U.S. Department of Education’s Latest Proposed Changes

  • Timezone : US/Mountain
  • Date : April 26, 2024 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Meeting Type : Closer Conversation

In recent rulemaking, the U.S. Department of Education proposed significant changes affecting institutions’ distance education offerings including state authorization, reciprocity for distance education, attendance taking requirements, and digital learning materials. The proposed changes will dramatically change the way we serve online learners.  

The U.S. Department of Education aims to protect students as consumers and ensure that federal financial aid funds are spent appropriately. These are important goals, but there will be additional consequences for students, faculty, and staff. 

In this WCET member Closer Conversation, our policy team discussed how these changes may affect institutions. Topics of discussion included: 

  • Requiring attendance taking for all distance education courses,  
  • categorizing all distance education programs as a “virtual location,” 
  • changes to state authorization and out-of-state distance education reciprocity, and  
  • substantially changing “inclusive access” programs that include books and resources in tuition and fees.   

Discussion Leaders:

Van Davis

Chief Strategy Officer, WCET


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Cheryl Dowd

Senior Director, State Authorization Network & WCET Policy Innovations


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Russ Poulin

Executive Director, WCET & Vice President for Technology-Enhanced Education, WICHE



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