Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures
Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures
To see a list of programs that customarily lead to licensure, please click the button below.
Background- The University of Southern Mississippi offers several programs leading to professional licensure 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.