Category Archives: U.S. Department of Education

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nine Organizations Partner on Official Comments for State Authorization Regulations

Nine higher education organizations partnered to submit comments to the Department of Education regarding its proposed state authorization regulations for distance education. By working unison, we provided a strong and consistent single voice in making recommendations to the Department. The Partners Contributing to the letter are six distance learning associations with total memberships of over […]

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. […]