Author Archives: Russ Poulin

Director, Policy & Analysis
WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies)

New Digital Learning Compass Shows Distance Ed Enrollments Trending Upwards

Higher education enrollments for all students fell, but more students enrolled in distance education courses than ever before. This is one of the findings of the new “Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017” released by the new Digital Learning Compass partnership. The report uses data for the 2015 U.S. Department of Education IPEDS Fall Enrollment survey. […]

The Purdue Acquisition of Kaplan – Background, Opinion, and Questions

There was quite a bit of surprise in the higher education world yesterday when Purdue University (a large land-grant university in Indiana) announced that it was essentially acquiring Kaplan University (a large for-profit institution). Lots of questions arise. This blog post includes some facts, opinion, and questions to keep the discussion rolling. Purdue “Purchases” a […]

The Military Advances on Credentialing and Quality Reviews: Pay Attention

Military personnel and veterans are eager to learn…and most of them do so using educational technologies and distance learning. Given that the United States has been involved in two wars for more than a decade, how do they defend the country and earn a degree in their spare time? Cheryl Dowd and I attended the […]

Connecticut’s One-Stop Service Increases Enrollment and Retention

WCET has long been a champion of e-learning consortia, multi-institution efforts to partner to do more together than can be done by an individual campus. Today we feature one of them. In the past, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) has reported on its multi-campus e-tutoring program, which has been replicated elsewhere. In 2015 they […]

Education Department Confirms ‘Reciprocity’ Definition Clarification

Thank you Ted Mitchell! In his last hours as the Under Secretary of Education, Mitchell wrote a letter to Marshall Hill (Executive Director, NC-SARA) and me confirming the clarifications to state authorization regulations that Department staff made to me and I recently reported. The Department has long-supported reciprocity as a path to state authorization for […]

Education Department Clarifies Its Intent on State Authorization Reciprocity

To paraphrase Mark Twain: “The report of SARA’s death was an exaggeration.” Department of Education officials recently told me that they recognize the hard work over many years in creating interstate reciprocity agreements for state authorization. They also expressed surprise over the perceptions that their new state authorization regulations would harm reciprocity. In a call […]

Department of Education State Authorization Regs – Reactions and What’s Next?

It has been a busy few days since the U.S. Department of Education released the final version of its “State Authorization of Postsecondary Distance Education, Foreign Locations” regulations. You can see Cheryl Dowd’s and my initial take on the final rules, in which we were fine with many of the provisions, but alarmed at the changes regarding […]

A Lump of Coal for SARA and Other Goodies in the State Authorization Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education released its final version of the its long-awaited regulations on “State Authorization of Postsecondary Distance Education, Foreign Locations” earlier today.  They will be published next week with an effective date of July 1, 2018. What is proposed may be bad for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, but the regulations may […]

Will Higher Ed Regulations Weather the Perfect Storm Prepared to Sink Them?

Even George Clooney could not save the day as three storm fronts converged on his doomed fishing boat in 2000’s The Perfect Storm. Similarly, a new Republican President, Republican Congress, and an obscure law will come together to sink eight years of Obama Administration regulatory work. As Inside Higher Ed states this morning, some regulations […]

A New Year, a New Administration, a New Higher Education Act Reauthorization?

Earlier this year, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska called this election a “dumpster fire.” We were reminded of this insight by Terry Hartle (Senior Vice President, Division of Government and Public Affairs of the American Council on Education) at last week’s Presidents’ Forum. Hoping to raise the level of dialogue beyond that surrounding a dumpster […]