Compliance and Ethics
State Authorization Process
The University of Southern Mississippi must determine student location to comply with federal regulation requirements as well as to fulfill its obligations as a participating institution in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA).
- §34 CFR 668.43 (a)(5)(v) requires professional licensure disclosures be made so that students are provided with an understanding of what state licensure requirements are.
- 34 CFR 668.43(c)(3)(ii) requires that institutions determine where students are located and establish a means of consistently determining where students are located both at the time of enrollment and if a student advises that their location has changed.
The University of Southern Mississippi is an institution participating in the NC-SARA which allows us to offer distance education in 49 states and 2 protectorates (U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico). NC-SARA also requires reporting of data regarding student location and disclosure of how location is determined by our institution. Additionally, NC-SARA Policy Manual Rule 5.2 requires participating institution to comply with federal professional licensure disclosure requirements.
To comply with NC-SARA participation requirements, federal regulations, and to support our students in their ability to understand the impact of their location as well as licensure requirements, The University of Southern Mississippi (“USM”) sets forth the following processes relative to relocation, location, reporting, and licensure disclosures.
Student Location Determination
- USM collects physical location information from students each semester as part of the registration process. Students provide their physical address in Southern’s Online Accessible Records (SOAR) system as part of the registration process.
- Using the physical address information, USM will determine the location of a student to provide accurate professional licensure disclosures and reporting.
- Students must update their information within thirty (30) days of a change of address.
- Each semester all those students in programs leading to licensure or certification are provided a disclosure based on the location information they provide.
- Each time a local address change is initiated, students in programs leading to licensure
or certification are provided with a direct disclosure relative to the program in
the state they have identified as their local address.
Student Location Reporting
USM will provide disaggregated data on student location to NC-SARA and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Data system (IPEDS) each year.
Relocating after beginning a USM program can have adverse effects relative to finances and licensure. Students should consider these impacts before relocating and can obtain information about these impacts by contacting the resources listed below.
- Potential Financial Impact - Relocating to another state (i.e., a state in which the student was not originally located at the time they were admitted to the program) while completing a program may impact whether the student can remain in the program, meet the state licensure requirements and/or continue to receive financial aid funding. Please contact the USM Financial Aid Department to discuss the impact of relocation prior to relocating- see their web page for their contact information- https://www.usm.edu/financial-aid/index.php
- Potential Licensure Impact- Based on state specific rules and regulations in place when an individual submits their application for licensure, each state professional licensing board may have distinct requirements in place. Before considering relocation, contact the program coordinator to discuss authorization and licensure eligibility requirements. Program coordinators are listed on the following page (listed by college): https://www.usm.edu/compliance-ethics/professional-licensure-and-certification-info-cehs.php
International Student Relocation
Other countries, their licensure boards, and licensing and certification entities may have specific requirements for a program to lead to professional licensure or certification. It is the responsibility of the students to determine whether completion of their program of choice will fulfill any educational requirements for professional licensure in their country. Keep in mind that additional requirements for licensure unrelated to education may apply.
PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE DISCLOSURES
Each state has distinct licensure and certification requirements for certain professions.
States may also have specific licensure/internship/practicum requirements, including, but not limited to, criminal background checks, fingerprinting and drug screening.
Being aware of these requirements enables students to make informed decisions about their program of study. Therefore, we highly recommend that students contact the applicable licensure board(s) in their state of residence or in the state where they intend to obtain a license prior to beginning a program that leads to licensure or certification as well as prior to beginning any internship/practicum. State laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time and those changes in requirements may impact the program's ability to meet the educational requirements for licensure.
Disclosure Process- In compliance with the aforementioned obligations, USM discloses professional licensure information to students in programs leading to licensure or certification through the following mechanisms:
- Direct Notifications- Direct professional licensure disclosures/notifications are provided to students through an automated process included in USM’s SOAR system which students use to register for each semester. This disclosure is based on the physical location that students provide each semester as part of the enrollment process.
- Public Notifications- Public professional licensure disclosures/notification which are organized by college are provided to students through the following webpage: https://www.usm.edu/compliance-ethics/professional-licensure-and-certification-information-by-college.php
Licensing Board Information-Disclosures include contact information for the licensing boards are also provided.
Student Role In Process
Prior to enrolling in any program at USM, prospective students living and/or working outside of the United States should confirm with the appropriate certifying agency whether successful completion of any degree program at USM will meet the credentialing requirements of the country in which they intend to seek employment as to certain types of employment or for advanced/specialized educational programs. State laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time and those changes in requirements may impact the program's ability to meet the educational requirements for licensure.
While USM will provide professional licensure and certification disclosures, it remains the responsibility of the student completing the licensure or certification program to check with the licensing board(s) in the student’s state of residence or in the state in which the student intends to obtain a license for the most current information and requirements.
Frequency of Licensure Data Updates-USM will conduct licensure research and updates annually beginning on July 1, 2025, and every year thereafter.
Questions- Email complianceFREEMississippi