Category Archives: U.S. Department of Education

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, […]

OIG Report on WGU, Part 3: A Brief History of ‘Regular and Substantive Interaction’

Thank you to Van Davis for this third entry on our series examining the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Audit Report of Western Governors University. Today, Van examines the changing nature of definitions used over time. Is it just me or is it hard to comply with changing definitions? Thank you, Van! […]

The OIG Report on WGU, Part 2: React…But Don’t Overreact

It has been more than a week since the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its Final Audit Report declaring that “Western Governors University Was Not Eligible to Participate in the Title IV Programs.” Both of us (Russ Poulin, WCET and Van Davis, Blackboard) have been following the activities surrounding the […]

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 […]

Need Your Input: What Matters to You in Counting Distance Education Activities?

It is said that we count what we value. It is also said that not everything that can be counted has value. Can you help tell the difference when measuring distance education activities? The U.S. Department of Education needs your help in discerning what data it should be collecting about distance education and hybrid/blended learning. […]

We Need YOU! …to comment on Federal State Authorization Regulations

The Department of Education seeks comments about higher education regulations that may be “appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” WCET and the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN) will comment about the federal state authorization regulations that are scheduled to be effective on July 1, 2018. In recent months, we have seen several federal higher education […]

Federal Regulations: Delays, Reviews, and a Call for Comments

Federal higher education regulations are under fire and the Department of Education wants your input. Let’s give it to them. Only the Teacher Prep regulations suffered the quick death of the Congressional Review Act. Several other postsecondary consumer protection regulations now face delayed enforcement and/or possible death by committee. Recent Department Actions on Delays and […]

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. […]

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 […]