Update on Federal Regulations Impacting Distance Education During the Pandemic

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In Harold Ramis’ 1993 classic, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray portrays a television weatherman sent to cover Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day who ends up repeating the day over and over again. At first, Murray’s character, Phil Connors, uses the time loop to his advantage—binge eating, having one night stands, committing robbery, and manipulating local residents […]

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Licensing Certification and Dispersed Students, Oh My! 

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Institutions have juggled many issues to maintain educational continuity during the pandemic. WCET has addressed accessibility, Veterans benefits, crisis coordination, Open Educational Resources, the U.S. Department of Education’s ability to exercise enforcement discretion for Title IV eligibility , and more! However, we must now address the issue of institutional management of state licensing board requirements […]

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Open in a Time of Crisis

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As an ongoing part of WCET’s efforts to help faculty and staff respond to the pandemic, today Tanya Spilovoy, our resident Open Educational Resources (OER) expert, takes a look at the role openness and OER can play as institutions move away from rushing to deliver remote instruction to more deliberately designed online courses for the […]

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New Regulations #3: Direct Assessment and Competency-Based Education

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In case you missed it, the Department of Education finally released the last set of regulations from its epic 2019 negotiated rulemaking process on April 1st. And, no, it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. This is the third and final part of WCET’s analysis of the proposed rules. Part one of our analysis details […]

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What’s Next? Surviving in Lifeboats. Getting to Summer Term and Beyond.

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This week WCET is starting a new series of blog posts on what distance education leaders should be thinking about as we move past the initial pivot to remote learning. The series, “What’s Next?” will focus on a variety of topics aimed at helping you prepare for the summer term and beyond. Many of these […]

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New Regulations Review #2: Credit Hour, Title IV Eligibility, & What Exactly is a Week?

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On April 1st, the Department of Education finally released the last set of regulations from its epic 2019 negotiated rulemaking process. On April 3rd WCET posted an analysis of proposed changes to the definition of distance education including (finally) a proposed definition of regular and substantive interaction. Today we are examining several other aspects of […]

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New Regulations Review #1: Regular & Substantive Interaction

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Much to everyone’s surprise, the Department of Education finally released the last set of regulations from last year’s negotiated rulemaking for public comment on April 1st (and it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke—we checked).  This post will examine the proposed changes to the distance education and credit hour definitions. We’ll have another post early […]

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Not Fooling – A Third Package of Proposed Regs Has Arrived

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**Update: On 4/2/2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it amended the public comment period timeline. The text below has been updated to reflect this update.** The third package has arrived! In the midst of managing rapid conversion of face-to-face courses to online to maintain academic continuity during a pandemic, we received the third […]

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Support for Veterans Shown by Congress’ Quick Response to Preserve GI Benefits during COVID-19

The dynamic conversion of face-to-face courses to online format at post-secondary institutions nationwide due to the closing of campuses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic became a concern for our nation’s veterans who rely on GI Bill benefits. As we previously reported, institutions that provide GI Bill benefits to veterans for programs must follow a […]

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