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Call for Action: Contact Elected Officials About Proposed Distance Education Regulations

Important proposed regulations affecting distance education were discussed during the Department of Education’s Program Integrity and Institutional Quality negotiated rulemaking sessions that ended on March 7.

In brief, you should take action:

  • Learn about what was proposed.
  • Make your voice known on what you support and what you do not support.

The Background

On March 20th, we published a blog update on the final week of negotiated rulemaking. Despite tons of suggestions and hours of discussion, none of the distance and digital education issues reached “consensus” among the negotiators. That leaves the Department responsible for writing proposed rules and there is no obligation for the Department to use the language discussed or negotiated by the committee.

As a quick reminder, the Department put forward proposed language on a number of issues including:

  • state authorization for in-state institutions,
  • state reciprocity for distance education,
  • attendance taking in all distance education courses,
  • disallowing aid for asynchronous clock hour courses,
  • changing the accreditation review thresholds for distance education,
  • creating a “virtual location” for all distance education programs, and,
  • restricting when books and resources can be included in tuition and fees.

These proposals will change which students enroll in distance education and how institutions offer distance education.

Institutions should carefully consider the possible positive and negative impacts on students.

Because the impact of proposed regulations on distance education will be significant, we urge you to begin working with your government relations department and contact your elected representatives. [...}

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