Committee to meet for final time to discuss state authorization

regulationsresizedThe U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee is nearing the end of its reworking of the federal online education regulations known as state authorization.

The language for the new guidelines is not expected to be finalized until later this week, but Russ Poulin, interim co-executive director of WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology, detailed some of the changes in recent blog posts.

A major part of the regulations, Poulin said, concern reciprocity agreements, voluntary arrangements between various states and regions that ease some of the regulatory burdens for students taking online courses in different states.

Some of the newly proposed language would change how states handle student complaints.

“There is still strong support for reciprocity in the language even though some negotiators would like to see (what I think are) very strict requirements on reciprocal agreements,” Poulin said.

The guidelines would also change the way that states handle exempting institutions from following state authorization. The Department of Education originally proposed that states could no longer exempt institutions based on accreditation or years of service, a change that had many worried, Poulin said, as 45 states currently use exemptions.

(Next page: What compliance could cost universities)


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