Rethinking State Authorization, Again

Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education is contemplating going back to the drawing board on complex rules governing authority to operate online programs in multiple states.

January 23, 2019

Controversial regulations requiring online institutions to be authorized to operate in multiple states were up for debate last week as part of the Trump administration’s planned overhaul of higher education rules.

For online learning leaders, it was a case of déjà vu. Last week’s discussion at the U.S. Department of Education represents the third time in a decade that department officials have moved to reshape state authorization rules for distance education through a process known as negotiated rule making.

After almost 10 years of discussion, one thing is clear: state authorization is complex. Few groups agree on exactly how it should be done, or even if it should be done at all. Yet Education Department officials are optimistic they can find a way forward that will make the rules simpler for colleges. The test will be whether they can do so without significantly… (continue reading)