Online Learning Update

July 31, 2012

Backing Off on State Authorization

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 1:18 pm

By Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed

Do the states have the will / resources to enforce state authorization now that the US Dept of Ed has announced it will not enforce the rules?

In the wake of the program integrity rules, some states have changed their authorization requirements, in some cases making it more difficult or expensive for colleges to get permission to operate, said Russell Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis with the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies.As efforts to overturn the rule made their way through the courts and Congress last year, Poulin had warned that the genie was out of the bottle: states would likely seek to enforce authorization laws already on the books even if the federal requirement was thrown out. That’s still true, Poulin said Monday night. But he added that many states don’t have the manpower to enforce the authorization rule, and without the threat of federal enforcement nudging colleges to comply, many might wait to get caught rather than seeking authorization in advance.

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