Winners announced for the third annual SANsational Awards

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WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 State Authorization Network SANsational awards: University of Missouri – Kansas City and The Ohio State University.

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"We’re here to acknowledge great work and help each other.” ~Sharyl Thompson, chair of the 2017 SANsational Award Committee

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and the State Authorization Network (SAN) are pleased to announce the winners of the 3rd annual SANsational Awards. These awards recognize outstanding efforts by SAN member institutions and organizations in developing a high-quality, comprehensive solution to a challenging state authorization issue. Works recognized by the SANsational Awards present solutions that meet the needs of regulators, the institution and, most especially, students. These efforts serve as models which can be adapted or replicated by others.

The 2017 SANsational Award winners are categorized into three areas: identifying where students are located, notifications/disclosures for institutional state authorizations and compliance status, and notifications/disclosures for professional licensure program status in each state.

  • University of Missouri – Kansas City

         - Awarded: Institutional Authorization - Notifications and disclosures for institutional state authorizations and compliance status.

  • The Ohio State University

         - Awarded: Location - How do you identify where your students are located?
         - Awarded: Licensure Programs - Notifications and disclosures for professional licensure program status in each state.

“The SANsational Awards committee enthusiastically recognizes the good work of the institutional winners,” said Sharyl Thompson, CEO, HER (Higher Education Regulatory Consulting and the chair of the 2017 SANsational Award Committee. She continued: “Not only do their efforts demonstrate improvement at their own institutions, but publishing them through nomination for this award makes it possible for other institutions to see how compliance can be done. It all fits into the partnership culture among the SAN member institutions. We’re here to acknowledge great work and help each other."

The SANsational awardees will be recognized at the State Authorization Network (SAN) Coordinators Meeting on October 24th, prior to the WCET Annual Meeting in Denver, CO October 25-27, 2017.

A webcast to highlight the SANsational award winners will be held. Learn more about the the webcast and the awards.

Further Information

University of Missouri – Kansas City.

While state authorization can be confusing to those in charge of institutional compliance, it is doubly confusing to current and potential students. UMKC Online designed its State Authorization page to be user-friendly for both students and UMKC employees. With the clickable map, students can easily identify which online degree programs are available in their state of residence. Additionally, by clicking on their state, students may view Consumer Protection Information for that particular state. Each state’s SARA status is indicated in the drop-down menu. If there are stipulations for residents of a certain state, there is a statement indicating that the student needs to contact the online advisor for more information. In each state’s drop-down menu, the programs listed are linked to the official program web site where they can learn more about the program as well as who to contact for more information.

In order to ensure accuracy, the online degree department coordinators are contacted each spring and fall semester to ensure there have been no changes to their curriculum and that the program is still offered online. All of this information is documented on a behind-the-scenes website: Confluence. On this wiki, they will find updated information including what states and territories in which UMKC is authorized, a map of SARA states, any news in the field of state authorization, and a chart listing any stipulations for each state, including advertising and recruiting information.

Contact:     Brandi Elliott, and Nickolas Liddeke, liddeken(at)

The Ohio State University

  • Student Location Tracking

To comply with state and federal regulations and NC-SARA reporting requirements, the Ohio State University’s State Authorization Team implemented a system to track student location. The tracking solution requires minimal effort by staff and students, and helps to achieve institutional compliance. The Team created a splash page that appears in the online student service center when a student is registering for online classes. On the splash page, students are asked to verify contact information, including a physical address. After courses that include an on-ground field experience are verified at the department level, a splash page will also be implemented for students registering for those courses.

  • Licensure Programs

To comply with federal and foreign regulations and NC-SARA requirements, The Ohio State University’s State Authorization Team developed a multipronged communication strategy to meet student notification and disclosure requirements for licensure-track programs. Central to that strategy are the university’s state authorization websites, where authorization status and disclosures are updated in real time and are searchable by program or state. The websites also link to relevant professional licensure boards in each state. The websites provide disclosure templates for staff responsible for enrollments in traditional, campus-based licensure programs. Finally, students must acknowledge receipt of the licensure disclosure with a signature on the student’s acceptance letter.

Contact:     Lisa Siefker, 614-292-2582, siefker.69(at)


About WCET

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced higher education. More information about WCET’s institutional membership resources and services can be found on WCET’s website,

About the State Authorization Network

Working collaboratively, institutions can navigate the state regulations processes more efficiently than working on their own. WCET's State Authorization Network (SAN) guides, supports, and facilitates collaboration of its members to understand and apply state and federal regulation compliance requirements for institution’s out of state activities.

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