Category Archives: U.S. Department of Education

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 […]

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 […]