Plan Seeks to Streamline Transfer of Online Courses Across State Lines
By Ben Pokross
Leaders in online education are nearing completion of a plan to streamline the procedures required to offer classes in multiple states, saving colleges time and money.
To gain approval for national financial-aid programs, colleges must receive authorization from any state in which they are offering courses. Each state’s rules for granting this authorization vary widely, however, and some are far more stringent than others, said Paul H. Shiffman, executive director of the Presidents’ Forum, a group of online institutions and regulators. While the statutes might differ, however, the essential information is the same. “Most states ask the same questions, in general,” said Mr. Shiffman, inquiring about the personnel, accreditation, and curriculum of the college offering the course. Those questions are now asked in different ways that cannot be transferred from state to state, however.