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State Authorization

Notice for applicants from outside the State of North Carolina

Admission of applicants residing outside the state of North Carolina to an online degree or certificate program or individual online course offered by Western Carolina University is dependent upon WCU’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence, if such authorization is required. If you have any questions, please contact WCU Distance & Online Programs at 828-227-7397 or toll-free at 866-928-4723.


Western Carolina University has been approved by the North Carolina State Portal Agency to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of post-secondary distance education.

Students from SARA member states may take online courses and programs from WCU. Students (on-campus or online) may conduct internships, clinicals and other field experiences in SARA states.

SARA states are indicated in blue on the map.



State Authorization by State, Complaint Contact Information and State Licensing Board

Authorization in Non SARA States/Territories:

California and CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands .   WCU’s online programs are authorized or exempt from authorization in these states. Internships and field experiences are permitted in these states/territories. 

Special note concerning internships and field experiences in regulated professions in all states: Some state licensing boards may require specific licensure or approvals to conduct a clinical or field experience. It is up to the student or the student’s program to make this determination.

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement

Programs at WCU that prepare students for professional licensure are designed to prepare a student to sit for applicable licensure in North Carolina. In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding distance education and professional licensure WCU is required to make the following disclosure with respect to professional licensure outside the state of North Carolina. WCU cannot confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina. WCU is working with the various state licensing boards to determine if our programs meet the requirements for licensure.  Until then, please contact the licensing representative for your program of interest (Contact information follows this statement) prior to applying to the academic program. They will assist you with determining whether the program meets licensure requirements.  We suggest that you review the licensing requirements for the state in which you wish to become licensed, prior to contacting the program representative.  You can find the appropriate licensing board for your state here. Out-of-State students who apply to a program that leads to licensure will be asked to submit an attestation that they have read and understand the issues surrounding licensure prior to enrolling and that they have been offered assistance with determining licensure. 

Licensure Contacts:

Birth to Kindergarten and  MAT in Special Education:

 Greg McLamb

Academic Advisor/Licensure Coordinator

Suite 201 Killian Building

Cullowhee, NC 28723   828-227-3755.

Student Complaints and Concerns

If you are participating in a Western Carolina University online program or course, and you have a complaint or concern about your experiences with WCU other than your final grade, you are encouraged to first contact the Program Director for the program or course. If your concerns are still unresolved, we encourage you to visit our Online Student Complaint Procedures page.

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