Over the past decade, state and federal governments have attempted to regulate online education and react to its transformative influence on higher education. But never before has the government assumed such a level of involvement as in the past two years. We now face a new normal, and all involved are scrambling to prepare for the near- and long-term effects of today’s complex concoction of regulatory measures.
If your school offers online courses and programs, this shift in the relationship between government and institutions of higher education matters to you. Eduventures has released a comprehensive Insight to provide clarity and guidance to institutions that seek to steer clear of strategic obstacles. The Update on State Authorization and Distance Learning: Is the Roller Coaster Ride Over Yet? is the fourth of its kind, part of a continued effort by Eduventures to keep our partners abreast of these key developments.
This iteration of the Update on State Authorization and Distance Learning details the period since October 2010, when the federal government first ruled on state authorization of distance learning offered by out-of-state schools. Since that critical moment, this issue has been a roller coaster of unexpected twists and turns. In the last two years, the clash between place-bound regulation and borderless learning has galvanized and perplexed the higher education community like no other distance learning issue prior.
By reviewing both federal regulations and state-by-state implementation, Eduventures has provided the fundamental analysis that will be critical to institutions seeking to thrive in this volatile environment. Our team of experts and analysts have combed through both the letter and implementation of the law, parsing whether authorization is required for online enrollment, internships and practicums, faculty residence, and in-person recruitment. Eduventures also has looked closely at the draft interstate compact, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which was developed in April and is currently under review. If SARA, which currently has the support of the four regional higher-education associations, is ratified, home states would regulate all of a school’s activity, thereby building on existing regional relationships rather than attempting to impose a national structure under a new organization.
Eduventures will continue to examine, assess, and guide as the federal government, the states, and online institutions hash out the future of distance learning and online education. If this report or our other work in this sphere could benefit your institution, contact Laura Boothroyd, Director of Consulting, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-532-9818 to discuss how best to partner with Eduventures.