State Authorization

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Approved Institution

Texas Woman’s University has been approved by Texas to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

SANsational Award

Texas Woman’s University was one of six SANsational award winners for 2018. The SANsational awards are given by the national State Authorization Network to recognize creative solutions to issues that arise with state authorization compliance. Read about TWU’s winning project.

SANsational Innovative Solutions to State Authorization Challenges Logo

Status of State Approval

Program Coordinators can view the status of approval for each state by viewing the Status of State Approvals chart or the map below. Hover over each state for details. Our office is continually looking into authorization in states where we are not approved, as authorization requirements change frequently. The information on the map and chart will be updated as changes occur.

Information as of October 2, 2017.
(This map was created with MapsAlive.)


  • The states in blue are members of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA).
  • Colorado - If the CO site requires that their interns be covered by worker’s comp (not all do), and the site is not willing to pay for the coverage, the student cannot be placed there. The State of Texas will not allow us as a University to pay for the coverage.
  • District of Columbia - Information is located with Maryland.

Adverse Actions

As of October 1, 2017, no adverse actions related to our online degree programs have been initiated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) against Texas Woman’s University for the past five years.

What is State Authorization?

State Authorization is the process of gaining approval from other states to operate within their borders. The purpose is consumer protection.

What Does “Operate” Mean?

The term “operate” refers to any educational activity, or trigger, that a TWU student does on behalf of TWU while physically located in another state. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Online Courses
  • Face-to-face Courses
  • Internships, practicums, student-teaching, etc.
  • Research
  • Proctored Exams

It also refers to business that TWU conducts in another state such as:

  • Employing faculty or staff in another state
  • Owning or leasing property where education takes place
  • Contracting with an institution to provide access to resources
  • Advertising
  • Recruiting (Academic and Athletic)
  • Maintaining in-state contact information or an internet server

Does Every State Require Us to Seek Authorization?

Yes, but every state has different triggers that require authorization. One example is internships. The State of Oklahoma currently does not require authorization for a public, non-profit university to send a student there for an internship. The State of Louisiana does. When authorization is required for a particular activity, each state has a different application process as well.

How Do We Know If We Need Authorization or Not?

The Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology is coordinating TWU’s State Authorization efforts. We will:

  • Keep up with the requirements of each state. You can find an up-to-date chart of authorized activities for each state here.
  • Work with departments to filter all requests for authorization. More information about this process will be available soon.
  • Submit the appropriate paperwork and other materials to the different State offices if authorization is required.
  • On occasion, seeking authorization may be too expensive or not cost-effective. Not every request for authorization will be honored.

What are the Consequences of Not Getting Authorized, but Sending Our Students or Conducting Business Anyway?

  • Receipt of cease and desist orders from state agencies
  • Penalty fees from state agencies and more stringent controls once authorization is obtained
  • Failure to meet regional accreditation requirements
  • Damage to the reputation of TWU through negative publicity
  • Impact on Financial Aid Funding

More Information

Page last updated 9:08 AM, December 13, 2018