There are plenty of activities on the State Authorization front this week.  Below are announcements about:

  • State Authorization Network Year 3 — Call for Members
  • State Authorization Compliance Workshop — April 21, 2013
  • Latest State Authorization Reciprocity Draft Released — Give Your Feedback

Watch for an update on the military and state authorization later this week.

State Authorization Network Year 3 — Call for Members

WCET invites new members to join its State Authorization Network (SAN) for the program year that runs from April 1, 2013 to March 30, 2014.  The Network was developed to assist institutional personnel who are trying to comply with state regulations and wish to keep current with the different regulations of each state and the federal government.  The Network is based upon a simple premise:

Working collaboratively, institutions can navigate the state regulatory processes more efficiently than working on their own.  Photo of a sign that reads: "Notice: Authorized Personnel Only"

Since reciprocity is probably at least a year away from reaching a large number of states, there still is a need to pay attention to state-by-state compliance.  SAN members are systems, consortia of institutions, or individual institutions.  Each SAN member appoints two ‘Coordinators’ and WCET provides training on the regulations, access to experts on the issues, strategies on how to proceed, and networking among participants so that they can share what they learn when exploring each state’s regulations.  One of the greatest benefits has been the sharing that occurs when Network members identify problems that they encounter when seeking compliance in a state.  SAN gives you an early warning on upcoming bumps in the road to compliance.  By sharing expertise, your institution can save time by learning from others.

State Authorization Compliance Workshop — April 21, 2013

In connection with the NASASPS meeting (the national gathering of state regulators), WCET will be hosting a workshop focused on assisting those who are charged by their institution in complying with state authorization regulations.  The main outcomes of the meeting will be:

  • Sharing among participants on best practices in organizing for and pursuing compliance.
  • Learning from guest state regulators about complying with their own state regulations and receiving general advice on how to interact with regulators.
  • Obtaining an update on the reciprocity agreement.

While this event is sponsored by the State Authorization Network, it is open to all.  It will be held:

Sunday April 21, 2013
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sacramento, CA

See the WCET website for more information on the Workshop agenda and how to register.

Latest State Authorization Reciprocity Draft Released — Give Your Feedback

Today (February 25, 2013), the Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education released its penultimate report.  Please review this final draft and provide feedback through this blog or direct to me via email by Friday March 8.

Reciprocity is coming together and you will hear more about it in the coming weeks.  Efforts to educate representatives from each state on how to implement reciprocity and institutions on how to participate in the agreement will begin next month.

A Brief History of the Reciprocity Agreement

Three groups worked on the reciprocity agreement:

  • The Presidents’ Forum and the Council of State Governments received a grant from Lumina Foundation to create a model reciprocity agreement in 2010.  Their work started prior to the issuance of the federal regulation and their Drafting Team has worked with a variety of stakeholders (regulators, institutions, accreditors, presidential associations) to develop their model State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
  • The Presidents’ Forum/CSG work was aimed at creating a model, they never planned to be the entities to implement it.  Lead by WICHE (the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education), the regional higher education compacts (including NEBHE, MHEC, and SREB) decided to build on the SARA model agreement.  Beginning in January 2012, they began working on an implementation version of the agreement.  The resulting implementation plan leveraged the historic missions of  these compacts in creating interstate partnerships to address higher education issues.
  • Created by APLU (Association of Public and Land-grant Universities) and SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers), the Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education held its first meeting in late June of 2012.  The Commission has reviewed the reciprocity options and obtained feedback from a wide range of institutions and accreditors that have a stake in reciprocity.  Their current report draws heavily on the work of the Presidents’ Forum, Council of State Governments, and the regional compacts.

All of the groups cited above are now working together and are supporting the reciprocity report released by the Commission.

April State Authorization Implementation Meeting

With support from Lumina Foundation, the Presidents’ Forum is organizing a meeting on April 16-17 in Indianapolis to discuss steps for states to take in implementing the agreement.  Attendees will learn  about  details of the agreement, discuss what types of legislation (if any) might be needed for a state to implement it, and identify additional steps a state would need to take to participate in reciprocity. SHEEO has been working with states to identify three-person teams from each state. Space is limited, so this will not be an open invitation meeting.  Additional reciprocity, are in the planning stages but are not set at this time.Photo of Russ Poulin

Russell Poulin
Deputy Director, Research & Analysis
Twitter:  @russpoulin

Photo credit: Morgue file

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