Online, higher-ed organizations offer guiding principles for evolving the HEA for 21st Century learners

hea-reauthFairness, innovation, and accountability are the three guiding principles Congress should use as it reviews the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in light the use of technology and online platforms for learning.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) have released recommendations for Congress to consider as it readies for HEA reauthorization.

“Current law and regulation trail innovation,” said Russ Poulin, director, policy and analysis, WCET. “While technology-mediated education greatly expands opportunities in higher education, the current federal regulatory system was designed for the traditional students of the past who were educated in a static setting that is very different from the reality experienced by the vast majority of postsecondary students today.”

According to a 2015 Babson Research Survey Group and Quahog Research Group, one-fourth of U.S. students are taking at least one course online. And in 2012, almost 63 percent of U.S. colleges and universities offered fully-online degree programs–nearly double the 32.5 percent who offered fully-online degree programs a decade earlier.

(Next page: The three guiding HEA principles)

Laura Ascione

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