Author Archives: Russ Poulin

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

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 […]

Interpreting what is Required for “Regular and Substantive Interaction”

As greater numbers of students move into online and competency-based education programs, we have seen new interest in understanding the Department of Education’s regulations. In particular, faculty and administrators seek to understand how the Department interprets rules requiring courses to include “regular and substantive interaction,” especially in distance and competency-based education. Those of us in […]

The Future of Learning and Work

Today’s guest blogger is Jeremy Walsh of Learning House. He has spent his career helping organizations to reach their potential. As a dynamic leader, business developer, former pastor, small business owner, entrepreneur, and business consultant, he has a unique perspective on the convergence of technology and education.  He outlines many challenges facing higher education. What do […]

Lights, Camera, Action! – Developing Faculty in 20 Minutes

Change begins with an idea, and in the Instructional Design department at Walters State Community College, we are not afraid of change. We realize that technology is changing our world minute by minute, and by embracing that movement, Walters State continues to be on the cutting edge of the current technology allowing us to offer […]

Research on Distance Ed and Technological Advancements: An Update on DETA

What’s Been Up? The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) is wrapping up its second year of a national U.S. Department of Education funded effort to conduct rigorous research to identify key factors influencing student success in blended, online, and competency-based education. The DETA Research Toolkit was launched in 2015 intended […]