State Authorization: Education Pauses, Defense Follows, and We Webcast It All
Published by: WCET | 7/17/2014
It has been a few weeks since Ted Mitchell, the U.S. Department of Education’s Under Secretary for Postsecondary Education, announced that there will be a “pause” in proposing new federal state authorization regulations for distance education. According to Inside Higher Ed, he said: “It’s complicated, and we want to get it right.”
In this blog post, I comment on the future of the Department of Education’s “pause” and what this means for those signing the Department of Defense’s MOU. We also announce a partnership to bring you a series of two webcasts to help bring clarity on these (and many other) state authorization issues.
The U.S. Department of Education Regulation on “Pause”
As of last week, there were no immediate plans by the Department to move forward in issuing a new proposed language for the regulation. The official word is that they are on “pause” with the federal state authorization regulation. My guess is that they do “want to get it right” and that they take their time to create a new process.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Memorandum of Understanding Joins the “Pause”
The Department of Defense issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that institutions must sign if they wish to offer Tuition Assistance to their students in the military. We received questions about how to interpret the state authorization language, which, in part, refers to the U.S. Department of Education regulations. Of course, Education’s distance education regulation is on “pause” for now.
Question 29 addresses state authorization. Both Cooley and we (at WCET) are taking that response to mean that the Department of Defense will follow the Department of Education’s lead in the “pause” on enforcing state authorization. Since Defense has been referencing Education’s state authorization regulation all along, it makes sense that they wait until the Department of Education issues the new regulation.
Announcing Two State Authorization Webcasts
Need more updates and details? WCET partners with the Online learning Consortium, the University Professional & Continuing Education Association, and the Midwest Higher Education Compact’s State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement to offer two informational webcasts:
Learn more about these free webcasts. Separate registration is needed for each event and we do expect that they will fill-up. An archive of each webcast will be made available.
It is great that these organizations are working together to give you these updates.
Interim Co-Executive Director
WCET – WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
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