Supervised Field Experiences

The University of Southern Mississippi offers degree programs as well as distinct courses that may require supervised field experience occur outside the State of Mississippi.

Definition of Supervised Field Experiences

As defined by NC-SARA, a supervised field experience is:

  • a student learning experience
  • located in the host state (for our purposes anything other than Mississippi)
  • comprised primarily of the practical application of previously studied theories and skills
  • with the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional
    • who has direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled
    • even if credit is not granted.

[see page 11 of the NC-SARA manual]

Per the NC-SARA Manual, field experiences are considered distance education. [see page 28 of the NC-SARA manual]

Ability to Offer Supervised Field Experiences in SARA Member States

USM is an institutional member of SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements).  As a SARA member institution, our students are allowed to complete internships or any other in-place, for credit courses in any participating SARA state.

Limitations to Supervised Field Experiences Under NC-SARA:

Pursuant to NC-SARA Rule 5.13 (d), students from member institutions can participate in a field experience in another SARA member state as long as:

  • there are only ten students involved in the supervised field experience
  • per distinctly transcripted academic program
  • per shift/time (i.e. 7-3; 3-11 etc.)
  • per location (i.e. one unique address)

Exceeding the Ten Student Maximum for Supervised Field Experiences

An institution must request permission from the SARA portal agent of the state in which the supervised field experience will take place to exceed the ten student maximum. [see page 32 of the NC-SARA manual.


If an institution is overseeing a supervised field experience in the state of Colorado, they must purchase Workers Compensation insurance for the student, unless the insurance is provided by the site at which the supervised field experience is engaged in is providing this coverage. {Article 40, Section 7 (a) of Colorado’s General Provisions-see page 9}

NON-SARA States:

Massachusetts- If a student is engaging in a supervised field experience overseen by USM, the institution must be sure not to:

  • occupy, regardless of owners, an actual physical location for instructional purposes, whether synchronous or asynchronous instruction
  • office space cannot be provided to instructional or non-instructional staff

Puerto Rico-  paid faculty cannot be overseeing an internship or field experience: the student must be acting independently to engage in a field experience in this country. A field experience cannot be organized by USM and collaborative agreements cannot be entered into by the institution. 



Before engaging in a supervised field experience outside the state of Mississippi, contact or call our Compliance Coordinator (Jennifer Lewis) at 601-266-4469.