State Authorization for Bloomsburg University

State Authorization for Bloomsburg University


If I don’t live in Pennsylvania, may I take online courses from Bloomsburg University?

If you are a resident of a state shown below in green, you may take any Bloomsburg University courses or programs that do not lead to professional licensure or certification.

If I am a Bloomsburg University student, where may I complete a field experience?

If you are a Bloomsburg University student, you may participate in a field experience in any state shown below in green, as long as the field experience is associated with a BU course or program that does not lead to professional licensure or certification.

If I don’t live in Pennsylvania, may I take online courses from Bloomsburg University that are part of a Professional Licensure or Certification program?

If you are a student interested in a course or program leading to professional licensure or certification, please see the “Professional Licensure/Certification” section below for clarification.


The two areas that State Authorization directly affects are online programs and field experiences. Due to Federal and State regulations, all universities offering online courses, online degrees, and face-to-face activities such as internships in states other than their own must meet the unique State Authorization requirements and regulations for each state. Please see “Professional Licensure/Certification” section below for important details that pertain to you if you are interested in a program leading to licensure.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)


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. Its intention is to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. It also allows students to participate in non-licensure program field experiences in other SARA-member states.

Pennsylvania’s SARA membership is effective January 1, 2017 and Bloomsburg University is now a SARA-member institution. by participating in SARA, BU is able to operate in all other SARA states in some capacity. Currently, 48 states plus the District of Columbia are members of SARA. Please note that SARA does not cover professional licensure/certification issues (see below). Visit for more information on SARA and to view the SARA map which identifies other participating states and districts.

California and Massachusetts are currently not participating members of SARA; however, BU is still able to offer online education and field experiences in these states because we do not meet the criteria that would require authorization.

Professional Licensure/Certification

All states have their own requirements for degrees that lead to professional licensure/certification such as teacher preparation, nursing, counseling, and exercise science programs. State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) membership does not include reciprocity for these licensure/certification issues with other states. Bloomsburg University’s programs are designed to be one step toward Pennsylvania licensure/certification requirements but do not assure compatibility with out-of-state licensure/certification requirements.

If you plan to seek professional licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania after completing a BU program, please check licensure requirements by contacting the applicable licensing board according to your field and state by clicking on the appropriate link below:

Clinical Athletic Training
Education/Business Education
Engineering Tech
Instructional Technology Specialist
Social Work
Speech-Language Pathology

If there is not a link above corresponding to your field, please check licensure requirements by contacting the applicable licensing agency found by occupation and state at CareerOneStop: (Links to
Here are some convenient CareerOneStop links:
Interpreting for the Deaf
Health Physics
Medical Lab Sciences

For Pre-med majors:

You may also contact for assistance.

Continuing Initiatives for State Authorization Compliance

✔ Bloomsburg University has been approved as a SARA-member institution. Students in all other SARA states are now able to apply for BU’s online non-licensure courses and programs.

✔ Bloomsburg University continues to contact state regulators to determine state authorization requirements not covered by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

✔ Bloomsburg University is monitoring all non-Pennsylvania resident applications.

✔ Bloomsburg University is tracking current and prospective students’ academic programs as well as field experiences such as internships, practica, educational experiences, student teaching, and field trips.

Student Complaint Process

Bloomsburg University strives to provide the highest quality educational programs available but recognizes the importance of providing an opportunity for students to make an appeal if a conflict does arise. Our efforts are meant to resolve your grievances, complaints, and concerns in an expeditious, fair, and amicable manner. Please follow this academic grievance procedure:

1. Online students who have a grievance, complaint, or concern related to a particular Bloomsburg University online course** should first contact the faculty member to try to resolve the matter, in accordance with the procedures and policies outlined on the Bloomsburg University Policies and Procedures website.

2. Students who are unable to resolve the issue through the faculty member, the department chair, and/or the dean may submit a complaint in writing via email to Mr. Tom Fletcher, Vice President, Strategic Enrollment Management and Director of Distance Education at

**Please note that grievances, complaints, or concerns submitted via this process with regard to a particular course, program or department may be forwarded and discussed with the faculty member, department, or academic dean for resolution.

Online students who have a general grievance, complaint, or concern unrelated to a particular Bloomsburg University online course may also submit their concerns through the same process as described above.

3. Online students who have exhausted all efforts to satisfactorily resolve a complaint in a timely manner through Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s academic grievance procedure may file a complaint with Bloomsburg University’s state approval and licensing entities:

The Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education: The new System Procedure/Standard 2016-26, Student Complaint Process, has been finalized and is now posted on the PASSHE website, available for your use. A link to the Student Complaint Process and the Student Complaint Form are easily accessible at

Pennsylvania Department of Education -

Middle States Commission on Higher Education -

Students located outside of Pennsylvania while attending a Bloomsburg University online program may also choose to contact the appropriate higher education entity in their state of residence.

Alabama Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Alaska Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Arizona Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
Arkansas Arkansas Department of Higher Education
California California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Colorado Colorado Department of Higher Education
Connecticut State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education
Delaware The Delaware Department of Education
District of Columbia District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission
Florida Florida Department of Education
Georgia State of Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Hawaii Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program
Idaho Idaho State Board of Education
Illinois Illinois Board of Higher Education
Indiana Indiana Board for Proprietary Education
Iowa Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas The Kansas Board of Regents
Kentucky Commonwealth of Kentucky Attorney General
Louisiana Louisiana Board of Regents
Maine State of Maine Department of Education
Maryland Maryland Higher Education Commission
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Michigan Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Minnesota Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Mississippi Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
Missouri Missouri Department of Higher Education
Call 573.526.1577 first
Montana Montana University System
Nebraska Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Education
New Jersey State of New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
New Mexico New Mexico Higher Education Department
New York New York State Education Department – Office of College and University Evaluation
North Carolina University of North Carolina System
North Dakota North Dakota University System
Ohio Ohio Department of Higher Education
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Oregon State of Oregon Private Postsecondary Education
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Rhode Island Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
South Carolina South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
South Dakota South Dakota Board of Regents
South Dakota Attorney General -
Tennessee Tennessee Higher Education Commission
(615) 741-5293 or (615) 741-0662
Texas Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:
Student must first exhaust institution’s grievance/complaint process. Complaints may be submitted online, by email, or by mailing documentation to THECB. See the following link for full details:
Complaint form:
Utah Utah System of Higher Education -
Vermont Vermont Agency of Education
Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Washington Washington Student Achievement Council
West Virginia West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Wisconsin State of Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board
State of Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Education

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Mr. Tom Fletcher, Vice President, Strategic Enrollment Management and Director of Distance Education at or (570) 389-5161.