State Approval: A "Starter" List
Published by: Russ Poulin | 1/26/2011
The DRAFT version of our state-by-state list of regulatory agencies is now available on WCET’s state approval update page. This document is a joint publication of WCET, the Southern Regional Education Board, the American Distance Education Consortium, and the University of Wyoming. We have agreed to jointly do the research and openly share this information to help the distance education community.
If you read the many caveats in the document, you will note that this is a work that was assembled to drive to give some initial guidance for institutions that are wondering who to contact and what to look for in each state. It is a “starter” list.
Feedback on Our Draft and Sharing of Experiences
We do consider this a draft document and would like feedback to improve it. We are sending it to the state regulators listed in the draft and we would like them to send us corrections by February 18. We plan to create an updated document by the end of February based on those corrections. In some states (Maryland, Ohio, and Utah) this will continue to be a moving target, as we have heard that legislation or regulatory changes may be coming.
We would also like to crowdsource the institutional experiences you are having in contacting the states and in deciphering how you should respond to each state. We have created a form to collect your experiences and the experiences submitted will be openly shared so that you can learn from the experiences
Last week, Eduventures released state-by-state information in their presentation: “Online Learning Across State Boundaries: Assessing State Regulation of Out-of-State Schools.” You can obtain a copy of this document by contacting Blair Maloney at email@example.com.
For institutions researching the state approval issue, we recommend that you exam both the Eduventures document and our “Starter List.” While there is overlap in some information, each report covers items not covered in the other.
The last I heard, the Dow Lohnes law firm is about ready to release their in-depth analysis. That document will be available for a fee and I will let you know more about it once it is published.
This Ain’t Easy
I know that people don’t like to hear this, but each institution needs to perform much of the investigation on its own. Given the mix of different regulations in each state and the mix of activities that an institution could be doing in that state, the permutations are too numerous to fit in any matrix.
A huge thank you to my colleagues at the partner organizations who conducted the research for this document. We all went through the transformation from “how hard can this be” to “hey, this ain’t easy.” I hope that you will remember that and appreciate the effort to help you as much as we can.
Deputy Director, Research & Analysis