Reflections on Online Education and Regulations

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Excerpt

This academic year marks the 20th anniversary of our online graduate program in informatics. As I mentioned in my last column (Skiba, 2017), I have been reflecting on the many changes that have happened in the realm of distance learning, including the various regulations now in place by federal and state regulatory bodies. In the old days, I did not need to check a matrix to see if I could admit a student from a particular state. I admitted students and provided them a quality education program, but those days are gone.
In case your school does not yet offer any online programs, here are some things you now need to consider. First, there have been numerous efforts at the federal level to connect Title IV funding for higher education institutions to state authorization compliance in terms of distance education programs (Parks & Dowd, 2017). Specifically, since 2010, the US Department of Education (DOE) has made several attempts to enact state authorization regulations. In December 2016, the DOE released regulations for State Authorization of Post Secondary Distance Education, Foreign Locations, with an enforcement date of July 1, 2018. As noted in the Federal Registry (DOE 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668 Federal Register/Vol. 81, No.
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