State Authorizations for Distance Education & Field Experiences

State Authorizations for Distance Education & Field Experiences

State authorization is a legal and regulatory term that applies to a university's compliance with individual statutes, regulations and rules in each state in which it serves students. Mansfield University, as well as all other postsecondary institutions, is required to seek authorization to deliver or facilitate educational services, programs or activities from each state in which we operate or have a physical presence. 


The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania joined SARA effective January 1, 2017, and Mansfield University is now a SARA-participating institution. Participation in SARA allows the University to operate in all other SARA states. However, please note that SARA does not cover professional licensure issues (see below). For more information on SARA, please visit

Professional Licensures/Certifications 

All jurisdictions have their own requirements for professional degrees that concern licensure/certification (e.g., teacher preparation programs). Mansfield University's programs are designed to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for recommending candidates for licensure/certification. If you plan to seek licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania, please contact your state's licensing and certification agencies for more information

The table shows the states where Mansfield University may accept students from to enroll in our online degree programs.  The table also lists states where students may undertake field experiences.  Field experience is a broad term that includes out-of-class experiences like internships, student-teaching, practicums, and clinical rotations/precepted experiences for nursing and other healthcare students.  The field experience information shown in the table applies to all Mansfield University students, both those enrolled in face-to-face programs, as well as those in online degree programs.  The information also applies to program-mandated field experiences, as well as for-credit field experiences students voluntarily pursue that are not required in order to graduate.  Questions and concerns about distance education and field experiences should be directed to Dr. John Cosgrove (Dr. Cosgrove's contact information is at the bottom of this webpage).

Approved States for Enrollment in Online Degree Programs and to Seek Field Experiences (internships, student-teaching, clinical experiences, practicums)

StateSARA State ApprovedNotes
AlabamaYesYes 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 national licensure examination required by the Alabama Board of Nursing to enter the practice.
CaliforniaNoYes Public institutions are not regulated by The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, so Mansfield is permitted to offer online programs and field experiences in California.
ColoradoYesYes Students undertaking field experiences must have workers compensation and liability coverage.
District of Columbia
FloridaNoYes Because Mansfield does not meet the definition of physical presence in Florida, the University is permitted to offer online degree programs and field experiences in Florida.
GeorgiaYesYes-but see notes
 Field experience are allowed as long as no Georgia residents are paid to supervise these experiences.  
IndianaYesYes No more than 10 students at the same site at the same time for field experiences.
IowaYesYes-but see notes
 Programs that lead to professional licensure are not authorized in Iowa.
KentuckyYesYes-but see notes
 No education programs leading to certification are permitted. For more information on education programs, please see the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website.
MaineYesYes Field experiences must be organized by student and not MU. Also, no compensation can be paid to Maine residents to oversee field experiences.
MarylandYesYes No more than five students are allowed at the same field experience site at the same time.
MassachusettsNoYes Because Mansfield does not meet the definition of physical presence in Florida, the University is permitted to offer online degree programs and field experiences in Massachusetts.
MississippiYesYes Mississippi residents in online degree programs should be made aware of any Mississippi licensure and certification requirements.
NevadaYesYes -but see notes
 Nevada residents are not permitted to take education programs that lead to licensure.
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
YesYes-but see notes
 Please contact John Cosgrove regarding internships for psychology majors in New York State.
North Carolina
North Dakota
OhioYesYes-but see notes
 Ohio residents in education programs the student can apply for the Ohio license, as long as he or she meets the teaching requirements and passes any required Ohio tests. Please visit for more information.
OklahomaYesYes-but see notes
 Field experiences must be organized by student and not MU.
Rhode Island
YesYes-but see notes
 Field experiences must be organized by student and not MU.
South Carolina
South Dakota
YesYes-but see notes
TennesseeYesYes-but see notes
Field experiences must be organized by student and not MU. 
UtahYesYes-but see notes
 Mansfield is not authorized to provide nursing programs to Utah residents. 
VermontYesYes-but see notes
 No compensation for in-state supervision of field experiences
West Virginia
U.S. Territories
American Samoa
Guam Yes 
Northern Mariana Islands Yes 
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands


Student Complaint Process

Federal legislation (specifically, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008) requires colleges and universities to provide students with information necessary to make informed decisions concerning their educational experiences. One important item relates to student complaints. Mansfield University strives to serve its students fairly and equitably. If, however, a student has a complaint, we have a process in place to assist the student in resolving the complaint.  Mansfield University encourages all students regardless of their residency, to first try to resolve the issue by following Mansfield University's Academic Standards: Due Process/Complaints. Students located outside Pennsylvania may also choose to file a complaint with the appropriate agency in your state of residence.  Click Here for a list of the appropriate agencies.


Questions and concerns about state authorizations and the information presented on this site should be directed to:

Dr. John Cosgrove

Director of Institutional Research 

511 North Hall Mansfield, PA 16933 

(570) 662-4586