USDOE Will Not Enforce Its Distance Ed State Authorization Regs, but Questions Remain
From the WCET Blog
In a “Dear Colleague” letter issued on July 27, the U.S. Department of Education revealed that it will NOT enforce the controversial distance education provision of the state authorization regulations.
What Does This Mean for Institutions?
Institutions have been given the green light regarding the federal “state authorization” regulation, but still need to follow other state and federal rules.
For now, institutions will not need to worry about this federal regulation. We will need to keep watch as it could possibly reemerge in future rulemaking or higher education reauthorization processes, but Ms. McArdle gave no hint of that being the case.
However, institutions are not completely off the hook. In both the Dear Colleague letter and on the phone, Ms. McArdle was quick to remind us that institutions:
1. “must comply with the provisions found in § 600.9(a).” This provision has more to do with an institution being authorized in its “home” state than with other states where it is serving students at a distance.
2. “continue to be responsible for complying with the State laws as they relate to distance education.” We agree. Institutions often overlook the need to follow state laws regardless of whether there is a federal requirement or not.
3. must continue to inform students about external complaint processes that we blogged about and provided additional follow-up last year: “The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint.”
Review “Dear Colleague” Letter: http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1213.html