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State Approval Information

The Regulations
Final Regulations from October 2010; See pp 66858-66868 (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-26531.pdf)

Presentation by ProctorU on state's authorization:


Because of the controversy and attention given to the state authorization issue for online programs, less attention has been given to other aspects of the law that are still in effect. 

§ 668.43 (b) Institutional Information
(b) The institution must make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint. (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations).

What Colleges are NOT Doing About State Authorization (Report from UPCEA)

In response to the new federal regulations, WCET, SREB, ADEC, and the University of Wyoming are working on the list of state approval agencies.  WICHE (Western Interstate Commisson for Higher Education) has just published a complete list of Sates and their approval regulations, proceedures, contacts and applicable fees:State Approval Regulations for Distance Education: A ‘Starter’ List with Addendum

University Professional and Continuing Education Association Resource page:

Meanwhile,there is a lot of confusion and anxiety about what institutions should be doing now.  The following new blog post includes advice on actions institutions could be taking:
Blog: Eight things you can be doing now

Relevant FAQs from a meeting in Washington, DC addressing the “Federalization of Higher Education.” (Link)

Clarifications to the Regulation

Q Applicability of this Regulation to Non-credit Courses/Programs. 

A This regulation covers only Title IV funds.  Whether an institution’s courses and programs complies with state laws is another issue.

Q What about Transient Students? 

A A hypothetical question was asked about a student who goes to an out-of-state home for the summer, but takes all the other courses in person at the institution.  They replied that the Department has a list of questions it does not like being asked and this question might be added to the list.  <<Laughter>>  Bergeron: The Department would expect the institution to be in compliance with state laws.  However, they would not be looking for such instances unless there was a student complaint.

Q  ‘Good-Faith’ Effort and ‘In Process.” 

A A question was asked about further definition of the term ‘in process’ that was used as part of the ‘Dear Colleague’ explanation of a ‘Good-Faith’ effort to comply.  Ochoa: Whatever steps that you have taken to move the process forward, document those steps.


PowerPoint Slides from the December 7 webcast with Fred Sellers, USDOE:
Federal Register with the legislation:  
WCET’s Work on State Approval