The Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (RIOPC) is aware of the health concerns schools are facing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.  Approved proprietary schools may cease to offer face-to-face instruction to protect the well-being of students, staff and instructors, and offer distance education according to plans filed with the RIOPC.  Schools that do not have the ability to offer distance learning options to students may postpone classes for the immediate future, according to plans filed with the RIOPC.


Degree-granting Institutions of Higher Education who are not NC-SARA approved through their State Portal Entity because they do not offer online instruction, who are now seeking temporary authorization from the RIOPC during the COVID-19 pandemic to offer instruction online to Rhode Island residents, should request permission in writing to the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education and include details on how the institution is supporting such transition, and information related to technology, faculty training/support, student accessibility, anticipated duration of transition, and their student complaint resolution policy.

Non-SARA Application


Only distance education content originating from an eligible institution and authorized by the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and the Council on Postsecondary Education can be offered to Rhode Island residents. If your institution is located in a state that does not belong to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (non-SARA), you can apply to offer distance education to Rhode Island residents using this form. If you are unsure whether your state belongs to SARA, please consult the SARA website.

Note that the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner will only consider approval for non-profit institutions. 



latest IPEDS

OPC only considers applications from non-profit institutions.