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- State Authorization [x]
- Distance Education (52)
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The Department of Education published an extensive list of new regulations slated to take effect July 1, 2011. While these regulations are aimed at overseeing federal aid for distance learning, they have campus wide implications including a federal definition of credit hours and new costs in certification. A House hearing on March 11, 2011 raised a number of concerns about the effect on campuses. David Moltz published an excellent article reviewing the hearing and providing more information about the context and details of this issue.
Of current interest to the EDUCAUSE community is the requirement, termed "State Authorization", that campuses offering distance learning obtain certification from each student's home state that the distance-ed program meets that state's requirements. EDUCAUSE believes these regulations are unnecessary and compliance is overly burdensome to higher ed. Untouched, the regulations and their compliance deadline will have adverse effects on distance and hybrid learning programs at a time when demand for them is greater than ever.
What We're Doing About It
EDUCAUSE has joined with over 70 higher education and accrediation associations to urge the government to make changes to these new rules. We have sent joint letters to the Dept. of Education and to leaders on the relevent Congressional committees to reconsider this policy, or at least provide more time and resources for institutions to become compliant. Additionally, we have created this resource page and have added State Authorization as one of our major issues; look for more information and activity coming from EDUCAUSE on this issue in the coming months.
On July 27th, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that confirmed ED will no longer seek to enforce the current federal student aid regulation extending state authorization requirements to distance education, by way of a "Dear Colleague Letter" (DCL) sent to institutions.
- Tracking SARA: An Update on the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, EDUCAUSE Live! Novenmber 14, 2012.
- USDOE Will Not Enforce Its Distance Ed State Authorization Regs, but Questions Remain, WCET blog post.
- Letter from Department of Education.
- Analysis by Russ Poulin (WCET) of Dep. of Education letter.
- Lawsuit filed by Career College Association seeking to delay implementation of regulations.
- Resource page maintained by WCET. This is an excellent, comprehensive site, including a detailed analysis of the regulation and a great deal of additional original material.
- The actual State Authorization regulation from the Department of Education.
- The Web page for WCET's "State Approval 'Starter' List", a document summarizing distance-education requirements in all states. Note: SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers) may soon take over responsibility for updating this resource.
- Aug. 2, 2010 letter from ACE and other higher-ed associations (including EDUCAUSE) to the Department of Education expressing concern about State Authorization and a number of other new regulations.
- March 2, 2011 letter from ACE and others (including EDUCAUSE) focused specifically on the State Authorization issue.
- March 11, 2011 letter from ACE and others (including EDUCAUSE) to Rep. Virginia Foxx asking for Congressional pressure to extend the compliance deadline by one year.
- June 10, 2011 letter from ACE, EDUCAUSE and many others to Rep. Virginia Foxx thanking her for introducing H.R. 2117 to congress, legislation that would repeal the regulation in Section 600.2 creating a federal definition of a credit hour.
Updated November 2012
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for State Authorization
- MOOCs—Key Legal and Policy Issues for Colleges and Universities
July 25, 2013
The National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), ACE, and EDUCAUAUSE held a webinar on July 25th, 2013 on the key legal and policy issues regarding massive open online course…
- State Authorization
State Authorization True Background The Department…
- WCET Testimony on Proposed Distance Ed. Federal Regulations
June 11, 2013
As previously reported , the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently revived the regulatory process it began last summer to address financial aid fraud concerns related to distance educatio…
- State U Online
April 23, 2013
Author Rachel Fishman, examines the most common challenges to implementing successful distance-education programs, including cost, quality, and faculty buy-in. Fishman decribes 5 steps to success…
- SHEEO State Authorization Resources Updated
May 10, 2013
Sharmila Mann, a senior policy analyst at the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) association, issued the following announcement this week on SHEEO's freshly updated state au…
- Major Higher Ed. Community Developments on State Authorization
April 23, 2013
The higher education community continues to make significant progress toward addressing the problems of distance education state authorization through the development of a state authorization rec…
- Fed. Regs. on Student Identity Verification, State Authorization of Distance Ed. Back on the Radar
April 16, 2013
As reported in today's Inside Higher Ed , the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced its intent to modify the rule-making effort it originally proposed last year …
- Latest State Authorization News from WCET
March 8, 2013
Friend of the blog, Russ Poulin of the WlCHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), recently posted a new blog entry on current and pending developments in state authorization r…
- Regulating Online Postsecondary Education: State Issues and Options
January 17, 2013
This issue brief published by the National Governors Association (NGA) states that as providers and regulators of online education, governors should consider calling for a review of current state…
- The E-Learning Policy Environment (Updated 02/14/13)
February 12, 2013
I presented a session entitled "The E-Learning Policy Environment" this January at the EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference (MARC) and just last week at the EDUCAUSE Learning…