State Authorization 

The National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) is a national initiative that increases student access to distance education courses and programs while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Forty-nine states (all states except California) and three territories currently participate in NC-SARA. The California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions. Therefore, 

Bureau approval for Columbia College to offer educational activities in California is not required and we are able to offer online education in California. 

Columbia College has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. With this membership and state authorization, Columbia College may offer online programs to students who live outside of South Carolina. 

Information about NC-SARA and member states is available at: https://www.nc-sara.org/. 

Student Complaints 

Students enrolled at Columbia College who wish to file a complaint should first follow the grievance process in the Student Handbook linked here. 

If the complaint is not resolved by Columbia College, students residing in an NC-SARA member state may file a complaint with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). The SCCHE will only consider complaints that were previously unresolved by the University. The SCCHE policy and procedures information is found here. 

Professional Licensure Information 

NC-SARA membership does not grant reciprocity or exemption from state professional licensing board requirements. 

Degree candidates in the Speech Language Pathology (SLP) clinical track must qualify for clinical practicum (see requirements in our current bulletin) and will complete the requirements for SLP-A licensure through the South Carolina Labor, Licensing, and Regulations Board following degree completion. This includes required coursework, 100 clinical clock hours of direct patient/client contact, and 25 hours of guided clinical observation. All clinical clock hours and clinical observation hours must be completed prior to graduation to be eligible for SLP-A licensure in South Carolina. Licensure as a SLP-A varies by state, therefore, it is the degree candidate’s responsibility to verify qualifications necessary for SLP-A licensure in their state of residency. 

Columbia College’s 100% online programs in education are not designed to lead to state-level professional licensure. The M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Leadership (K-12) and M. E. in Trauma-Informed Education do not lead to initial licensure and are designed for students who are already certified teachers. The RN-BSN program requires that incoming students have and maintain a current nursing license as an RN in the state where they will attend clinicals.