Ohio State Approved to Continue D.C. Experiences

photo of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) approved The Ohio State University’s Application for Conditional Exemption on July 15, 2019. This approval allows the university to continue to operate the John Glenn Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP), the John Glenn  Master of Public Administration-D.C. (MPA-DC), and the Moritz Washington, D.C. Summer Program.

“Programs like WAIP and MPA-DC allow our students to launch their careers in Washington with a fully structured and supportive program from their institution,” said Katy Hogan, director of Washington programs for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. “The work of the state authorization team has been critical to the continued success of the Glenn College’s operations in Washington.”

Washington, D.C. is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA); therefore, Ohio State’s SARA participation covers many activities in the district. However, SARA participation does not cover leasing or owning space in a SARA state or district. Institutions must seek approval for out-of-state trigger activities that are not covered by SARA. Because Ohio State leases classroom and office space in the district in connection with these programs, HELC approval was required.

To gain commission approval for the programs, the state authorization team partnered with staff in the John Glenn College and the Moritz College of Law to complete an HELC Application for Conditional Exemption. The application requires detailed program and institutional information along with submission of a $1,500 application fee. After reviewing the application, the HELC completed a site visit at Ohio State’s Washington, D.C. location, and Ohio State staff attended a commission meeting to answer members’ questions about the programs.

“Through these programs, students gain meaningful professional skills and experiences, connect with alumni and build their professional network."

— Katy Hogan, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

“(State Authorization Program Director) Lisa Siefker was able to step in and manage the process seamlessly,” Hogan said. “Our visit and inspection went quickly as a result, with only a few items to follow up on, which Lisa helped me fulfill. I am grateful to the State Authorization team for this reason; they allowed us to continue our important work in Washington, D.C. with minimal interruption and represented us well when working with external stakeholders in the D.C. government.”

The commission granted approval for continued operation of Ohio State’s Washington, D.C. programs for one year. To maintain that approval, the university must submit an annual renewal application and fee. Completion of the approval process allows Ohio State students to continue to participate in these unique and valuable experiences.

“Through these programs, students gain meaningful professional skills and experiences, connect with alumni and build their professional network,” Hogan said. “If not for these programs, students would have to secure housing, find an internship, identify mentors, connect with alumni and navigate the city, all on their own. However, because we have an office space, full-time staff in Washington and longstanding programming, students can come to D.C. with full confidence that they will be supported.”

The current HELC approval applies only to the Washington Academic Internship Program, Master of Public Administration-D.C., and the Washington, D.C. Summer Program. Contact the state authorization team if your unit would like to seek approval to operate outside of SARA in Washington, D.C. or any other location outside Ohio.