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In the ever-evolving education landscape, staying informed about the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities is crucial for educators, administrators, and policymakers. We support the Department of Education’s goals in protecting students and financial aid expenditures. Some proposed changes are right on the mark while others may cause more harm than good.

If you’re passionate about distance education and eager to navigate the changing regulatory landscape, then WCET and SAN’s upcoming meeting – Distance Ed at a Crossroads: The Changing Landscape of New Regulations – is an event you won’t want to miss.

What is this? Why should I attend?

This face-to-face event, hosted by WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) and SAN (the State Authorization Network), brings together experts and thought leaders to explore possible changes to the regulations shaping the future of distance education.

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Topics will include consideration of the proposed regulations, including:

  • Requiring attendance taking for ALL distance education courses.
  • For institutions participating in a distance education reciprocity agreement:
    • Limit of 500 students enrolled by the institution in a state for two consecutive years for the institution to maintain state authorization through reciprocity.
    • Requiring that the institution comply with any state-specific closure laws in the state where the student is located such as paying a surety bond, paying into a tuition recovery fund, or meeting the state records retention requirements or teach-out plans.
  • Creating a “virtual location” and other requirements to assist the Department in collecting more data about distance education programs and students.
  • Disallowing the use of Title IV financial aid for asynchronous courses in programs that use the clock hour method.
  • Changing the thresholds for accreditation “substantive change” approvals for distance education programs.
  • Limiting the ability for institutions to include books, materials, or supplies in tuition and fees. Only incarcerated students or students who opt into such programs will have those charges included in tuition and fees if the costs of those materials are at or below market value.

Some questions to spark your interest:

1. Are you up to date on the latest proposed regulatory changes affecting distance education?

2. How can we ensure equitable access to high-quality online education while maintaining regulatory compliance?

3. What are the possible implications of the Department’s proposals for online students and programs?

4. Are you prepared to navigate possible changes to state authorization reciprocity for interstate distance education?

5. How do you communicate these proposals and their possible impact to colleagues and leaders at your institution?

6. How might these changes benefit your students…and your institution?

At this one-and-a-half-day event, we will:

  • Empower you and your institution with a more comprehensive understanding of the current regulatory landscape.
  • Explore innovative approaches to address student access challenges and promote inclusivity in online learning environments.
  • Consider how to align institutional practices with accreditation requirements.
  • Discover best practices for ensuring compliance with state regulations and fostering interstate collaboration in online education.
  • As a community, identify proactive measures to protect student data and explore emerging trends that will equip us with the tools necessary to uphold regulatory standards.

Join “Distance Ed at a Crossroads” to gain insights on online learning regulatory compliance from experts and peers. Register now to save your seat!

Lindsey Downs

Assistant Director, Communications and Community, WCET




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Cheryl Dowd

Senior Director, State Authorization Network & WCET Policy Innovations


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Grammarly AI assisted in writing this post by creating an outline and helping me rephrase a paragraph to make it “more constructive.”


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