WCET & SAN Member Virtual Policy Series

A complimentary series of webinars for WCET and SAN Members

Join WCET’s policy experts the third Wednesday of March, April, and May for a deeper dive into the hot policy topics facing institutions today. The sessions will take place in Zoom webinar and attendees will have ample time to ask questions. Open to current WCET and SAN members.

Register for the free Policy Series which will take place at 10:00 AM PDT / 11:00 AM MDT / Noon CDT / 1:00 PM EDT. You can register for one or all topics; you will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link once your registration is approved.VITAC logo.

Live captioning is provided by our sponsor, VITAC. The webcast will be recorded and available to WCET and SAN members.

March 17: The Federal Outlook with a New Administration

What is on the horizon for higher education as the Biden administration makes its priorities known? Will Congress take steps to reauthorize the Higher Education Act? Discussion items will include: equity, pandemic relief, college affordability and debt relief, OPMs, accessibility, and apprenticeships and workforce education.

Participants: Van Davis, Mary Alice McCarthy, Russ Poulin

Moderator: Cheryl Dowd

April 21: Regular and Substantive Interaction

Regular and substantive interaction (RSI), the regulatory language that differentiates correspondence and distance education, continues to be a confusing yet critical element of the definition of distance education. New regulatory language is slated to go into effect on July 1, 2021. This session will focus on the new definition of regular and substantive interaction and answer member questions about RSI. Because of the technical nature of these regulations, this session will begin with a brief conversation on RSI and the remainder of the session will be Q&A.

Participants: Van Davis, Russ Poulin

Moderator: Cheryl Dowd

May 19: Professional Licensure Notifications for Prospective and Enrolled Students

Once associated with online programs, notifications are now required for all programs leading to professional licensure, regardless of modality. This session will focus on licensure notification Federal regulations as well as requirements for programs subject to SARA policy. Member questions will be answered about those requirements for prospective and enrolled students. Because of the technical nature of these regulations, this session will begin with a brief presentation on professional licensure notifications and the remainder of the session will be Q&A.

Participants: Cheryl Dowd, Russ Poulin, Jeannie Yockey-Fine

Moderator: Van Davis

May 26: WCET Closer Conversation: Policy Series Recap

Join our policy team for a Closer Conversation to discuss your lingering questions. WCET Closer Conversations are informal discussions hosted in Zoom meeting, and participants are invited to interact via video and/or chat. The audience size is limited to 50 participants. 

Register today for this opportunity, which will take place on May 26 at 11:00 AM PDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 1:00 PM CDT / 2:00 PM EDT. You will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link once your registration is approved. 

Discussion Leaders: Van Davis, Cheryl Dowd, Russ Poulin

Our Hosts:

Van DavisVan Davis, Chief Strategy Officer, WCET 
Van Davis is WCET's chief strategy officer. Previously he was principal at Foghlam Consulting, LLC where he focused on higher education policy, distance education, college affordability, adult learning, competency-based education, and educational technology. He has over 20 years of experience in higher education as a professor, academic administrator, state policymaker, and educational technology leader. Davis has also served as a senior fellow for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). From 2014 to 2019, he served on the board of PelotonU, a 501c3 that supports post-traditional students.

Cheryl DownCheryl Dowd, Senior Director, Policy Innovations, WCET
Cheryl Dowd directs the overall activities of WCET’s State Authorization Network, including coordination of staff addressing interstate policy and compliance as well as other ancillary compliance issues. Additionally, Dowd serves the overall WCET membership in addressing emerging and special regulatory issues related to digital learning in postsecondary education. Dowd is a contributing author for a guide book for understanding the legal basis for State and Federal compliance for activities of post-secondary institutions, State Authorization of Colleges and Universities. 

Russ PoulinRuss Poulin, Executive Director, WCET
Russ Poulin leads WCET, which focuses on the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. In his dual role as vice president for technology-enhanced education at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, he advises on policy and projects for the regional higher education compact. Poulin represented the distance education community on federal negotiated rulemaking committees and subcommittees. He has received recognition from the Presidents’ Forum, Excelsior College, and the National University Technology Network for his contributions to policies for technology-enhanced postsecondary education. He is also partial to movies, cats, and his wife, Laurie.

Special Guests:

" "Mary Alice McCarthy, Director, Center on Education & Labor, New America
Mary Alice McCarthy is the director of the Center on Education & Labor. Her work examines the intersection between higher education, workforce development, and job training policies. The Center is dedicated to building learning-based pathways to economic opportunity that can begin inside or outside of formal higher education. McCarthy’s writing has been featured in a diverse set of media outlets including the Washington Monthly, The Atlantic, and the Journal on Community College Research and Practice. She participates in a wide variety of public engagement, technical assistance, and coalition-building efforts aimed at improving postsecondary education policy and practice.

" "Jeannie Yockey-Fine, General Counsel, NC-SARA
Jeannie Yockey-Fine is general counsel at NC-SARA. She analyzes federal and state regulations, SARA policies, professional licensure issues and their impacts on SARA institutions, and related policy conversations. Prior to joining NC-SARA, Yockey-Fine held roles as senior state regulatory services specialist with Hogan Lovells, US, LLP, state regulatory services advisor with Cooley, LLP, and senior manager, state regulatory services at Dow Lohnes. In those roles, she assisted her clients with state-related authorizations, NC-SARA applications and related requirements, and state-level professional licensure issues. Previously she was licensure manager/education policy analyst at the Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education. Yockey-Fine has been an attorney since 1991.