The Department’s state authorization for distance education rule is slated to go into effect July 1, 2018. Institutions should start preparing now.
State authorization requirements, particularly for online education programs, remain in flux even as more states join the state reciprocity compact, known as SARA, which applies to accredited institutions.
Last September, the New York Board of Regents issued new regulations requiring all degree-granting out-of-state institutions seeking to enroll New York residents in their online programs to obtain authorization from the Board.
On President Trump’s first day in office, the White House ordered a regulatory freeze to allow the incoming administration to review any new or pending regulations.
The Department of Education (ED or the Department) announced the publication of its final rule on state authorization for distance education programs on December 16, 2016.
After several rounds of public comment and revisions, the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE or Bureau) has issued final regulations significantly expanding the data reporting and disclosure requirements with respect to an institution’s Annual Report, Performance Fact Sheets, and website.
Last week, the Department of Education (ED or the Department) submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new or amended state authorization regulations. The proposed regulations relate to state authorization requirements that would become a condition of Title IV eligibility, including state approval requirements for distance education programs.
Governor Jerry Brown has now signed into law Senate Bill 81, which included language amending the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (the Act) to permit “independent institutions of higher education” (that is, non-profit, degree granting, accredited institutions formed in California) to meet federal requirements including access to the complaint resolution process managed by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
On Friday, June 19, 2015, the US Department of Education (ED or the Department) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-15-10) (DCL) reminding institutions that the current state authorization requirements (34 CFR § 600.9) will take effect on July 1, 2015 and that enforcement will not be delayed for another year.
The US Department of Education (ED or the Department) has decided against an earlier plan to send letters to every institution believed to be out-of-compliance (or rather, located in a state that is considered out-of-compliance) with the federal state authorization requirements at 34 C.F.R. § 600.9(a), also known as the “On-Ground Rule.” Compliance with the rule is a condition to eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs.
California recently enacted a new law that will significantly alter the regulation of many in-state and out-of-state postsecondary institutions. The new law will have an immediate impact on a number of issues, and it signals that further regulation is likely in the near future.