Category Archives: U.S. Department of Education

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 […]

Senate Weighs Innovation and Access Options in Reauthorizing Higher Ed Act

The Senate is moving ahead with deliberations on its version of a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). Yesterday morning, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing focusing on “access and innovation.” Much was said about such issues as competency-based education, distance education, accountability, supporting students outside the classroom, and […]

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, […]

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 […]