student. Collaborating organizations reserve the right to deny student field placements, internships, externships and/or practicums for many reasons including but not limited to if a student has a criminal record or fails the drug screen standards as established by the collaborating organization.

SARA Member States

SARA member states without restrictions
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

SARA States With Special Restrictions

click on each state to learn more


TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Applicants for an Alabama certificate based on reciprocity must meet Alabama’s test requirements and submit a valid, renewable professional educator certificate/license issued by another state at the degree level, grade level, and in the teaching field or area of instructional support for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which Alabama issues a certificate. Applicants for Alabama certification in an area of administration must also document at least three years of full-time employment as an administrator in a P – 12 school system(s). See

NURSING: State approval of a program to offer Alabama licensed nurses opportunities for advanced degrees does not indicate eligibility for approval to practice as an advanced practice nurse in Alabama. Applicants for approval in Alabama are required to meet the Alabama requirements for national certification, graduation from a specific-type program for the advanced practice approval, and completion of the appropriate application. Any program offering a pre-licensure track to Alabama students shall meet the requirements of the Alabama regulations for pre-licensure programs or the graduates may not be eligible to take the licensure examination required by the Alabama Board of Nursing to enter the practice. See


Not authorized to conduct clinical practicum in Colorado. Unpaid cooperative education experiences, internships, externships or field placements are prohibited. EKU encourages you to consult the online advisors for possible alternatives or if you have questions.

EKU is not accepting nursing students into online programs.


See the EKU Military Activation and Course Completion policy at


EKU is not accepting nursing students into online programs.


Authorization status: Exempt for 100% Fully Online Programs ONLY

EKU is accepting only Family Nurse Practitioner students into the Nursing program in Massachusetts at this time.


EKU is accepting only Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students into the Nursing program in Minnesota at this time.

DEGREE STANDARDS:  The General Education Standards for EKU’s Associate of Art and Bachelor of Art degrees are different from Minnesota’s Degree Standards for General Education. In most circumstances Minnesota students should have enough elective courses to meet Minnesota’s Degree Standards but some students may be required to take additional courses to meet these standards. Minnesota students should review these degree standards at

New York

Exempt to offer Doctorate of Nursing and MSN Nursing Administration ONLY. Not authorized to conduct any other cooperative education experiences in New York. EKU encourages you to consult the online advisors for possible alternatives or if you have questions.

EKU is not accepting students for RN to BSN, Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatrist Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online programs.

North Carolina

EKU is not accepting family nurse practitioner students in the online program.


  • Terms  17 weeks in length require a refund through week 9.
  • Terms  10 weeks in length require a refund through week 5
  • Terms 8 weeks in length require a refund through week 4.
  • Terns 5 weeks in length require a refund through week 3.
  • Terms 2 weeks in length require a refund through week 1.

Partial refunds will occur through the middle week of any given term, and prorated on a weekly basis as stipulated above.

EKU is not accepting students for RN to BSN, Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online programs.


EKU is not accepting Nursing students in Tennessee at this time. EKU encourages you to consult the online advisors for possible alternatives or if you have questions.


EKU is not accepting nursing students into online programs.

NOTE: California is a fully exempt state

Processes & Policies

Distance Education Complaint Process for Out-of-State Students

Students enrolled in EKU online programs should attempt to resolve complaints by using the policies and procedures of the university (see the Student Handbook).   However, if the issue cannot be resolved internally, students can file a complaint about the institution by referring to the following list of State Agencies in compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations.

Refund Policy

  1. No refund can be made on certain class fees and optional fees as established by the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents. Students wishing to withdraw from courses must do so online via EKUDirect (on the EKU home page at

    When a student officially withdraws from the University or from any course or courses for which hourly rates apply, tuition and fees will be adjusted in the following manner:

    Time Period*

    During add/drop period for any class (for full semester classes = 1st week)



    From end of 1st week through end of 2nd week of class


    From end of 2nd week through end of 3rd week of class


    From end of 3rd week through end of 4th week of class


    After the 4th week of class


    *Partial semester courses vary in length and the percentage of refunds and the effective dates will be modified accordingly.

    This policy applies to refundable fees only; non-refundable fees are not included. In no case shall a refund of rent be made to a person who remains a student but moves from University housing at his or convenience.

  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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