The Juggling Act of State and Federal Compliance for Out-of-State Activities: How to Address Professional Licensure Issues, SARA Requirements, and COVID Accommodations

Michigan Colleges Online
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

This session will provide a high-level overview of SARA along with recent updates including the professional licensure requirements. Speakers will also discuss recent updates to distance education federal regulations and the impact of COVID accommodations.


Cheryl Dowd, Director, State Authorization Network

Cheryl Dowd is the Director for the State Authorization Network (SAN). Dowd direct a membership organization of more than 800 post-secondary institutions and state agencies nationwide providing activities and research to support, understand, and develop strategies to maintain State and Federal regulatory compliance requirements for out of state activities of the member institutions.  Dowd is a contributing author for a guide book for understanding the legal basis for State and Federal compliance for activities of post-secondary institutions, State Authorization of Colleges and Universities. Dowd earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond, master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University.

Emily Jacobson, Associate Director, MHEC

Emily Jacobson is the associate director of the Midwestern Regional State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). Emily assists with the development, implementation, management, and oversight of M-SARA, which enables states in the MHEC region to enter into a voluntary reciprocity agreement for the purpose of authorizing colleges and universities to provide online and other distance-based courses and programs to students living in other states.

Jenny Parks, Vice President of Policy & Research, MHEC

Jenny Parks is Vice President of Policy and Research at the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC).  She leads the exploration, development, and implementation of projects that help Midwestern postsecondary institutions improve the way they serve students. Jenny has worked at all levels of education and in multiple sectors of higher education having worked with state and federal compliance, institutional research, and policy advocacy. She earned her master's degree in Educational Policy and Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Higher Education from Northeastern University in Boston.