Category Archives: correspondence course

Higher Education Act – Innovations, Definitions, and State Authorization

When passed in 1965, the Higher Education Act (HEA) was intended to “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” Updated or “reauthorized” several times since then, the Act has historically housed most of federal resources and regulations for higher education […]

A Look Back at 2017 for WCET Frontiers: It’s Been Weird

What a weird year for news. Comic actress Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy Award for her Saturday Night Live portrayal of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. It is hard to say which was more surreal, her version of “Spicey” or the actual twisted logic used by Spicer himself. Here at WCET and the Frontiers […]

House HEA Proposes Changes for Distance Ed, CBE, and State Authorization

In a new bill regarding higher education rules proposed in the House of Representatives: all federal state authorization rules are ended, competency-based education gets a boost with “regular and substantive interaction” being redefined and expanded accreditation oversight, accreditation reviews for distance education are a thing of the past, some confusion remains over distance and online […]

What is Distance Education? – Definitions and Delineations

Close your eyes (not for too long) and answer the question: “What is distance education?” Did you envision the same concept and experiences as I did? Even though more than one-quarter of all higher education students in the United States and a roughly equivalent number in Canada now take at least one distance education course, […]

On the OIG/WGU Finding, Part 1: When Interaction Is Not Interaction

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report concluding: “We concluded that Western Governors University did not comply with the institutional eligibility requirement that limits the percentage of regular students who may enroll in correspondence courses. Therefore, the Department should require the school to return the $712,670,616 in Title […]

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 […]

Questions about EQUIP, Ed Department’s Expansion of Aid to New Providers

On Tuesday, The U.S. Department of Education announced (Department press release, Wall Street Journal story) the eight partnerships that were selected in the EQUIP (Educational QUality through Innovative Partnerships) experimental sites program. The Department sought collaborations between accredited institutions that offer federal financial aid and newer providers who were previously not eligible to offer aid. […]

Why We Need to Stop Using ‘Self-Paced’ in CBE Descriptions

Myk Garn is a long-time friend of WCET. He currently champions “new learning models” for the University System of Georgia. Myk also serves on the Board of Directors for the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). After recent discussions about attacks on the CBE model (see last week’s Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General’s criticism on […]

Department of Education State Authorization for Distance Ed Regulations-A First Look

This morning the U.S. Department of Education released its proposed new regulations (press release, proposed regulations) for the state authorization of distance education programs. Institutional personnel and the public are invited to submit comments by August 24. This post will focus on the contents of the proposal. In this post, we will: Summarize the major […]

Is Your Distance Education Course Actually a Correspondence Course?

St. Mary-of-the-Woods College should refund $42 million in federal financial aid dollars that it disbursed to students over a five year period.  That is the finding of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General, which found that many “distance education” courses should have been classified as “correspondence” courses. From the recently-released Final […]