Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures
Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures
To see the list of programs leading to licensure organized by college, please click on the button below.
Background- The University of Southern Mississippi offers several programs leading to professional licensure or certification within the State of Mississippi. States vary in what professions they require to be licensed and how licensure functions. Some states require an individual to graduate from an approved program. Others require an individual to “meet [the] certification requirements of a national organization”. A specific amount of training can also be required as well as passage of an exam based on a state requisite exam score. Often, licensed professionals must complete continuing education on an annual basis (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2018). For purposes of the disclosures, the term professional licensure will be used to cover both licensure and certification which both require disclosures per § 668.43(a)(5)(v) .
State Authorization- USM is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) which allows us to provide distance learning programs (both online and in the form of supervised field experiences) and coursework to residents of states other than Mississippi. NC-SARA membership, however, does not grant reciprocity or exempt us from state professional licensing requirements. As a result, licensing requirements in Mississippi may not be recognized as sufficient to obtain a license in any other state. NOTE- Please be sure to review the NC-SARA page for additional information.
Location- Per 34 CFR 668.43(c)(3)(ii), institutions must provide the Department of Education with the institutional determination of where the student is located upon request. To achieve this an institution must establish policies or procedures to consistently determine where students are located. Institutions must determine where a student is located both at the time of enrollment in an institution and after receiving information provided by the student indicating that the student's location has changed.
USM collects location information from students as part of the registration process wherein students are asked to provide their physical location. This information is collected every semester.
Relocation- Relocating during the course of a program to another state may impact if the student can remain in the program, meet the state licensure requirements and/or continue to receive financial aid funding. Prior to considering relocation, please contact your program to discuss authorization and licensure eligibility requirements. Based on state specific rules and regulation in place at the time an individual submits their application for licensure, each state professional licensing board may have distinct requirements in place.
Programs and Licensure
All University of Southern Mississippi professional licensure programs are designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements for the state of Mississippi including preparing students to apply for licensure examinations and/or certification within the State. However, each state and territory has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Additional licensure requirements may include professional examinations, background checks, years of work experience, fingerprinting requirements, etc. Please be advised that state laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time thereby impacting the program's ability to meet educational requirements for licensure. Should USM become aware that a professional licensure determination of a program changes so that a program no longer leads to licensure in the state in which the student is located, USM will advise students within a program within 14 days of making such a determination.
National Entities (Licensing Boards)
Due to state sovereignty, state professional licensing board have unique standards for occupations that require either licensure or certification. “Occupational licensing laws” establish these “standards” “which may include specific education or training, work experience, examinations, background checks and professional organization membership reequipments” (Smith, Michaluk, Hall & Kanode, 2018, p. 3). To become licensed, prospective licensees must “demonstrate that they meet all the requirement professional standards” and pay the “registration and licensing fees” (p. 3). Across the United States, “over 1,000 different occupations require “occupational licensing” (p. 3). After becoming licensed, those who obtain a license agree to “adhere to a strict professional code of conduct” and are monitored as well as typically required [to undertake] ongoing training [along with] reporting” (p. 4). Within our professional licensure disclosures, there is information as to how you can contact the professional licensing board for each profession.
Professional Licensure Program
A Professional Licensure Program (PLP) or program customarily leading to licensure is an academic program offered by institutions of higher learning designed, marketed and/or advertised to meet educational requirements: (1) for a specific license or certification; and (2) is required for employment in an occupation.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
The U. S. Department of Education requires all colleges and university to communicate publicly and directly to prospective and current students by providing them with a professional licensure disclosure about: (1) academic programs that will not fulfill educational requirements for a specific professional licensure that is required for employment in that field; and (2) academic programs that do not meet the education requirements for licensure or for which an institution cannot determine if the program meet the educational requirements for each state and U.S. territory for all delivery modes of the program.
Potential Changes in Licensure/Certification Requirements: Students who plan to pursue licensure or certification outside of the State of Mississippi should be aware that requirements for professional licensure/certification can vary drastically by state, and these requirements can change frequently and often without notice. While a program may originally meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification, changes in requirements could impact the program’s ability to meet any new educational requirements. Students should always check with their state licensing board to confirm licensure requirements. Click on the button at the top of this page to find information about your specific program.
Purpose of The Professional Licensure Disclosure Page
This page helps connect prospective students, applicants, and current students to professional licensure information.
To view USM's Professional Licensure Disclosures click on the button at the top of this page. Select your program and click on the plus sign to the left of the program name. You will be able to search for the program specific disclosure by state including our institutional determination as to licensure that will fall into as to one of the following categories:
the program does meet licensure in all states,
the program does not meet the requirements for licensure in all states or
a determination cannot be made as to whether the program leads to licensure in the all states.
For these purposes, states include the District of Columbia and the US protectorates, as defined in 34 CFR §600.2. See below
State: A State of the Union, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. The latter three are also known as the Freely Associated States.
The program webpage also has contact information for program personnel that can help answer specific questions in this regard and who will do their best to help connect you to the credentialing requirements of the state in which you aspire to practice.
Programs Not Listed- If you have questions regarding any program not listed on the Professional Licensure page, please contact the Director of the School within which the program resides.
International Students- Prior to enrolling in any program at The University of Southern Mississippi (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.
International Applicants For Online Degree Programs
The University of Southern Mississippi’s online programs are available for global access. Students are responsible for understanding requirements related to the country in which they reside. Students should consider each of the following as to their country of residence: whether the online degree will be recognized and allow for employment and whether there are any withholding taxes due to their country of residency (in addition to the price of tuition). Please note not all countries recognize online degrees, and this could impact your ability to work, gain admission to a subsequent educational program, or obtain a professional license or designation. Those seeking to become licensed in another country should contact the professional licensing board in their country of residence or the country where they intend to work to determine whether an online degree will be recognized.
Future International Employment, Licensing, or Enrollment in Academic Programs
Students who will be seeking to gain employment in a country outside of the United States should contact the country in which they will be seeking employment, licensure, or seeking to pursue further education to determine if that country will recognize an online degree issued from an institution located in the United States.
***Since all situations are unique and requirements may change, The University of Southern Mississippi shall not be held liable if the student is unable to meet the requirements for employment/licensure/admission to a subsequent program in any jurisdiction: this includes failing to be able to obtain a specific practicum/internship location.
SUPERVISED FIELD EXPERIENCES
The University of Southern Mississippi will make any and all reasonable efforts to assist students in obtaining placements for supervised field experiences, including but not limited to, clinicals, field experiences, practicums, and internships. However, the organization at which such an experience takes places makes the final determination as to whether a particular student can complete their supervised field experience at said organization's facility. Moreover, a student's criminal record may adversely impact their ability to obtain licensure/certification based on the standards adopted by the licensing entity. Please consult the licensing entity to discuss your specific situation. Keep in mind that successfully completing a program at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in an occupation.
Responsibility of Students- Students should review the specific academic requirements for the program in which they are enrolling, including those related to practicum/internship as well as pre-qualifications for licensure such as the need for a criminal background check. 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 before beginning an academic program that results in licensure and prior to beginning any internship/practicum. Many licensure boards require more than successful degree completion to obtain a license. Please be advised that state laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time. Changes in requirements can impact the program's ability to meet educational requirements for licensure. It is the responsibility of the student completing the licensure program to check with the licensing board(s) in their state of residence or in the state in which they intend to obtain a license for the most recent information and requirements. USM shall not be held liable if the student is unable to qualify for licensure or certification in any jurisdiction or cannot obtain a practicum/internship location.
There are no adverse actions related to our online degree programs initiated by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) against for the previous five years.
§668.50(b)(7) Professional Licensure/Certification (PLC) pre-education requirements
The curriculum for programs customarily leading to licensure at The University of Southern Mississippi have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in Mississippi as well as preparing students to apply for licensure exams in the State of Mississippi. The licensure boards in each state are responsible for establishing the requirements for licensure/certification for their state. Students who intend to return or move to any state other than Mississippi need to review the professional licensure disclosures pertaining to their program and consult with the state professional licensing board. The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible to sit for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure.
34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v)- General Disclosures
Per 34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v), an institution must provide disclosures if:
a program is "designed" to meet the educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification required for an occupation; or
advertised as being a program that meets professional licensure educational requirements in a state for that specific occupation.
34 CFR 668.43(c) Direct Disclosures
Prior to enrollment, direct disclosure is made if the program (whether hybrid, face-to-face or online) does not meet OR the institution has not made a determination whether the program meets education requirements. The regulations state that "regarding the timing of these disclosures, the Department expects that the institution will provide this disclosure before a student signs an enrollment agreement, or in the event that an institution does not provide an enrollment agreement, before the student makes a financial commitment to the institution.
If the student is enrolled in a program and the institution makes a determination that the program does not meet educational requirements in the state where the student is located, the institution has 14 calendar days to notify the student.
(3)(i) Disclosures under paragraphs, (c)(1) and (2) ... must be made directly to the student in writing, which may include through email or other electronic communications.
34 CFR 600.9(c) Direct Disclosures- College Processes
Upon request, the institution must document to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) the disclosure process used by the institution to determine the licensure and certification programs and the process for identifying student location. This requires an institution to develop a process for creating, maintaining and reporting on the disclosure of licensure and certification. This requires regular review of licensure and certification information as well as updating information on the website.
The following individual disclosures are being sent out as indicated below:
§668.50(c)(1)(i)-Prior to prospective student enrollment, students are being advised as to what determination has been made in terms of whether the program meets the student's home state PLC pre-education requirements.
§668.50(c)(1)(ii)(A-Each enrolled and prospective student is receiving a notice of any adverse actions filed against the institution by a state or accrediting agency: 30-day notification.
§668.50(c)(1)(ii)(B)-Each enrolled and prospective student is being advised is a program in which they are enrolled ceases to meet PLC pre-education requirements: 14-day notification.
The University of Southern Mississippi provides a process for enrolled students and the public to submit non-academic complaints. The process for such complaints is contained in the Student Grievance Policy. Student Complaints can be submitted electronically using the Maxient Student Complaint form.
State Complaint Processes and Contacts-Within two years of the incident regarding the complaint, individuals who are enrolled in distance education offerings (i.e. online courses and supervised field experiences) and who are unable to resolve the issue internally can also submit their complaints to the NC-SARA portal agent at the following address or by completing the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA) Student Complaint form, which should be mailed to the portal agent at the following address:
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211-6453
Additional contact information for the NC-SARA portal agent is as follows:
Federal Program Integrity rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education require institutions to provide to all students including students and prospective students contact information needed to file a complaint with the accrediting agency and with relevant state agencies. To see the list that includes contact info for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the protectorates, please see the SARA page.
Consumer Disclosures for Students For additional consumer disclosures see the Student Consumer Information Disclosures page.
§668.50(b)(4) & §668.50(b)(5) Adverse Actions Initiated by a State Agency-Currently and for the previous five years, The University of Southern Mississippi has no previous, current or pending adverse actions initiated by any state agencies.
§668.50(b)(5) Adverse Actions initiated by an Accrediting Agency-Currently and for the previous five years, The University of Southern Mississippi has no previous, current, or pending adverse actions initiated by any accrediting agencies.
§668.50(b)(6) Refund Policies-The University of Southern Mississippi follows the refund policy published by the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL).
Rule 5.2- Programs Leading to Professional Licensure
SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Any institution operating under SARA that offers courses or programs potentially leading to professional licensure must keep all students, applicants and potential students who have contacted the institution about the course or program informed as to whether such offerings actually meet state licensing requirements. For purposes of SARA, this must be done in one of two ways:
a. The institution may determine whether the course or program meets the requirements for professional licensure in the state where the applicant or student resides and provide that information in writing to the student, or
b. After making all reasonable efforts to make such a determination, if unsuccessful, the institution may notify the applicant or student in writing that the institution cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state, provide the student with current contact information for any applicable licensing boards, and advise the student to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where the student is located.
Rule 10 of the NC-SARA Institutional Application
Agree to notify in writing all students in a course or program that customarily leads to professional licensure, or which a student could reasonably believe leads to such licensure, whether or not the course or the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where the student is located. After making all reasonable efforts to make such a determination, the institution may notify the applicant or student in writing that the Institution cannot confirm whether the course or program meets educational requirements for professional licensure in the student's State, provide the student with current contact information for any applicable licensing boards, and advise the student to determine whether the program meets educational requirements for licensure in the State where the student lives. An email dedicated solely to this purpose and sent to the student's best known email address meets this requirement. The Institution should use other additional means to notify the student, if needed.
SARA Manual, Section 5.1(a)
“SARA applies solely to postsecondary Distance Education activity conducted across state lines. It does not apply to Distance Education activity inside the SARA-participating Institution's Home State or to on-ground campuses. For purposes of SARA, “distance education” includes limited activities conducted for short periods on the ground (see sub-sections 5.3, 5.4 and 5.6). SARA does not affect the applicability of general-purpose State laws such as business registries, general-purpose consumer protection laws, worker's compensation laws, criminal statues and the like. Institutional participation in SARA does not excuse or exempt Institutions that participate in federally funded programs from compliance with the federal rules applicable to such programs. Such programs include, but are not limited to, federal Title IV student assistance programs and military tuition assistance programs.
The University of Southern Mississippi does not guarantee nor confirm that any program that fulfill Mississippi licensure requirements will satisfy the professional licensure boards standards/requirements in other states or territories. If you are a student applying to/admitted to a program that leads to professional licensure and intend to practice outside of the State of Mississippi, please contact the appropriate licensing agency in your state of residence before beginning a course of study.