Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee – Morning Session February 12


you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you be handing around a summary of six 68.5
on written arrangements that is of the explanatory language but the only thing
I’m what it’s not stapled and there are two pages so be certain that as I pass
it around you take I’m going to pass it only one way to avoid confusion because
if I try to do it both ways I’ll screw up and not pass the pages but I pass it
around make sure that you pages each okay we are waiting for paper or hard copies
of the latest red lines so this should be delivered any time hopefully and I
guess we’ll get started then we can at least review I’ll go over the agenda for
today first of all I want to welcome you all back to our subcommittee sorry the
weather’s not any better than this and hope you all had a had a nice a nice
trip in I’m a little tired this morning I didn’t get to bed till 1:30 but it’s
not my own dissipated ways that caused that I’m on a hallway with a lot of
teenage kids are on a trip so they were making a lot of noise and and about
11:30 at night as I was tempted to go out and say something to them I flashed
back to my own youth the in the hubris and arrogance of my teen years whenever
adults yell to me I used to think there’s a pathetic old man whose best
years are behind him and I feel sorry for him because he just yelled a bunch
of kids and I figured now I’m him so I I didn’t I exercise the discretion being
the better part of valor I did not go out and confront said young people so um
because I want to be the cool middle-aged guy not that guy so thank
you so tonight if they make noise yeah I’m just gonna button yell you know I
suppose right we just didn’t want you to be in the hospital yeah yes you know but
all night long like the ice machine how many times can you go to the ice machine
you know it’s like how much ice do you need take a bucket anyway um and you
know kids they slam the doors all night long I just being typical teenagers they
weren’t bad but at this point in my life you know I’ve got one at home and that’s
enough all right so we do have the agenda here
for I just let’s just go over the agenda briefly and take a look at what we’re
going to be doing today and tomorrow starting this morning we are going to
you see what we kind of we want to do as a we as you aware we have not gone over
every every every every change that we need to so we do have some left we
haven’t addressed yet well in 668 but this morning we want to go back and
revisit the definition of distance education and course a correspondence
course state authorization and distance edge of state authorization of distance
education and David’s going to walk you through that we do have some red line
changes there to look at we wanted to do that because of what we discussed
previously these two topics are sort of well not by no means the only topics
they’re sort of the major the major issues so we wanted to go back and sort
of address that early on and get that out of the way you can see this
afternoon I’m following lunch we will have a discussion of equip and it was
where we were requested to provide an overview update on equip so as it turns
out the department’s foremost expert on equip is our very own David musser who’s
right here so it was very convenient that we didn’t have to go outside of our
group to get that so at 1:15 David will do a little overview of equip I’ll talk
about that answer any questions that you might have related to to equip and then
you can see there that after after we’ve completed that we’re going to go into
the remainder of the agenda that we have it that we’ve yet to review so you can
see those items there that we did not broach in the last session that we had
finally a Wednesday morning we have accreditation definitions and other
items previously reviewed and that would be going back looking at some of the
things we reviewed before looking it updated red lines and then and Wednesday
afternoon the same thing and then finally what we want to have before we
tomorrow we want to make certain that we have time for this because I think it’s
really important is a discussion about reporting to the main committee so
obviously we want to have our people are going to do that prepared so that they
know what’s expected and have what they need to to go and do that next next week
we have a pretty ambitious agenda I understand that we have a lot to discuss
so what I’d like to stress as we keep in mind as we go through the next two days
is to try to direct your comments towards the topic at hand either and if
you know if we if we have if we’re discussing a topic if you agree you can
make that point if you if you disagree it’s very helpful if in disagreeing you
can propose other language where if you don’t like what’s there what would you
like to see it’s not a guarantee that that will happen but we as I said before
we want to make certain that the views of the entire subcommittee are shared
with the main committee so if you have a disagreements with what’s there please
let us know if if you believe if your feeling is that we shouldn’t regulate in
that area or we should keep the regulations as they are you can make
that point as well but I think we should try to direct our comments to how we can
how we can get to something to recommend to they recommended the committee so I
would like to stay focused on on that we do have new red lines which will come
shortly which hopefully reflect some of what our discussion was last time we
have a couple other things we’ll be handing out to some of the some
documents provided by members of the subcommittee we’ll be handing out we do
have a response to a data request as well that we’ll be doing so hopefully
the everything will show up soon but I in the interest of time I think we
should we can get started here with our with our discussion I don’t think I have
any more housekeeping any more housekeeping items as you can see last
will be promptly at 12:00 we’ll try to take a break in the morning and want to
get in the afternoon probably go to five o’clock today tomorrow and I know all of
you will be trying to get home so we hope to conclude no later than 4:00
tomorrow afternoon so again that gives us a fairly ambitious agenda so
threatening any questions anybody has before we start go ahead
good morning glad to see all of you again I’m just curious if there’s a plan
to get what’s being circulated to us online or how people other people
outside of this room we’re gonna have access to sort of all of the great
thoughts that we’ve shared and whatever you guys will be sharing with us today
we will we’re going to post on a website everything that we give you so that’ll
all settle I’ll be up there so everybody will be able to see what happens here
I’ve heard our our subcommittee has very good rating so you know we’re I’m well
I’m not gonna say by whom I’m just saying that when my when our contracts
come up for renegotiation we’re all going to demand a lot more you know we
get to that million dollar an episode thing and friends or whatever will be
will be real good will be like you know Game of Thrones we’re only shoot one
season and go a year and a half and then you know somehow I don’t think that’s
gonna be happening but wishful thinking all right uh that said I’m sorry Jessica
on the paper you just handed out it says deliberative draft document not for
distribution outside the department is that just leftover I assume things like
this can in fact be distributed this could be yet yes for the committee but
now that it’s um now that it’s been distributed to everybody yes you can
share it outside this committee just making sure things yeah we’ll take we’ll
take it off those copy yeah there sure I mean it’s obviously been shared there’s
nothing that we couldn’t share outside the committee with us okay with that I’m
going to turn it over to David musser and he’ll begin with a discussion of
definitions of distance education and correspondence okay thanks Greg first
I’d like to start out with just a couple of housekeeping items about how we can
we should address this issue so the department after our last session went
back and attempted to come up with red line language that reflected the
discussions that were had subcommittee last time we’re still
working on getting those printed for everyone this morning and no but they’ll
be coming down here pretty soon so while we wait for those I’d like to go through
the suggestions that we’ve received on each of these topics from the
subcommittee members themselves and ask you guys to kind of briefly go through
what you’ve what you’ve proposed why you’ve proposed it and maybe have a
little bit of discussion around the table about how folks feel about about
those proposals as soon as the department’s language comes down I’ll do
the same thing and explain a little bit about what what we’ve cut what we came
up with why we we thought that it reflected the discussion around the
table and then we can have some further discussion about you know which of which
things you guys prefer and which things you might want to recommend out to the
full committee the goal as Greg mentioned is to come up with suggestions
that we can propose to the full committee reflecting majority a minority
or everyone’s view of and recommendations for the topic so with
that if it’s okay with you guys I would like to start with definition of
distance education that and we received some language from Jillian and Lea and
if I’m reading this correctly so we got some new language this morning from
Jillian and and I believe it supersedes Jillian’s we sent around some of that
information it’s of an earlier version of that last time but this is the one
that we should look at we should disregard that that previous language
okay so I will turn it over to you guys to to talk us through what you’ve
proposed and yeah it is also up on the big screen
so folks who are on on this side of the room yeah I may have to turn around if
you want to if you want to watch Scott scroll through so I start by say by
saying I think this was sort of iterative on my first version which was
iterative on what the department had proposed to us I think with respect to
the first part where it talks about sort of the language that we’re already
familiar with in terms of the dissipation definition and the
technology’s trying to keep it as close to the existing statutory language just
because I felt like sort of the right thing to do and felt a bit safer and
then two and three are sort of new ads you hear so – regular interaction is
defined as being initiated by the instructor and separately we propose
actually defining what instructor is so you’ll see that at the bottom of the
page according through predictable and regular intervals so this is probably
familiar language to Dave because it came off of a PowerPoint from I think a
couple years ago when he was sort of talking about what regular is and then
covering the period of time prior to completion of all required assignments
and demonstration of competency so again that language that was in the
department’s original red line and then the substantive piece you know we had
conversation about wanting to make sure that we’re acknowledging the creditor
role in this and then I don’t think you know in the spirit of the triad I don’t
think we’re interested necessarily and having the Department to define what
sort of academic in nature looks like and so I tried to bridge that the best
we could with delivering an academic process consistent with sap requirements
that engages students in teaching and learning and providing a systematic and
continual assessment of student learning outcomes so trying to put some
guardrails around that and then in six hundred point two proposed the
definition of instructor so I can read that an instructor can
include one or more persons employed by the institution making up an
instructional team so long as this team includes at least one faculty member is
defined by the criteria established by the institution’s accrediting agency who
independently or as a member of an instructional team must provide regular
and substantive interactions to students I’ll just add some insights from
conversations I’ve had with the creditors because the prior language you
know referenced as determined by accrediting agencies one of the concerns
brought to me was would this set up kind of fifteen or eighteen different ways
based on the institutional accreditor how this is determined and then what
would be the ripple effect when program reviews were taking place and kind of
coming back to the accreditors rules on regular and substantive so one of the
deliberate recommendations that we had here was to make this language that
would fold into all accreditation activities and fold into all program
reviews that are looking at distance education for title four gatekeeping
purposes I just wanted to make that clear and then the other piece of this
is you know as we’re thinking of instructional models and and different
ways the students are learning and distance ed whether it’s adaptive
technologies competency-based direct assessment we wanted to get away from
measuring lengths and instances in terms of time but more academic progress
evidence of student learning rather than you know a touch point once per week
that may or may not be meaningful to a student you know what is a meaningful
assessment activity and that’s why we wanted to build satisfactory academic
progress into this typically satisfactory academic progress is
reviewed by accreditation you know in conjunction with a renewal or initial
accreditation it’s typically followed up on every time an institution works
through subjective changes adding new programs so it’s really kind of baked in
to Quality Assurance with accreditation which is another reason why we wanted to
add that we collaborated with Russ who had some few points based on some
conference he had so I wanted you know Russ to kind
of share his input and we added a note we’ve had some back and forth about
initiations of activities between students and faculty being done by a
faculty member so I would like Russ to talk about that and then we just love to
hear from all of you what your reactions are to this proposal and and see if we
can get somewhere maybe you know towards consensus among this group as to what we
could recommend to the main committee thank you so much for listening so thank
you yeah and thank you for your for your work on this and then the feedback that
I’ve been getting from some of the competency-based education people is
that it then it’s a and they may be calling on unday vyd who has a lot of
experience with this to maybe give some of his some of his thoughts in terms of
working in a competency-based program but with competency-based education that
I’ve had feedback from a few institutions that say that the initiated
by the instructor ends up being being problematic at times because the the
nature of competency-based education that there are times where you set up a
general plan either with the instructor or with the academic coach or whoever
the whoever’s working with them or with both of both of those and then that
there’s the next thing happens or the student and indicates that they’re ready
for the competency exam when they’ve done done the work and it’s in I know
that’s on the slippery slope towards correspondence education but it is
there’s there’s far more interactivity in what’s going on and competency based
education and there is in either either correspondence or in the traditional
course in terms of that there’s a lot more back and forth between what’s going
on with the instructor and sometimes that comes from the some of the student
the other is through what to do about predictable and regular intervals on
that when you have a program when you have a instructional model that is
almost by definition irregular how do we how do we get that and so
they had been working with Gillian Lea and we were coming up with all sorts of
ways to work on this and we didn’t didn’t play anything forward but those
were definite issues that were brought up and you know one thought that we had
was well they the closest thing we have to a solution is to try to define
competency-based education if that’s allowed and then somehow have carve out
for that in the distance education mode is one way to that’s the the best way we
have right now in terms of moving forward but certainly are interested in
feedback from others because as Jillian and Lea know Lord we tried other things
to try it between the last time this time and seem like we were getting more
complicated than less kind of then we’d have things that would be hard to do but
David I beaker said you you I have not worked directly in a competency-based
program you have been wondered if you could give if I could call on you to
give some light on this sure so I thought that the language the Department
proposed earlier was better for CBE this sounds to me like we’re going back to
where we were before we started this process the the instructional team issue
is an important issue and here I think we’re going back to the instructor the
team is now in the background and the regular and substantive has to be
initiated by the instructor which is where we were before and the periodicity
is not clearly defined here but I don’t know if it’s still a week or what it is
but I just you know my sense is that the language before was certainly better
from the perspective of a CBE program especially direct assessment
my other concern and I voiced this last time is that I just don’t think we
should be bifurcating the online sea beast from regular face-to-face
instruction so if we’re gonna require regular regular and substantive then
let’s require it across the board I don’t I just don’t see the the reason
for the bifurcation did you have something no I just I just you did point
out but I just want to make clear again that we do have to be careful and make
sure that we are distinguishing between distance education and correspondence
because that is in the statute until that has changed we gotta make sure but
I understand what you were saying about the competency-based part of it and we
in our proposal we did try to address that so that we could possibly carve out
because from an enforcement perspective from the department’s oversight
responsibilities we wouldn’t want to just make it a blanket um where they can
be at any point in time in the process that’s oh I think you guys put in the SA
P part but so for the oversight part of it but we are trying in our proposal
when it ever gets here to accommodate you both but we do have to make sure
that we still have that distinction that since it is in the statute so whatever
proposal goes forward have to have some kind of differentiation between the two hi Joanie yeah I just wanted to respond
again to David I mean this was the same I think to be we had last time and I
understand what you’re suggesting but again there’s no statutory authority to
reply regular and substantive interaction to regular to traditional
academic programs on campus I mean that’s just beyond the scope of a Thor
of the department’s authority in terms of regulation so that would be up to
Congress it is a process points who are we
waiting on red lines on this exact same language that we haven’t seen but you
guys have seen enough under like your comments are reflective of what you know
is coming well yes and no we we are going to share that with the group and
our comments right now are just based on this discussion in this particular red
line when we get to when we get to that point we’ll talk about what we had in
mind and then we’ll have we’ll join in the discussion on that particular point
too but we want yeah we were specifically talking about this language
and what it brings up at the moment David last time we also talked a little
bit about tying regular and substantive to the definition of the credit hour are
we gonna revisit that as well well I did for at least from our perspective here
what’s worth more about what you guys want to do so if you if you guys want to
you know hold a hold a vote to see who is interested in pursuing that you guys
can can decide to you know go further down that road but it’s really about you
know whether you guys think that’s a viable alternative and if there’s enough
folks who think it is then you guys could come up with some language for it
if not then it might not be worth going down that road so I think it’s up to you
guys the committee I just say I said this last time but then remember
we have clock hours too so I guess I’m unsure same or I don’t know what to do
with that right trying to figure out how to stick that into a credit hour
definition when we still have clock hours they count for I agree but I think
I think it’s worth exploring because again I do I’m concerned that we are
treating online and CBE in in sort of this separate way and yet the credit
hour applies equally to both and so I I think we need a common definition for
all of it that’s why I keep pushing this issue
Jessica sure I guess I think it might help to frame this conversation by
thinking about why Congress enacted the statute that requires regular and
substantive interaction for distance education and my understanding is like
century long decades long history of abuse of students and correspondence
courses and I think that if that’s what Congress had in mind I think that we
need to think about a way to effectuate this requirement that really protects
students and I understand that maybe that doesn’t make sense in 2019 to you I
don’t particularly have a view either way but I think that the point of this
is to protect students and so I think if we’re thinking about how to do that you
know there are some things in this proposal that still raise concerns for
me I think particularly the members of an instructional team and we may just
have differences with people here in the room but I’d like to hear maybe from the
people who proposed it what exactly in this proposal you think protects
students and why you put it in Russell did you have something well I would
respond to Denise and Jessica I think that that’s our goal to as well as to
protect protect students on this and try to come up with something they the
problem has been is that that we have now have an innovation that was not
thought of back in 1992 when this when this first first came came
something has moved and it it actually when done well and even often when done
well it has actually more interaction than what you see in the regular
face-to-face course and a distance ed course or a correspondence course you
know for going by that word interaction that was the word that was in there and
then and then somehow it got defined is only being by the instructor late later
on and so it seems like if we have an educational model that actually is
serving students and serving students well that whatever the language is and
we’ve been struggling with that that we should be able to come up with some
language that that allows for that educational model I guess at the point
that I’m that I’m getting at and I’m it’s all about that David so I actually
just had a quick question before we go on about what you guys proposed you had
a connection with the satisfactory academic progress requirements and I
just wanted to understand kind of what you had in mind with that when you’re
talking about interaction with between instructors and students so um satisfactory academic progress is
a policy institutions half that says you know at these certain points across a
course or a program there’s going to be an assessment that evaluates how the
student is doing meeting the stated learning objectives and so we thought it
made sense to kind of tie the the regular and substant interaction to an
existing policy at the institution that says you know at these points within the
program you know typically one-fourth of the way one half of the way three
fourths of the way and then a cumulative assessment at the end would be good
benchmarks in terms of where faculty are interacting with students and a good way
to look at that seems to me that for distance ed programs were very caught up
in a jet stream of having a lot of documentation for how regular and
subjective is met I’ve gone on many a site visit and looked at everything from
you know threaded discussions to Faculty’s highly individualized comments
for every single student on multiple assignments of we know a lot about these
interactions in a distance ed setting how can we frame this in a way that can
be appropriate for other models of learning maybe that’s not replicating
what’s going on in a classroom in a traditional setting but you know that
takes into consideration instructional teams and adaptive models education
technologies a lot of different ways students are undergoing their their
studies in higher ed thanks Leah that’s that’s helpful and I understand the
intent I think behind connecting it with a pre-existing policy that an
institution may have as a one technical matter for the most part the statutory
definition of a correspondence course is at a fairly granular level so it’s at
the course level so one the department’s hope is that when we define distance
education we can define it in an effort to distinguish it from a course so it
needs to be granular at the course level generally
satisfactory academic progress policies are higher than the course level they
tend to be program level how many how well you’re doing in a given program but
we’re open to that idea I just want to be clear that when we talk about
distance education we generally are talking about how a specific course or
competency or a fairly granular unit is being conducted Jodi yeah I just wanted
to raise this general concern I have a breast sort of alluded to the fact that
you know it’s a lot of these programs were not being envisioned back you know
in 1992 or in 2008 even we weren’t there and the last couple times that there are
major reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act and I just concerned
overall about the prospect that was such a complex and specific statutory scheme
that some of the proposals in this negotiated rulemaking are going beyond
what is in the statute and I understand the need to innovate but but the
department it’s not up to the department to reauthorize is the statute or to
legislate via regulations and particularly with Congress actively
involved in bipartisan negotiations over the Higher Education Act that that I’m
worried that we’re exceeding our authority here particularly we’re
talking about putting definitions in for things like CBE that aren’t even
mentioned or contemplated in the statute so this is just a concern that permeates
this whole process for me I already hear my comments I’m trying to take what
Jordy just said in light of them I think about some of the things David said in
rest said and Jillian said they’ve been said around the table I have a couple of
thoughts and then David you’re coming a bit on
yeah you started off saying bringing it to the course level and then to the
competency level and I don’t know how we have those conversations without default
without at least talking about the credit hour and clarifying how they
stand I do want to get back to something that David said earlier INRI identifying
the the instructor and as I read this language where it says initiated by the
instructor in a distance ed course that’s often pre-programmed into a
course and we train our faculty to sit back and let the students especially
adult students interact and we try and get them purposefully not to micromanage
a discussion so I’m wondering in the eyes of initiated by the instructor was
the idea that if we have an online course and we know that at week two
these discussion questions are going to come up they’re programmed into the
course we know they’re automatically going to access themselves you know
that’s really no different than when I teach online I know in week two of
macroeconomics what I’m going to bring up so I’m just crying to get a feel
would that be the instructor or are we just are we doing a little bit of what I
think David was worried about in redefining the instructor into this
living breathing real-time perfect person even if we programmed some of it
into the software and the course design I don’t know if that makes sense
Amanda um I just had a question for the on the
language of when you mean learning outcomes and substantive interaction is
defined as and then providing systemic continual assessment of student learning
outcomes and then in the previous I point engages students in teaching and
learning when you mean learning outcomes what how do you think that we might get
interpreted as like how is that usually measure just through tests or can you
get like I I just want to make sure what that would be interpreted as by the
creditors well yeah well let me answer merridy and then I’ll answer Amanda you
know as we thought about this and and thought about the faculty role I guess
we wanted to kind of honor the leadership that faculty brings and and
not necessarily in every instance of interaction is the faculty initiating I
mean the faculty initiates something when the course is designed and it’s put
online I mean that’s initiated by faculty we were just trying to give this
some distinctive features that maybe we could feel comfortable with is different
from correspondence with respect to assessing student learning outcomes I
mean typically that stated you know at the course level program level
institution level and we expect institutions to map their curriculum
across these outlines and have appropriate assessments whether you know
it’s a written assessment maybe a verbal presentation you know and exam those
types of things so they all kind of tie together to the overarching
institutional program outcomes and at the course level you know we’re looking
across the curriculum to how these assessment activities are taking place
at appropriate intervals David and I thank you guys for what I found to
be a very helpful discussion I think I understand the intent behind a lot of
these proposals and I think it may be that the committee can can talk about
making some of these as recommendations I would like to move to talk a little
bit about what the department came up with and one quick thing before I do
this I do want to apologize that we haven’t gotten this to before now we’ve
we’ve put a lot of work into this we’ve we’ve done our best to to try and
explain it as we go and we hope to get paper copies for you guys that you can
actually look at them and I would also say that you know we don’t necessarily
expect to get this morning to a place where we’re gonna be able to make
recommendations but we do want to try and get through a description of what we
did and and at least explain and answer your questions about why we direct why
we did these things after the last discussion so folks who are on this side
of the table you might want to turn your chairs a little bit and so we can get
paper to but Scott has has all of this on the big screen up here thank you
Scott all right so David could you give one moment – Jessica paper copies coming
soon enough we could break now I think that I just think it’s too early to
break okay I just this is really hard well when I when paper comes you know if
we need to do another quick review we’ll do it yeah one I mean one thing I can do
is give a high-level description of what we’re doing and we’ll get to and we will
we will take a break for a little while and try to get those to as quick as we
can I’m go ahead Jessica I just have real
concerns that if the department wants our meaningful feedback on your proposal
you’ve worked very hard on this is not a way that I feel like it’s accomplishing
that I don’t feel like I can see very well I have a nice chance to think about
it I have an iTunes to give it to my constituency maybe others in the room
are better on their feet I’m amenable to a break I can’t however
I can’t a hundred percent guarantee they’ll be here when you get back we’ll
do everything we can to see that they get up here at the time and so why don’t
we part yeah well we can circle back yeah we’ll
come back so I apologize for the in for not having this available it’s 9:40 so
let’s take a 15-minute break that’s five to ten and we’ll see hopefully at that
point in time they’ll beat they’ll be here you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you okay we’re gonna start back up Deniz
very kindly went up and made some copies of part 600 so for this purpose of this
discussion we do have material that we can we can refer to so I’ll turn it back
over to David so thanks for the copies I guess there’s a lot in here and I am a
bit concerned about just handing them to us and then asking for feedback without
time for any of us to read through these so I know we’re on a tight timeline and
schedules and whatever but at the very least for the next time all these new
red lines are coming to us I would suggest and please ask that you give it
to us I think we had I thought we had heard a week in advance and well I
understand your frustration of that we did make every effort to make that
happen unfortunately we were working on changes
pretty late but I do understand what you’re saying we’ll definitely take that
back yeah I would just say I mean I think we can try and give thoughts now
but I just would like to reserve on behalf of all of us the opportunity to
come back again to these red lines and additional thoughts because I think
asking us to respond on the spot it’s gonna be challenging well certainly a
love that will certainly let that happen I know we’re not going to preclude
future comments on I understand it’s a tight it’s a tight time frame but we
asked it for now you do the best you can watch it with it but yes we’re not not
going to preclude coming back if you have other insights based on having
studied it further Denise and I also just wanted to say most of that we
wanted I want just a bigger stack but I wanted to get you just the distance and
stuff but I just copied the whole thing to make it easier we certainly
understand I believe Scott has copies of everything now they’re getting a call
the colorized version okay Gregg man make a comment that next time
I think even if maybe we don’t have to wait till they’re done in their entirety
so before the next meeting if you have part of it then we can take it on us to
do it in pieces and that might relieve some of the stress of getting it all
done okay well definitely uh we’ll take that back um we’ll make every effort to
get these out earlier and next time round and yes you guys as you guys get
the copies I think what we’d like to do given the very short time frame that you
guys will have to look at this over the next couple of days we’re gonna go
through it now and the department it’s gonna take some time to explain what
what we’ve done you know give you guys a few minutes to read through asks ask a
few questions and then we’ll come back to it tomorrow
probably with these topics later in the day after we’ve gone through the
remainder of the agenda so hopefully hopefully that gives you guys at least a
little bit of time to look through these but we definitely do do take your a
criticism seriously here and we’ll make sure that we get this stuff to you a
little earlier next time sixty-eight five if you guys could take a look at
the definition of distance education on starting on page three that’s what we’re
going to talk about in just a few few minutes you guys need another minute or you want
to me to start going through the language piece by piece and explaining
the intent and you guys can kind of keep come out and follow along at that in
that way all right all right so I’m gonna start back up at
the beginning of the definition of distance education so here last time we
heard from the subcommittee and we heard a little bit of it today as well
concerns about having accrediting agencies define distance education or
regular in substance interaction as a whole concerns ranging from the
complexity the lack of standardization concerns about program reviews how it
would be kicked out will be enforced etc so the department took that back and
came up and went back to a concept where the department itself would define the
term and that’s the first thing that you see here the second thing that we did
well this is actually that’s the that’s the the main gist of all the changes
that we made in that first paragraph and I’ll pause there do you guys have any
other discussion about about that concept we’ve heard I haven’t heard very
much support for accrediting agencies defining distance at a regular and stuff
some interaction so is there any other discussion about that concept okay so it
is actually can I ask you guys in general do you prefer that the
department define this term is there is there and maybe actually ask is there
anyone who doesn’t feel the department should should I define this term the
distance education sorry mister sir I’m sorry are you asking if we want us to
eliminate the existing stretch no no we’re I’m asking there’s two out there’s
two option that have been presented up until this
point one option is to have accrediting agencies to find the term distance
education that’s what the department originally proposed and the other option
is to have the department define the term and what I’m asking now because we
haven’t heard anyone speak out in support of accrediting agencies defining
the term if there’s anyone who wants to speak to speak on that point or if this
there sub committee is generally in agreement that the department should
define it David I think the department should define it I mean it otherwise you
run into chances where there are subtle differences between how the individual
creditors define it so I think I mean you guys are good at this let’s go with
your definition okay any other comments on this point okay so that’s the first
piece if you go to the next page we made I think of what we think is a fairly
minor change to the types of media that can be used to carry out distance
education what was in the regulation before was largely directly derived from
the statute and we simply changed that to other media the statutory language
does object obviously is the basis for all of this so you know you there isn’t
we still can’t diverge from that but we felt that there could be media that’s
incorporated into those concepts that are in the statute so we just we
simplified the term a little bit so the next thing I want to talk about is a
much it’s a bunch bigger point about the concept of an instructional team so the
department took back a lot of comments and discussion last time about the
concept of an instructional team so as you guys know that was we we proposed
the concept of an instructional team as an as a means of providing regular and
substantive interaction but what we heard from the group was that number one
there was a desire to incorporate the concept of a subject matter expert into
an instructional team the shouldn’t be an instructional team that
does not include a subject matter expert instructor and we also heard that an
instructional team ought to be designed so that students and get their questions
answered in a timely way by a subject matter expert a person should be
available to answer questions and should essentially be someone who is able to to
work with students as needed so we made a number of changes to what we had
originally you see most of that most of what we originally had is redlined out
and so to romanette one we define an instructional team specifically instead
of incorporating it into the concept of substantive and we define it as
including at least one individual who is a subject matter expert by virtue of
academic credential or work experience and as defined by an accrediting agency
so here’s the point at which we defer to the accrediting agency for what
constitutes a subject matter expert and one or more staff members that perform
an instructional function and then some of this language is similar to what we
originally had members of instructional team may have different and
complementary roles and qualifications as required by the by the accrediting
agency such as to share information answer questions provide direct
instruction provide assessment or feedback monitor progress or provide
student support related to the student success in a particular course or
competency so that’s the first part of the definition and then we added a
second part romanette to an instructional team must ensure that it
monitors each student’s academic engagement and success and ensures that
an instructor is responsible for promptly and proactively providing
academic assistance when needed on the basis of such monitoring or upon request
by the student again focusing on the need for prompt and the end useful
feedback from a subject matter expert if when when needed or if the institution
system for monitoring the student identifies a need it doesn’t have to be
something that the student initiates and in fact this what we have here
presupposes that the instructional team is keeping of
very close eye on the student and is identifying cases where the student
needs extra support so those are the two components that that we felt into the
the definition here and then the third romina three is the same as what we had
before general academic advisors or counselors are not considered to be
members of an instructional team so if you have someone who’s just helping
students identify which courses they’re going to take how to get through their
program career interests that sort of thing those folks are not part of an
instructional team under this definition so I’m going to pause there and as I
know as you guys have said I know you haven’t had time much time to look at
this or think about it but is there any questions at this point we’re going to
come back to this tomorrow and talk about it some more so but I want to ask
know I want to make sure I get questions asked if you have them now Jillian so
can you or I don’t know Leah you’re like my go-to for the accreditation
perspective I’d like to better understand what a subject matter expert
by virtue of academic credentials or work experience means and what you
envision that does to the faculty role as we understand it today because this
feels like it feels like a cheapening of that a little bit and so I’m trying to
understand one from an accreditor perspective like creating a new
construct like this what what does that mean what does that look like and then
also the department’s perspective on that of other questions too but I’ll
start with that one so that the originally actually I’ll give you you
know an inside look into how this was developed originally we simply said
instructor and then looking back at our notes from our discussions we realized
that folks had said subject matter expert and that that was the important
concept for this so we used the term subject matter expert but the department
also wanted to ensure that we didn’t keep it so narrow
that’s it suggested that that an accrediting agency needed to have
someone with specific academic credentials it would still be based on
what the a could be accrediting agency defined but it could be either something
based on work experience or academic credentials but ultimately we we did
envision this as being the accrediting agencies decision it could be
either one so an institution could have zero faculty as we know them today based
on this not if not if they’re accrediting agency didn’t define them as
faculty but if their creditor says it’s okay and especially sort of
understanding that there are broad changes potentially to the creditor
model you could have an institution that doesn’t have faculty well again what
we’re saying is that the accrediting agency defines it they do need to have
subject matter experts that that meet the accrediting agencies qualifications
and I can’t speak to what the accrediting agency might say but that is
the department’s view I just wanted it I I guess understand exactly what you’re
talking about so you think by the way it’s defined here that would not be a
faculty I guess we may be able to answer that from the cry I don’t know what a
subject matter expert by virtue of work experience is so taking I understand by
virtue of academic credentials I think it looks largely like what we have today
I don’t know what a subject matter expert by virtue of work experience
means and how that compares to how we understand the fact what the faculty
look like today I just didn’t understand your concern thank you it was David yeah he was up first so I I
don’t have a problem with this in general I think I did have a problem
with the term faculty and a lot of these because a lot of institutions especially
traditional institutions define faculty very specifically and so that makes it
challenging to create instructional teams where you force traditional
faculty into that role because it may not be appropriate so I think this is
fine from my perspective my question is the way that you have to Roman at one if
general advisors and counselors can’t be on the team or they don’t count who else
is on it besides the subject matter expert so as it’s written now it’s
someone who is providing support for a specific subject so we haven’t gotten to
the definition of substantive at the bottom but the definition of substantive
is very simple and our in this version and simply is related to the subject
matter in a course so as I mentioned before when we were talking about the
earlier language that Julian and Leah proposed the department views this
distinction as happening at the course level so academic support at the course
level in in conjunction with a subject matter expert is what we mean so an
adviser may be pointing students to materials that that would help the
student through the course or competency they might be for actually tutoring
providing direct instruction they might be doing webinars holding discussion
groups the kinds of things that are happening within a course but that are
directly related to actual content that’s what that’s what we mean here ok
so just so I understand so for example a grater who who’s just
doing the mechanics of grading would be somebody who could be on the team but
would not be a subject matter expert in your definition is that right we well
not necessarily if if if the accredit if they meet the accrediting agencies
requirements for being a subject matter expert then they might be in that case
let’s assume though given what your question was that yeah you’ve got
someone who doesn’t meet the accrediting agencies requirements for being a
subject matter expert but they’re doing some limited grading of some of the
students work providing some feedback etc I think an analogous concept might
be a TA or someone who as it was a lower-level
student who is doing student teaching that person could certainly be part of
an instructional team but they wouldn’t be a subject matter expert they wouldn’t
qualify as that subject matter expert that’s supposed to be also within that
team merridy I like the language I think you guys did a good job of capturing
what we discussed I was going to say the TA is an example that we don’t
necessarily call it a TA in this world I am like David I’m very concerned with
using the term faculty in traditional institutions that has a strong
terminology in New Jersey it’s in statute so I think we just need to be
really careful that we don’t the faculty identify as the faculty in a traditional
institution and they may or may not be on these teams so so I liked it I did
want to give an example of where I would see a subject matter expert in an
example and this goes back years ago but when when I was with an institution that
taught airport management we would have somebody there is no terminal degree in
airport management so we’d have somebody who has an airport manager with an MBA
teach undergraduate airport management and that’s an area where the accreditor
kind of flexed with us to say there is no airport management degree but there
is also nobody better to teach this course then somebody who’s been running
a large airport so that’s an example where I saw it there may be other
examples I think on some of the Marta applied or technical field but
that was my sorting I I have to say that I like the changes as you’ve made I
think you captured it Amanda I just wanted to know what the Department of
Education intention was behind defining an instructional team based on it so I
know I understand that you you did the revisions based on our discussions so I
think I want to like ask again what based on those discussions what really
changed what was the intention by like this definition that the instructional
team definition to have either of the subject matter expert or the members of
an instructional team deliver the instruction because as it reads now it’s
still all mode I mean it’s worded differently and had some more parameters
but to me it still reads as it could be the instruction that would be delivered
to a student it could be from a subject matter expert or those who are an
instructional team and I think based on the discussions we had I think it was I
mean you can correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the point that I was most
concerned with was that I would want at least the student to be guaranteed not
just instructional team members or subject matter expert but definitely a
subject matter expert and of course if it’s an extraction role team member sure
to support the student in giving feedback and guiding them throughout the
course but here it’s still not doing that based on our discussions in my view
so I just wanted to know if that was or how is it different in making
guaranteeing that there’s a subject matter expert for sure providing the
instruction rather than just it could be an instructional team members or the
subject matter expert that’s a that’s a good question so the department’s intent
with this definition was to incorporate as much of the discussion as we could
last time we did hear that request that there be a requirement for
direct interaction between the student and the subject-matter expert we didn’t
incorporate that in this draft we’re obviously open to that if the
subcommittee decides that they want to include that as an option and we could
bring that to the full committee the department’s view when we when we
created this is that we wanted to ensure that we left this as open as we could so
that we ensure that students got support when they needed it but there wasn’t an
artificial you know this the instructor has to reach out every week kind of
concept there are a number of programs that we have worked with and that we’ve
answered questions about where it’s not designed for an instructor to have a
synchronous class every week it’s designed for the student to largely be
responsible for his or her own learning work through the course content and
reach and be contacted in him and work with the members of an instructional
team and get escalated to a subject matter expert when that person is needed
when the student needs extra support so that was the the concept that we that we
used when we developed this language but like I said the idea of an requiring
direct interaction based on course content is an option that you guys can
bring forward Jessica thanks a couple thoughts first I just want to reiterate
I just don’t understand how this is authorized under the HEA which requires
quote regular and substantive and interaction between the students and the
instructor my understanding I just don’t see any other purpose for broadening it
to members of an instructional team but to allow regular courses that do not
have regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor
otherwise they would already meet a definition and you know they could
obviously have other regular and substantive interactions and I think
more broadly you know I think there’s been a lot of talk here of what happens
when courses work well or students reach out you know every student that reaches
out can reach an instructor I do I don’t understand the purpose of
opening it up title for funds beyond obviously correspondence courses because
that’s what these would be if they don’t meet this definition to programs in
which students can go through the whole course without ever seeing an instructor
I think students that struggle the most are the ones that are least likely to
reach out and I think that that article Amanda sent around last time explains
that I think a lot of the students who struggle in online coursework are the
ones who come in the least prepared and so I just worry that this is sort of
bifurcating a system where the students who are doing well reach instructors and
are successful and the students who are coming in with the most challenges are
never going to see an instructor and just waste their title for and you know
go on IVR for 25 years than the taxpayers are funding their education
that they got nothing out of oh yeah all right so speaking from the perspective
on a creditor I respectfully disagree that this language will align well with
what accreditation has to do it needs a major crosswalk to the recognition
criteria which specifically say faculty for accreditors I’m I’m concerned about
at least one individual who was qualified by work experience I think
accreditors would face some major challenges from certain institutions
that would waive this and say hey my faculty don’t have to have degrees
because the rec you know for distance education is defined as anybody that’s
qualified by work experience and just understand that you know there are many
of us around the table that work wonderfully with students that are very
responsible in how they deliver education but I have encountered those
that have not and this type of language just goes to the heart of our worries
about how distance education is delivered in a responsible way so that’s
all I have to say about that just one other comment for the group is I I feel
like we’re letting our our passions for innovation and competency-based and
direct assessment just kind of a narrow slice of what distance education
enrollment is right now kind of drive the conversation we’re
seeing increasing enrollments in kind of the distance edge semester fixed time
arrangement we’re seeing it starting to overtake what’s happening on campus and
on ground enrollments so you know as we’re thinking about this definition
maybe we could think about kind of the majority of the student body that’s
enrolled in distance ed right now and the qualifications of the individuals
that we’ll be teaching them and guiding them along the way
Julian so I was gonna say the same thing which they just we just I think all need
to remember that we’re trying to build this for distance education not for CBE
and I get it I’m the biggest CBE fan right but this is so much bigger than
that and so making sure that we’re creating it in a way that’s gonna
provide protections and account for what is still the majority of distance
education which is not CBE at all so I think I’m having to serve check myself
remind myself about that and I would just encourage all of us around the
table to do that two comments one I think I think maybe Amanda made the
comment about requiring that subject matter expert or faculty or whatever to
to be doing something right so not just to be named a member of this team but to
actually be providing that instruction or sort of however we craft that
language I I thought I heard when we met in January that largely we all thought
that was important and so I feel like that is still missing here a little bit
because feel like I could just build an instructional team put a faculty member
on it who doesn’t ever do anything and so I think that’s a concern I’m sorry I
know I use faculty sort of irresponsibly merit II just take it for what I’m
trying to suggest yeah I get it I get it yep and then second with respect to sort
of in this part this is an instructional team must ensure that it monitors
student engagement etc I feel like this still this doesn’t feel initiated by the
faculty at all and maybe that was intentional but the phrase when needed
on the basis of such monitoring or upon request by the student it doesn’t
actually feel proactive at all so I feel like that sort of conflates a little bit
with the students before the line before that says promptly and proactively
providing academic assistance one and one quick point I apologize
maybe we should have gone through the whole definition we did intend for
instruction instructors or members of an instructional team to be the ones that
reached out and we’ll get to that in the definition of regular in just a second
okay but go ahead um so again I think I use this example before but I am
concerned about like Lea staffing a phone for 30 minutes a week and calling
that meeting this requirement when I think we would all agree that that would
look more like correspondence education David so so we and Jillian I hear you and and
I share the same concern so I think this isn’t an easy problem to solve the flip
side is I think that as we look towards pedagogical innovation in higher ed
there’s a lot of higher ed that’s starting to look more and more like a
healthcare stratified model of care which doesn’t mean that patients get bad
care it means that they get care from the people who are best suited to
address the need and I think the same thing is starting to happen in higher ed
and so actually a team approach to instruction is is a good way to proceed
now that doesn’t mean that there can’t be bad actors and that there can’t be
institutions that try to screw students I mean I get it right so so I’m not sure
how we bridge it but sort of going back to the old definition and requiring the
faculty regardless how you define faculty do the contact in the initiation
does not guarantee good service to students right quite the contrary often
you get very cursory sort of hey you’re fine okay let’s on to the next one
because I got to do my research kind of approach and that’s not very good either and it’s interesting listening this
because I’ve tried to having my history has been with public severe and very
committed to this so I think Jessica bit as you say you’re right I come from it
my entire experience has been how do we make this good how do we have an outcome
we know what our university degree stands for but but I still like the team
piece and I hadn’t thought Lea that the accreditors might get you know I was
kind of resting my hat on that piece that the accreditors I’ve dealt with
which is three of the six regionals have been pretty strong on what what they
qualify as a faculty subject matter expert whatever terminology once he is
so I hadn’t really thought about the pressure coming back that way and we
know and then I think this was brought up in some of the communications a
backdrop of trying to lose an ear creditor model a little bit that could
be problematic but so I do think we need to get around it but one of the things
we’re seeing as we talk about where traditional distance that is growing one
of the things we’re seeing in the large publics is replicating the lecture so
you have the faculty member of record and then you have a number of sections
underneath those you may have a hundred people in an MBA class with a faculty
member of record who’s P Q and a Q qualified so all your programmatic
accreditation works and then you have discussants so it’s very very much the
TA model or broken into the lab model if you want to go to undergrad so you have
discussants that are more of an adjunct type model that is actually interacting
with the student and we see those classes that’s a bit of what’s popping
up in the traditional online public education piece so I think the teams are
still replicating themselves my own thought is I hope we don’t lose a team
piece I I do see also the stratification that can happen from students who
advocate for themselves and reach out to a faculty member and those who don’t or
to us to the academic now I’m using the term faculty too but and we don’t want
that to happen to so I hope you don’t lose the gist of what’s here even if we
have to add a little bit of language in to define the expectations to ensure
those channels are open and the schools are responsible for creating them but
let’s not lose the team judge my thought well yeah I think we
can get there because I value what you know a comprehensive team brings to the
instructional model and and what I would say is let’s look at the recognition
criteria accreditors implement and let’s use that crosswalk that would say
something like you know a creditors assure that there is you know a range of
faculty expertise qualified by degree qualified by experience qualified by
research that contribute to the learning Enterprise so I think that that’s one
way we can get this addressed that we can preserve this concept but strengthen
what the accreditors requirements are for their recognition that’s thank you I think I I believe that
you’re on the good path here in terms of trying to define defined something new
for the for the survey results that we sent out to the group yesterday that we
had one institution that said TAS and GA s are specifically included we had
another institution that said that there their interpretation was the TAS and Jas
are specifically excluded you know so right so right now we have a lot of
confusion on this and I guess we know that already but I so I think we’re on
the right path we’re moving towards these teams we’ve had versions of it and
then but it’s hard to get our hands around what that is I do agree with the
comments though about making sure that the instructor or some andyc expert or
whatever we call it that I’ve been sitting here trying to think of some
term I played with directs or manages or some house is is is active and it’s not
just a passive member of the team I don’t know how we put that in there but
I do I do agree with that point since then don’t see any other cards and we
want to move on and get through as much as we can I wanted to kind of
recapitulate what I heard in the discussion today and maybe ask folks to
think about it and and come back with suggestions tomorrow tomorrow is really
the day when we’re gonna try to go through all of the all of the regulate
regulatory language that we’ve talked about and try to arrive at
recommendations that you guys can make to the full committee so about the
concept of an instructional team I think I heard three things I heard and Jessica
had a general objection to the instructional team concept and wanted to
focus on the specific statutory language referring to as students and the
instructor I heard an objection to the concept of having a subject matter
expert that is based on work experience and a desire to focus on the concept of
faculty as the accrediting agency defines it and I heard an objection
about inch not there’s not there there not being a specific requirement for the
subject matter expert to to be working directly with the student or to
otherwise have sort of oversight control etc
over the course so if you guys want to look at those things and come back with
suggestions for how we could improve how this could be improved we’d be really
interested in hearing those things so with that let me go on to this the next
part of the definition which is regular with with the definition of regular we
stuck with the concept of frequency and periodicity of contact that is
established by the institution in accordance with eight crediting agency
or state requirements in which and romanette one the interactions are
initiated by an instructor or members of an instructional team and and then Roman
ETSU has two components a and V a so we here we tried to come up with because we
heard that there there’s a desire to ensure that there is some kind of
standard for how regular interactions need to be but there was not widespread
agreement on what that could be so the department made an effort that says for
a course that is worth three or more credit hours interactions occur at least
once for each week of instruction keeping in mind that a week of
instruction is defined at and you guys have seen that and other red lines but
it’s defined as a week where there’s either scheduled instruction or where
students are expected to to work through coursework and in our proposed
definition so that that would preclude breaks becoming a problem if there was a
break that the school the school had incorporated then obviously what we
wouldn’t expect there to be interaction during that week and then for a course
that is worth less than three credit hours interactions occur at least once
every two weeks of instruction so we just made it a little bit longer for
courses that that aren’t and aren’t as intensive we tried to tie it back to the
credit hour based on our discussion last time and we tried to do it in as simple
and direct a way as we could but we’re open to suggestions about how we could
do this better or whether this is too specific and the last thing is
substantive means related to the subject matter under discussion for the course
so we tried to keep that as simple as we could as well given all the other
information that we’d included about instructors and members of an
instructional team and I’ll stop there Denise Denise I guess I just wanted to
direct this to Leah and Jillian based on your proposal because you were concerned
it looked like about the setting of time like once a week like we did here and
tying it to sap but as you guys know as I told you last time I’m the enforcement
attorney so I’m trying to figure out we could try to work through that or to get
to where you guys might want to go but how would we enforce that in terms of
oversight yes that’s what I think we’re trying to figure out how we can meet the
definition of regular in the statue with intervals but also have the oversight
piece so is the department in the financial aid process want to review
this or do you want to kick it to the accreditor I mean it seems like we were
going back and forth that’s determined by the accreditor or as determined
during a federal financial aid program review and and I guess do we want this
language to be used out in the field you know during a program review that that’s
what we’re getting to hear and do we want our program reviewers deciding that
this is regular and substantive or is this just something you want to move
over into accreditation which currently accreditors don’t take a deep dive into
regular and substantive well deac has some processes but typically there’s not
a lot I’m just I’m just wondering when you say enforcement are you thinking the
federal enforcement and a financial aid audit or accreditation and I think what
we’re looking at is for some having some kind of parameters that meet the
statutory definition right so we have to define regular somehow we have to before
it’s regular somehow in terms of but also recognizing that we need to stay
out of some you know substantive statutory prohibitions and the academic
criteria so that’s why we came up with I think the numbers but it seems like your
proposal was concerned about having an interval once a week or twice a week and
not being tied to something so I guess that’s maybe something that we could try
to bridge that I was wondering how you might consider that applying
your proposal applying that guess that’s where I was getting it because we were
looking thinking about curriculum benchmarks along the continuum of
instruction right so what are the appropriate points in time to have that
engagement in some courses are five weeks in length
you know maybe five touches isn’t gonna be sufficient maybe it needs to be 10 or
15 so it just it seems that week you know once a week really doesn’t get
there but if we’re looking across an assessment continuum maybe that’s more
appropriate and and I know that gets into territory that your folks just
aren’t comfortable with right oh we can’t or you can’t right I guess we’re
trying to come up with something that we can all live with that gets us where we
need to go and is consistent with the stats
statute through our definition and our prohibitions from getting into academic
quality so if you guys want to work on that or if you’re okay with the
definition that we wrote but it seems like you weren’t based on your proposal
jyllian yeah so I mean I guess at that point I would just say in general with
respect to this once a week I just don’t think it seems a bit arbitrary to me I’m
having a hard time understanding the the why behind the once a week and and then
to say that if of course is fewer credit hours then it’s even less than that I
guess I don’t understand the distinction a student could take a two credit hour
course if it was self-paced they could get it done in a week does that mean
they’ll never hear from their faculty that seems problematic so is gonna make
that comment them either coming is just where it talks about interactions are
initiated by instructor or a member of instructional team again my comment
before feels like it doesn’t have to be an instructor at all then if it’s just a
member of the instructional team so that seems concerning with respect to the you-know-what
regular the number of times someone meets I think we we’ve we’ve struggled
to with you know what when you’re defining something like this what what
is an adequate number of times and I get I take your point it seems arbitrary but
then again any number we assign seems arbitrary so you know if we say it’s 3
or 2 or whatever in in trying tending and I think we’re oh these are all new
models but we’re all drawn back to our own experiences which is basically a
brick and mortar type education you think about how it was you know and how
it was done generally is signed up for courses that were Monday Wednesday
Friday or Tuesday Thursday but but there were courses I remember taking course
the met once a week those torturous three and three hour and
15 minutes you know of courses you had punctuated by the 1970s smoke break that
no longer exists um but yeah this so you know thinking about the fact that even
in a very very traditional setting you you could have courses where there were
they were the where this occurs with the equivalent of because it’s not the will
of regular interaction occurs only once a week so we were trying to kind of I
think a lot of this kind of walks back to to that trying to find something to
equate it to so that’s a little bit of the logic you know and I but I fully
concede that that the number is not scientific but then again I would argue
that any number we come up with is going to have some kind of an arbitrary nature
to it which isn’t the same to preclude conversation around what might be better
knowing that and again we pull this right off a PowerPoint that Dave did one
time or several times but knowing that Department is used that phrase
predictable and regular intervals in the past I’ve just be curious to know why
that’s not that approach that y’all have taken this time yeah that’s that’s a
good question too the reason that we are making an effort here to try to identify
a specific time frame is mostly because of the vet and the many many many
requests we’ve gotten from schools for some degree of certainty about what the
requirement is when we said that it was regular and didn’t put any parameters
around it schools felt that there was a huge gray
area that they would walk into when they designed their process for ensuring that
there was regular in substance interaction between students and the
instructor and felt that they weren’t really able to innovate or push into
that gray area because they were concerned about program reviews and the
department coming in and cracking down so this is an effort to provide more
specificity and and indicate to institutions where the lines are but we
do take your point that it’s difficult to draw those lines given how long
classes can be and how intensive or not intensive they might be and that there
might be some more appropriate number of interactions for a much more intensive
course over a shorter period and we’re still working on how that could work
we’re very interested in suggestions from from this group on how to do that
but that that’s kind of the intent already Leah would it work to do
something where for a program for one of these programs that the requirement is
that the institution have a have a definition per the term length you know
that matches term length and credit or whatever you have your comma counting
for that on fact that that’s provement have gone through that whatever their
governance process is and is on file and approved by their creditor that would
define what is predictable and regular for if we decide we’re going to do a
series of three credit courses in four week time frames I’d say that that would
have to be on file before it’s eligible with that is that putting too much on
the accreditors well I mean if you think about a course that’s offered four weeks
or 12 weeks the curriculum is the same the faculty might be the same all the
assignments might be the same students in a four week course get touched for
time students from the 12-week course get touched
twelve times right if we’re to apply this definition of once a week somebody
brought up credit hour I think it was you David I mean if we’re looking at all
of the assignments and all of the learning activities that go into a
credit hour if we can use perhaps that continuum as evidence of regular when
substance of interaction rather than the length of the course in weeks and if
we’ve documented the credit hour for the course you know
through work with the accreditor then you know we can show the Department of
Ed when they come to do their handy program with you which we all love by
the way right you know right so we could show how these students and faculty are
interacting over the activities schedule that’s set forth to document the credit
hour if that made sense I think that’s what I’m envisioning so if we’re saying
and hopefully if you’re doing action for weeks you don’t have the same
assignments but um because it’s kind of a different pedagogy but let’s say you
do it in four weeks that there is something with the accreditor that says
here’s the expectation you know and again I know I’m going to how public’s
would do it you know we’d have a communication plan with our students to
make sure they understood the level of commitment etc but but I’m wondering if
we could take it there so we put we put the onus on having something approved
when you’re going to go to shorter terms or whatever your delivery models are
that there’s an agreement between the institution and the accreditor on what I
like predictable and regular on what predictable and regular is for that for
that length married to that credit hour however you were doing it David yeah I
do think that we we are gonna have to revisit the credit hour somehow and
connect us I just don’t see how we avoid it
the you know for me the the team approach and the periodicity and the
credit hour are so intimately linked that I just don’t know how we bifurcated
and and what makes it so so from the innovation side what makes it palatable
for more periodicity is the team approach because then that provides some
flexibility to the institution so any way to censor thanks guys yes I do want to do another
break not quite what pressure yeah we could we could take a short break maybe
just a five-minute break because I’d like to get back and start talking about
state authorization anybody maybe give you guys a little more time to look
through it no so this that’s the end of there oh yeah so there’s one more piece
to this and then there’s a small change to the definition of correspondence
course so I do want to go back to let’s cover that first okay so first let’s
talk about the correspondence course so the only the only change that we made
here was to add back the concept of is primarily initiated by the student you
know for a correspondence course that was something that a lot of folks in the
group indicated was part and parcel of a correspondence course sorry this is back
on page three wait page three at the top yep so we just added back a fat phrase
now that was that was already there so in a correspondence course interaction
is primarily initiated by the student and that’s all
otherwise we left it the way that it had that the red line had been before any
comments on if not we can talk about the last piece
of the definition of distance ed okay just a very quick comment you might want
to just change and may not be regular and substantive because it could be
right and still be correspondence I’m trying to think of what circumstance
that you would have regular and substantive interaction and it would be
correspondence as well since that’s the main differentiating factor yeah
male exactly oh okay I’ll take that back and think about how we can incorporate
that in there so it does it doesn’t so you’re saying if it doesn’t fit into one
of the electronic media requirements okay so the last piece and thank you Tony one
of the more conceptual parts of this this is the department was when we tried
to put that definition of distance education back into the hands of the
department well and go to page five that’s where this this part of the
definition is we we were concerned that the department would have trouble
keeping up with technological innovations as they change over time and
doing new regulatory processes as much as you guys enjoy this process we might
have to have it every year in order to do that and we didn’t think that was a
good way to go so we were trying to think of how the best way to effectuate
a for lack of a better phrase and a sort of escape valve for innovations that are
happening so I’ll read the language in a second but just at a high level what we
envision is a process where an institution applies with its accrediting
agency to say I have I would like to do a new kind of distance ed program it’s
not something from in my reading of the regulations that fits into what’s there
now but I think that it meets the statutory definition of regular and
substantive interaction because we can’t get away from the
statutory definition that’s always going to be the baseline if the accrediting
agency approves and says we think that this model has adequate faculty
interaction we think that that you are you know you’re a good actor you we
otherwise think that this could work the accrediting agency could give it to the
department the department could look at it and say okay this this institution at
this program and this instructional model looks like it could meet the
statutory definition but just doesn’t fit into our regulatory definition the
department could then publish in the Federal Register that it had that it
that this approach for this institution or this set of institutions does meet
the statutory definition of distance education so that there would be a
defined process for the department and institutions and accrediting agencies
all as partners to go through if they wanted to come up with a process that
wasn’t expressly covered in these regulations because we acknowledge we
might not always be able to get it exactly right so what we have here is
waiver Authority and that’s under five it says under procedures established by
the secretary the Secretary may through publication in the Federal Register
permit an institution or group of institutions to define the courses in
one or more educational programs as distance education rather than
correspondence courses using an instructional model that does not meet
one or more of the requirements under paragraphs one through four of this
definition if the institution or institutions demonstrate that and
romanette one the instructional model ensures that each course in the program
or programs meets the statutory definition of distance education under
20 USC 1003 in the Higher Education Act and each
institutions accrediting agency has specifically reviewed and approved the
educational program for which the institution seeks the waiver and the
agency has determined that the program meets all of its applicable requirements
obviously this is a very early attempt at this concept so we’re interested in
your feedback and we know you might not have feedback yet but well well thank you for this because I
like what you’re going in terms of the one true thing there’s going to be is
that there’s gonna be innovations that we cannot anticipate today and so
something that allows allows for that is really good second always like giving
our friends in the accrediting agency more to do because I know Leah once more
more to do and then third and final I was wondering if you had any discussion
about any I could see were given some of the other credit and discussions where
that’s going if you have new accrediting agencies if there is any discussion
among Department staff about some sort of cap on this or the the need to to
watch how much this is use because you could imagine a new accrediting agency
coming in for the sole purpose of excluding everyone or doing all waivers
and so I wondered about that that’s a good point and we’ll take that back and
think about it Gillian I’ve mostly the same covenant as rest I was also gonna
say I guess I haven’t seen the department use this waiver authority
before outside of ex sites and I’m just curious about sort of the statutory
authority to be able to do that this looks new to me so the ability for the
department to make specific kinds of changes to its requirements in the
Federal Register is it has well established precedent we do it for
verification we have some established parameters in the regulations about what
the department is going to be looking at but the department decides based on its
own analysis of data every year what exactly that the data elements are that
we’re gonna look at and we establish that in the Federal Register every year
similarly we also established certain time frames for reporting again in our
systems a lot of that is to do with the fact that systems change time frames
change we need to have some ability to be flexible so there is a limited use
for the Federal Register if it’s established in the regulations that
that’s going to be a vehicle for certain kinds of things
but to your point about the statute we’d there’s we can’t get around and we
wouldn’t want to get around the statutory definition of distance
education so that is always going to be the baseline and then and frankly
regardless of how this process works if it ever were to become a process the
department would ultimately have to review to ensure that it believes and
probably in conjunction with our general counsel’s office that the the model
would meet the statutory definition of regular and subsystem interaction so
there is some ability for the department to use the Federal Register in this way
as you said it hasn’t been done before for something like this I would say but
it has been used in other parts of our own regulations David just a
clarification question for you Dave there seems to be an assumption that
distance education programs are all made up of courses is there anything Pro it
which of course isn’t true so is there anything that that precludes non course
based that’s a good question and it does have an answer when the department
regulated on the definition of a correspondence course a very long time
ago I think probably in the 90s we thought of this thankfully and there is
there are basically two options either a program is built using courses or it’s
not if it’s built using courses then the definition of correspondence versus
distance ed happens at the course level if it’s not based on courses then the
definition happens at the program level and and the the it would there would
have to be a determination at the program level now I don’t know exactly
what the department had in mind with that and it may have been looking
primarily at for example o’clock hour programs at the time when it was
thinking about that or programs that just didn’t have the traditional kind of
concept of courses but that is what’s in the regulations currently and do those
programs get approved by at the creditor or
the department like Fritz ins project-based programs when you say
approved what do you mean well so let’s say an institution wants to launch a
project based program where the projects are varying sizes in terms of credits
does that have to get approved directly by the department or not no that’s
that’s an accrediting agency decision if it’s and I don’t want to speak to how
the accreditors would handle that but the department would accept the state
and the accrediting agencies determination about whether that was
something that they could approve so to your other point ultimately the
department views its its responsibility to be to oversee and enforce the
requirement of whether a program is or isn’t Bazemore is or is not distance
education or correspondence and so that’s what did nice was getting it
earlier we believe that it’s it’s our responsibility to enforce that provision
and so we would do that in accordance with our program review process which is
how we enforce all of all of the department’s rules Jessica thanks I
agree with rust that I would want any waiver authority to be cabined so that
it doesn’t become an exception that swallows the rule I think particularly
temporally so if you know an institution were to undergo like a change of control
or significant financial changes that this Authority wouldn’t just last in
perpetuity also I’m no general counsel but I just don’t quite understand how
you could have a statute with terms that are then defined in regulations and then
the agency in the Federal Register says that a certain thing meets the statutory
definition of those terms which isn’t defined anywhere except for the
regulation but it doesn’t meet the regulatory term so I don’t quite
understand what that would mean here because it seems like regular
substantive and then the modes of delivery are the things that the statute
requires which are the exact same things and the regs okay not completely I think
what Dave was saying is this just gives us an ability to look at other kinds of
programs that aren’t in existence now but we
would still get back to looking at them under the structures of the statutory
definition so I’m not quite understanding we’re saying sure but I
think the statute the main parts of the statutory definition our regular
substantive and delivery models which are exactly what’s defined in the Reg so
I guess it’s confusing I don’t I mean maybe I just don’t know how an
institution or an accreditor would understand this program is regular or
substantive and use the delivery models in a way that would satisfy the
statutory definition so Edel approval under our waiver authority but doesn’t
under doesn’t meet the regulatory definitions so we can’t just go under
the regulatory authority I just what you don’t need to answer now I just don’t
quite understand how how the statutory and regulatory definitions could be
different for the same words okay it’s 11 o’clock did you did you still want to
take a break err do you want to go to noon okay yes yeah let’s let’s do short
break five minutes and we’ll come back and talk about state authorization okay
five minutes Greg have you smoked you you you you you you you you you you you I could up its rarity I just want to
follow up a little bit on our conversation before we left I don’t know
this may not fit into this exact process but thinking on the conversation I’m
trying to plan for what we don’t know but it’s probably already happening if
there was a place we could have almost a permanent exite so we could already have
the regulations up and it’s a relationship between the institution
Department of Ed and the appropriate accreditor so it keeps some of those
guardrails on and I don’t know how we would do that but I wonder if there’s a
way you would apply to have a program within this kind of permanent excite and
it would take a sign-off between the institution your creditor and Department
of Ed and during that period there would be extra oversight yeah the same way we
do a traditional X site there’d be extra reports oversight accounting etc like
that idea back thank you all right so we’d like to move on to the concept of
state authorization for distance education so we’re gonna start with the
definition of a reciprocity agreement which is on page 8 at the top and we’re
also handing out some language that’s been provided to us by Carolyn and sue
so what we’d like to do is go through what the department has has proposed and
then talk about the different options proposed I think we had one from sue and
Carolyn and we also had one from Russ and his team and we’d like to talk about
the differences between them and and the subcommittee’s views on each approach
all right oh and and yeah keep be careful there’s
each of them has two pages so hopefully hopefully you haven’t lost anything on
the way around so going going to page eight at the top so just go want to go
through some of the things that that the Department did here we we based all of
these changes on our discussion last time and what we heard last time was
some general support for a definition of reciprocity for state authorization and
we also heard both support for the concept of the reciprocity agreement not
prohibiting a state from enforcing its its own laws and regulations and we also
heard the opposite where there were concerns about a requiring that given
that some of those some of those were out laws and regulations might make it
difficult for institutions to enter into a reciprocity agreement and not have to
fulfill 50 different state requirements so the department the first thing that
we did was actually kind of technical we just moved around the words reciprocity
agreement for state authorization and this is cosmetic but it’s intended to
avoid the accidental compare attacks identity definition and in C Sarah which
we found that happened a lot and we want to avoid that so even though it’s maybe
a little silly we just moved the words around and we think it helps we hope we
hope that we’ll avoid that confusion what we did then was we essentially left
the definition mostly alone except that we replaced the concept of the
definition the reciprocity agreement not prohibiting a state from enforcing its
own laws with and does not resolve in a conflict between the estate
statutes and regulations and the requirements of the agreement and that
language largely brings in the department’s of guidance that we passed
around last time where we indicated that we didn’t believe that an a reciprocity
agreement that conflicted with the state’s laws would be acceptable for the
department’s purposes and that we would expect the state and the rest and the
other states in the reciprocity agreements who work out those conflicts
before the state rest the reciprocity agreement was considered to be in effect
and so that’s what we have here and I’ll pause there and see if you guys have
questions about that and then we can go on to the other definitions Carolyn you
guys should just wait until we talk about the other definitions so let’s
let’s pause and then I think yet can we go ahead go to Carolyn’s and Sue’s
definition okay well I think as was expressed in our previous conversation
there there are concerns about state authorization reciprocity agreements
leading to situations where students aren’t protected and they’re in the
States and our concern was that this is not
good for this does not should not be the policy that the department is
sanctioning here if they’re going to be permitting state authorization
reciprocity agreements as a way to achieve this and so to protect students
the department should retain the language that this our proposal is that
the department retained the language from 2016 that the department put in
there explicitly to protect online students and give them the same
protections in their states as students enrolled at traditional brick-and-mortar
schools and you know that there’s there was some concern that that would kind of
go against the whole idea of a state reciprocity agreement which is to make
it easier for schools to operate in more than one state and I think you know my
response to that would be that there there there certainly is an issue where
schools want to be able to operate in more than one state and there could be
barriers to entry like for example licensing fees and on or authorization
fees to operate in multiple states and that the reciprocity agreement certainly
has a function that the Department and in consumer protection concerned
agencies would support and that getting rid of those barriers to entry by making
there be a you know a smoother and easier way for schools to operate at
multiple speeds without having to for example pay pay a fee or whatever it is
sort of this sort of the barrier to entry
but once the school is operating there then in our in in our view the the the
the consumer protection should not be eroded for those students just because
they’re in an online school and so in order to make that happen states need to
be able to enforce their general consumer protection laws which concern
fraud unfair and deceptive practices and also education specific rules so that’s
what we’re proposing and what the department has proposed does not the
language that the department has proposed in terms of changing the 2016
language does not in in my view ID address the concern that we raised with
these agreements eroding consumer protection by prohibiting states from
enforcing education specific rules such as disclosure requirements and those
states and that the issue of conflict is not really helpful to that here at all
and you know there could be disagreement as to whether education specific laws
should be applied but I don’t think and I just want to make one more point that
there was really any disagreement that laws of general applications such as
fraud and unfair and deceptive practices so if you’re going to take out the
helpful the language that’s helpful to consumers I don’t know why you would
take out all of it since I don’t think there was any problem with the idea that
general laws would apply because even NC Sarah agrees with that and kind of
taking that out makes me worried that maybe NC Sarah thinks that we shouldn’t
even be able to enforce our and an unfair deceptive practices laws
and that’s even more alarming so I don’t know why we would take that out – unless
there’s a reason that I don’t understand so anyway so it says Sassoon eyes
proposal is to keep is to keep that in and should I talk about the second part
or should I wait for that until we discuss this further you had assumed
over here well sure unless unless you want to talk
about it okay so the other thing that Sue and I had talked about was that you
know this is an agreement between states and that there’s a concern that that the
policy that governs this us an agreement between the states should be something
that’s governed and controlled by state members and and that consumer protection
you know should have a role in in this so you know what if the the NC sera
board decides that they don’t want General Laws of general protection
application like fraud or consumer protection laws and they want to change
it you know states always have the opportunity to get out of the agreement
there’s no doubt about that but in terms of actually influencing the policy while
we’re in the agreement because people you know we most states think that’s
obviously think it’s a good idea that these things exist we feel like it’s
very important that that the the portal agencies and other member agencies state
agencies have a role so that’s why we suggested this language for
consideration about actually how the how the reciprocity agreement is governed
and that that that it should be it should reflect the views of the states
and not be something that is if it is in fact a state member agreement it should
reflect that and we just wanted to bring that out for for a discussion so we’ve
what what we’ve proposed is that the definition include language that not
only that a reciprocity agreement that fits this definition would permit states
to enforce general and specific education law consumer protection laws
it would also be governed and controlled by member states and one way to ensure
that would be to require that at least 50% of physicians
on a governing board be filled by member state education officials and that one
position be allocated to a representative of a state attorney
general’s office or an organization that represents nonprofits I represents the
interests of consumers and students or students hey sue thank you for
considering this so that we don’t have to be doing this a year from now I think
the reason that we wanted to protect what we currently have within each of
our state’s is that we don’t want this so tight and so written to only one
organization being NC Sarah and although it is a wonderful and we support state
authorization reciprocity agreements I want to be clear on that we don’t want
to strip the student consumer protection that we have in each of our states and I
think you will see that that’s where some of the states who are either late
and coming to it or not in it yet have some great you know grave concerns and
also I want to tell Carol and I appreciate her getting on the phone with
our state portal agency because I did go back and visit with them about some of
the language as well as their chief compliance officer and as we look at
governance it seems to be the death maybe one thing that’s really missing
from the current structure and we want to ensure that the governance piece will
endure time and that would it would last and some of the recommendations I know
from our local steering committee that I’m a part of the next steering
committee though it seems to be falling on deaf ears so we just want to make
sure that this works well as we look forward and that hopefully we have state
authorization that will endure a time leave
I believe Jelena was up next so thanks for sharing this I was going to just
make it connects I feel like the department’s attempt and I think we’re
all trying to do the same thing right but how do we sort of clarify this
language around state laws and sort of what’s covered and what’s not it seems
like maybe a simpler solution with respect to that is clarifying that state
reciprocity agreements only cover sort of the ability to operate or the
licensing authority and not sort of extends into sort of the consumer rules
because isn’t that the point right to try and make sure that schools can get
approved to operate in states it’s not just I don’t even think it should really
speak to sort of the consumer law piece because I don’t think that that’s what
the purpose of Sarah RS a reciprocity agreement is so maybe if it just
clarifies that this is specific to a school’s ability to operate in a state
you know listen well I’d like to speak in favor of the
conflict language I like like where that is going in terms of each of the states
has affirmative Lee that are members of Sarah at this point have affirmative ly
agreed to follow those roles and that their roles that go across you know not
only operations but some of the things we use the word consumer protection and
what happens is that I worried that if we open it up to any of the rules you
know any of the specific rules that the problems that we run into is that with
consumer protection in one state is defined differently in another state and
you start having a situation where once again we’re back to where we were at
square one where there is no benefit to reciprocity at all because each state is
able to to apply its own rules and again back to the in most of the states not
all of them it was a you know an act by the legislature and the governor to to
agree to be agree to be be part of this in terms of in
in terms of again back to protecting students that you know it’s actually you
know you know more students protected because of reciprocity agreements and
there was you know before there before there was one there including in some of
the states around the table here that the students are protected that we’re
not we’re not or would not currently be protected under state law but they are
under Sara the last thing is is about the the general and I think and I’d be
fine not it could be if you want to keep the language about keeping the general
because that was always something something else that was agreed to that
anything means by general applicable that this representation you know
outright fraud those sorts of things that certainly there should be
protections against those those activities Jessica thanks I obviously
agree with the choir that the general laws of general applicability should be
in here I think it’s helpful to think about this from an individual student
perspective so if I’m a student in New York City I can attend brick-and-mortar
school in New York I could attend a distance at school that is a New York
school or I can attend an out-of-state school and I’m just I you know I see to
Gillian’s point the advantage of the out-of-state school being able to like
easily good authorization in New York get set up get like off the ground I’m
just not sure how this student is best served by of those three choices to
having to comply with the laws the Legislature passed a protect me and the
third not having to and in particular I wonder if there like as an adverse
effect on in state institutions like for example a community college that could
potentially be a direct competitor whereas that Community College would
have to follow all the rules that are designed to protect me and if this
out-of-state program undercuts that somehow because it doesn’t have to
follow those rules I just you know I in my mind the student is ultimately best
served by all those choices of institution having to follow the same
rules Robert I really appreciate this discussion
particularly representing the state higher education executive officers um I
reached out to those who are involved with the authorization process and all
of them were unanimous and and wanting that consumer protection that control
over general regulations and that they would really like to see that language
stated there I thought what Julian stated with some some nice language as
far as how we might address some of that in Massachusetts but it was very clear
and as far as the specific regulations and what wanting to maintain that most
of my other members somewhat understand that that they appreciate NC Syrah and
what it provides of course no medium of this kind is going to be perfect they’re
not messy but but they appreciate what it provides them with that reciprocity
and they kind of understand how that process works and and and when you
entertain that and enter that that some of those specific regulations are
somewhat being a dealt with in in a compromising type of manner but but all
want that language around general we’d like to see that included already Jim
can I just get clarification because what I thought I heard you say but then
from the agreement of folks around the table I’m thinking I heard it wrong is
if the idea between reciprocity is so we get the ability to operate within a
state but it doesn’t come with a consumer protection piece of it I don’t
see where that then where does that come in and so I’m just trying to I’m
wondering if I understood or if you could better define what you were
meaning when you said that yeah so I would suggest seen that to the extent
that reciprocity agreements aren’t recognized that it should be just as a
pathway to get authorized in a state it should not circumvent that schools
oversight by a state from a consumer law perspective so and I don’t think this
language in here the text about does not resultant conflict I just don’t feel
like that’s I don’t feel like it gets there I don’t personally necessarily
think the reciprocity agreement should prevent that institution from being
subject to that are in a particular state I think
it should just be about what is a pathway to get authorized and how do we
clarify that that’s what we’re talking about within the scope of reciprocity
agreements so then would there be a separate step that says okay now you’re
authorized to offer your program in the state then is there a second I don’t I’m
not quite sure if I’d get with that second step is to say are you matching
student protection and I think there’s a bit the other piece I wanted you know
what being a Sara advocate part it wasn’t for the high level protections it
was for the low level protections in differences in states in processes a
number of days to do things and different things that it’s yes it’s a
you can’t have published policies anymore because it depends on where the
state comes from what they require and its nuances five days difference and how
long they have to petition something it’s you know some of its nominal
differences but get very hard for the university or institution to stand
behind so I think when we talk protections to there’s two levels of
protections this I feel like we had this discussion last time we met a bit and
with high level versus procedural but I was wondering once again so once I get
permission to be in New York and New Jersey
what’s the control to make sure they’re dealing with at least a high level
consumer protection values of that state thank you for the
verse Asian this has been helpful for us yeah I think I heard a lot of support
for at a minimum including language about laws of general applicability
somewhere in this definition to ensure that that that no reciprocity agreement
ever prohibited a state from enforcing those laws and the department will take
that back and we’ll discuss that the the other I think I heard a couple of
different views on this some support for Carolyn’s definition and also some
concern about about whether that definition would still result in a
multitude of state requirements but I think we may have at least a couple of
options in this case that we could present to the main committee so if this
is one that I’d like to come back to tomorrow after we give it a little bit
more thought if you guys have read lines that you think could help I think i’ma
turn to my colleagues here I think I’d like to have us go back and change
our red line on the general applicability so that that’s just
incorporated into ours and then we can come back and if you guys want to work
on the on alternative something that works with Carolyn’s etc we’d be willing
to talk about how we could present that to the main committee tomorrow Russ one
one quick question for you you had in your language you you took out
I think everything related to state state laws and statutes do you prefer
that or do you prefer what the department has come up with so I’m
wondering whether we should consider that as we talk as we keep these
discussions going yeah I think the department’s language is much clearer so
we really have just two options that we can kind of work within to present to
the committee okay anything else on that and now if not I’d like to turn to the
actual state authorization requirements or Justin said that starts on
sixteen near the bottom and so some general points again the Department
heard a lot of support for open sorry I’m just with the Sarah definition I’m
just not sure that we got to the second part of their proposal I don’t know if
we were planning to discuss it now or oh I apologize I thought I’d skipped over
that so yeah if Carolyn please let’s talk about that part of it okay so as
she mentions there were there was some concerns from state regulators and other
members that the policymaking decision-making governing board of NC
Sarah right now has very few spots that actually are include state officers of
higher education member states and that that seemed strange to us and kind of
concerning because there is the opportunity that there could be major
changes to policies that this the member states wouldn’t necessarily have a
direct voice in and due to that concern we thought it would be appropriate to
have some language actually in the definition that would ensure that that
member states are actually directly represented in governing the policies of
the agreement so that’s where that proposal came from also we thought it
might make sense to have at least one person on the board I believe right now
there are something in the ream of 22 people on the board something like that
that was that came from a consumer perspective a consumer protection
perspective since that seems to be an important issue for Sarah so we thought
and would maybe make sense to have one person out of the 22 or whatever be from
that perspective so either from a state agency that does consumer protection
like as the state attorney general’s office or from a
a nonprofit organization that works to represent interests of consumers and
students that would be worth discussing did you want to continue any other
comments about that part of Carolyn’s definition if not and we can yeah we can
go on okay yeah yeah I would like to particularly concerns about that I mean
because Sarah is nc Sarah or any other type of state
reciprocity agreement is really a private enterprise the idea of the
federal government dictating board membership of that private enterprise is
concerning I’d be surprised if Sarah were ever able to be formed under those
conditions in the first place if you had mandated state because you know
participation you know states do have a role in in
Sarah in that they can decide to participate or or not and and but once
they decide whether they’re participating they they that’s it I
don’t think that this would be a good idea at all Leigha okay okay I what I asked Denise
was um so I’m on the Sarah board so just wanted to make sure the committee knew
that and I asked Denise is it a conflict for me to make any comments about this
and I think you said just keep it yeah right so I just wanted to speak to a
little bit about you know the involvement of states in Sarah you know
it is a private organization this would kind of create a recognition process in
some ways for the Sarah board you know if we start creating rules around how
their organization structure meets the requirements for state authorization so
Sarah is comprised of these regional compacts and they have four seats on the
Sarah board through this regional compact the you know the work of of
Sarah involves the states deciding which institutions are eligible you know the
Sarah Board doesn’t pick and choose which institutions get to have
reciprocity you know that rests with the states and so the states have their
process of reviewing institutions and then through the regional compact system
they get appointed to Sarah so you know I see that as a critically important
role for the state in deciding which schools get in and which schools meet
the requirements and expectations for reciprocity you know I think that this
would be an important topic for the board to consider and reflect upon you
know I can ask Marshall Hill if he would like to speak to any of these things
maybe it would be good for you to hear from him directly about this matter
because I think it would represent a major shift in in the governance of
Sarah and I’m its establishment as kind of an independent nonprofit and entity I think part of what we are trying to
present here is that on down the road and this idea really came about from our
state portal agency saying what would prevent the various state portal
agencies from developing a state authorization reciprocity agreement so
much of the language or what we are talking about here is around one and
that is the NC Sarah which exists today and has been terrific but down the road
I mean if States choose not to be a member of that is there another option
so that is the idea that we wanted to frame this in such a way that it’s not
just around one organization but around the idea of state authorization
reciprocity agreements I hope that clarifies it ready it’s just real
quickly I kind of hope we don’t go that path because I now see us like shopping
accreditors shopping compacts I think the whole thing perfect or not I think
the whole thing behind this was to have one place where schools could know they
were in compliance and that’s my own thought you know I’d rather fix what we
have then start competing compacts car driver and as it as far as my own
membership I would say most would fall in with what marady just said I don’t
think they would want to start over we can tweak what we have frankly I think
some of what suggested I’ve already getting a few comments coming in as a
but my shoes would find it somewhat problematic they’ve put a lot of efforts
into this at the highest of their state level and helping their state come on
board with Sarah and it would be starting over to a certain degree in a
lot of these states so most of them anyway are pretty happy with what they
have not all of them there’s 50 unique states and there are several um I
mentioned Massachusetts specifically that had reached out they would like to
see some changes see this for sure Jessica just think at the highest level
state authorization is supposed to be a Maine
of the triad and I think everybody acknowledges that one of the pieces
really is protection and so I I understand state authorization
reciprocity agreements the best way I understand them is basically a state
sort of waves a lot of its ability is to do the things that it set up under the
ATA to have to do and so I think I support sort of the biggest picture
piece of this which is to to make sure states are actively involved all the
time and protecting their students but I as someone who doesn’t do this every day
I like totally hear what everybody is saying about this is in a way to make
sure that like continued and active state involvement consumer protection is
happening and so I just I I want to say at the highest level I’d like to think
about ways to in to maintain states involvement and protecting their
students and I hear here Jodi yeah so to respond to Jessica first are my
understanding of the Triad is that the state role has always been from a
consumer protection standpoint and not specifically with respect to state
quote-unquote authorization our institutions have had a lot of
difficulty ever since both the brick-and-mortar state authorization
requirements went into place and with the state authorization for distance
education requirements with respect to the regular state authorization language
we had institutions that were in effect for hundreds of years and literally
couldn’t produce documentation naming the so-called state authority I mean we
had people running around to like libraries and every town’s getting
mayor’s to sign letters to the department having institutions that have
existed for hundreds of years be told that they no longer could participate in
title four so so I don’t I caution us about using the word state authorization
for the state role when really it’s always been more of a consumer
protection piece but then as far as the Sarah is concerned my understanding was
that Sarah was created in large part to and again I wasn’t around for this but
it was created to because the state authorization for distance education
regulations that we are currently talking about were so we’re basically
virtually impossible for any institution to comply in it to comply with and so
Sarah was created as a mechanism to for states to be able to continue to have
their distance education practices so that’s why from our perspective the
state authorization for distance education piece has really been nothing
but a burden on her on our institutions private nonprofit institutions you know
I think it’s less of an issue for publics that were you know that are
automatically deemed to be authorized by virtue of their status as a state entity
and so yeah Sarah to me was a solution to a problem created by the regulations
themselves yeah oh I wanted to address the state wave so it is a state to state
agreement that is managed by Sarah and so the the only entity that can enforce
the rules is Sarah there is that Sarah is a state that the state has its
regulations and to join it what they’ve done is that they have affirmatively
agreed often through the legislature and through the governor that they will use
the rules that are the same as all the other states that are part of the
agreement and that those were the rules that they will apply to the subset of
institutions that are serve members who are operating in that operating in that
state so we hear that a lot about its outsourcing compliance or its waiving
compliance but it’s really the states are still involved and they’re the ones
that that are that are doing this and then with that I was going to pass on
the carving out consumer protection thing but I you know having been part of
discussions of some of this is that the problem that you get into and trying to
start down at is that there’s no end to it
cuz there’s each state wants to do something different for consumer
protection I do really feel we’ll get back to where we were when we started David dirty did you already make your
comment okay just want to be sure all right so yeah want to move on to page 16
which is the regulation bore shot of the regulations under 34 CFR 600 point 9
which define the requirements for state authorization and the department in in
listening to the discussions last time heard a lot of our subcommittee members
indicate that the concept of reciprocity is meaningless without a direct
connection to the department’s requirement for authorization so
understanding that the department put back much of the definition that had
been promulgated in the 2000 2016 regulatory language with some exceptions
one exception is that the department changed the concept of residents to
location given Russ’s comments about the difficulties that the concept of
residents created in the original language and the other major change was
about the state complaint processes so where as well first the and the
department also I’ll get to that in a second but first the department
indicated specifically that for purposes of 600 point nine four four state
authorization an institution makes a determination about the state and which
a student is located at this time at the time the student is admitted to the
program this was part of our of the discussion last time that we tried to
incorporate into the rules here where a student when this twin the school
enrolls a student it needs to figure out where the student is located and that’s
the only time that the institution does that and that’s the determination that
will affect all the other rules that are related to where a student is located
and so that was an incorporation of that discussion I openly pause is there any
questions about those things first Russ yeah I I don’t think the students are
really you know covered or protected under the part where it’s just when the
student is admitted for the location and so what I did is I went back to some
language that was previously put out I think it was 2012 or something like that
then they looked at it that it was at I can look back and find it but it was
when you determine yeah because it’s where the student is located when they
received the instruction so if you do it just where they’re admitted that I could
be admitted in Kansas but I do all my instruction in Colorado and but it’s the
Colorado laws that will then then affect that affect me because that and will
affect the institution and will affect the student and so we need to follow
that follow that we need to follow where the student is and so I thought the
language was pretty good that the department put out in 2012 were they
tied it to federal financial aid determination and then that every time
that for that student that you determine their financial aid eligibility there’s
a whole list of things that you have to do for the student and that this would
just be another one of those and that and and for different institutions that
that rather than trying to go every year or every semester that tying it to
finance since this is a financial aid thing tying it to that seemed to make a
lot of sense to me and being more more proactive but then but you’re not
requiring the institution to know where the student is every time in between you
know all the times in between because they may have that time that they’re in
Colorado but they then move two weeks later or they reassigned in the military
well you you did it at a census point right Marty I think the rest got to
where I was going to go that we have to have a one time that we do it I’m a
little confused on when that time is if we don’t do it when they apply when exactly when that happened some
financial aids if you could explain that to me
okay these so for every student you have to go through a process to determine
whether they’re eligible for federal financial aid and you have to figure out
okay if it’s a you know if it’s just males anymore I did have they registered
for the draft and you know there’s the whole bunch of other things that you
that you have to do so it’s beyond admitted it’s to where you’re going
you’re going to enroll the student and actually you’re determining if they’re
eligible for aid and how much aid that they’re that they’re able to get so at
that point as part of that process you need to figure out where they’re going
to be located when they take the instruction so we then only apply to
students who feel a lot of FAFSA I guess I’m just the application the piece I
liked about that is it’s each and every student at one time and you’re also
consistent with you haven’t started to mislead a student where suddenly it’s
here’s the information you gave us here’s we’ve told you whether or not we
can serve you whether our programs accredited whether you’ll get licensure
in your state all the pieces that go with that it’s it’s just that I think
that you run into all sorts of problems with the with the the time between
application and the student actually getting aid and getting all that I’m
hoping that for tier point about informing students that haven’t really
looked closely at what’s in the disclosures in the back that’s remaining
but I’m hoping that the disclosures will protect those students so that they know
know that the institution’s approved in whatever state that they’re going to be
in that they know that they know several other things that have been disclosures
if they’re in professional licensure programs or the such then how would you
do the students who don’t fill out a FAFSA oh these are federal financial aid
rules well I get that but isn’t it that my understanding is the institution and
maybe I misunderstood that I was under the impression that we were supposed to
be doing this for all students not just those getting federal financial aid your
way I’ve always played it was any student going to our program is supposed
to have these same actions and so that’s where I’m yes sir
weird to see where they live we would need to know that yeah you’re supposed
to be doing it for you you are supposed to be doing this for for all students
that we’re but the purpose of this is what are the rules for federal financial
aid when you start doing it for students who don’t have federal financial aid
there may be other other rules that start that start applying just with the
particular states or with reciprocity or however they’re approved in the state
but what we’re trying to do is set up what is the process so that there’s one
process for federal financial aid so would I and maybe I’ve misunderstood
this for a week or a decade if so if XYZ university has students that are not
that are from a state but we’re not approved to offer distance education
programs and we get complaints that we’re not treating Massachusetts
students well if I were to come back and say but they’re not financial aid
students would we be left alone or would they still go after us for a fine sorry
I think I’d go back to I think in the Institute trying to get the institution
to be able to comply with some type of reasonableness I think sitting it at a
place that every student does no matter what just makes I get your point on the
timing helps but as far as trying to not trip institutions up I think sitting at
a point that we know every student takes the action of applying and therefore
it’s a good time to be able to grab it yeah and following up on that I would
say that one of the department’s interests is trying to keep any
requirements that are set here to be as close to how states generally handled
this but with the understanding that states all have different ways of
determining whether an institution is authorized to operate within within the
state if they’re part of a reciprocity agreement yes that might those might be
standardized but a state might decide for example to chip to that a school
needs to identify where the student is located annually the federal government
might have a different and and less restrictive requirement so my
point is we would like to make sure that it that the two are as consistent as
they can be but we we acknowledge that there may not be a way to become
completely consistent so we may we may determine that we ultimately use this
standard of once or if we find if we find that it would work to do it every
year we could do it every year but we want to be as consistent as we can be
without me having creating a unnecessary burden that’s the department’s goal with
with these regulations we have David marady and then lunch so I I just want
to reinforce Mary’s point because I think it’s critically important we have
to treat students the same regardless of whether they’re eligible for aid or not
right so so the process needs to be the same regardless already I just make a
quick comment that I do hope as we look at the frequency of these are checks the
more often we do it with the student the more often it could be the odds are that
the student moves to a state where the institution doesn’t have a right to
deliver their program and suddenly the student gets stuck halfway through with
we can’t serve you anymore because we’re not able to deliver in that state so the
student gets stuck having to opt out or having to leave an academic program I
think that’s a good place to leave off before lunch we will after lunch I think
we’re going to come back to this and we’ll wrap up our discussion on state
off so we’ve got a couple more things one is the complaint process requirement
as part of state authorization and the second component is our disclosures
related to state authorization for distance education so we’re going to
come back to that for lunch and I hope you guys have a lovely hour and 15
minutes because we’d like to come back as Greg I think we haven’t talked about
this but on the agenda we’d like to come back at 1:15 all right thanks everybody you you the you you you you you

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