State Authorization

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 programs must be authorized in certain states prior to offering 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 education programs.

State Authorization Q & A

To learn more about the USF System's online education policy and State Authorization requirements, review the State Authorization Q & A.

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."
Federal and State Regulations on 'State Authorization' of Distance Education

Florida State Statutes 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.
Florida State Statutes for Postsecondary Educational Institutions