Jan. 23, 2024: Help us ramp up for our 2024 National Conference, June 17-20

HELLO FRIENDS — To all who joined us for our first annual Public Policy Week (PPW), we thank you! If you missed the four-day event or want to re-watch any of the sessions, click here to access the presentations: usdla.org/2024-ppw.

TODAY: We are excited to share more information about our 2024 National Conference, June 17-20, in St. Louis. We want as many of you as possible to have the opportunity to submit your application to be a speaker and also to be considered for a USDLA award, so we have extended our deadline for submissions to Jan. 31.


We’ll reach out again on Thursday with our USDLA Brief. Until then, have a beautiful week! — Hope Katz Gibbs, USDLA Communications Director

USDLA SPOTLIGHT IS ON: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Please join us for this month’s episode of our podcast and video show, Distance Learning Roundtable, when, for 30 minutes, we gain insights from industry experts.

Meet our guests: Dr. Heather F. Perfetti, president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and Nicole Biever, the organization’s Chief of Staff

Today’s Topic: The importance of credentialing for US colleges — and what the future holds

About this episode: Today, we are thrilled to talk with the leaders of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is a global institutional accreditor recognized by the United States Secretary of Education that has been in operation since 1952. As an accreditor and member of the regulatory triad, MSCHE assures students and the public of the educational quality of its 500 higher education institutions. The Commission’s accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission. I had the privilege of attending this year’s national conference in Philadelphia, and it was a remarkable event attended by more than 1400 professionals.

INDUSTRY NEWS: Major Changes to Distance Ed Proposed: Department of Education Back to Rulemaking Table

January 2024: In this issue of WCET, we learn, “Here we go again! Significant changes to postsecondary distance education operations emerged from the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Winter 2024 negotiated rulemaking discussion.”

The authors explain: The proposed changes could be huge, and we suggest you read or scroll through this post to see what might affect you and your students. For example, state authorization reciprocity could be greatly limited, distance education programs could be required to take attendance in every course, and all “inclusive access” programs from publishers could be eliminated.

In early January, the Department convened a set of “negotiators” to consider regulatory changes as authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Negotiated rulemaking is a multi-step process that the Department may use to develop regulations to implement federal law. For our purposes, the Department is developing regulations to address the process and compliance for institutions to participate in Title IV HEA Programs.

Click here for an overview of the Department’s rulemaking process and an analysis of the issues in this new rulemaking that affect institutions serving students through digital technologies and interstate distance education.