Professor Daniel Stein
Touro College, Graduate School of Education
Director of Technology Initiatives
CHE Middle States Commisiion

New Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education
During its November 2010 meeting, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education adopted new Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (Online Learning). These guidelines were developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) to assist institutions in planning distance education and to provide an assessment framework for institutions already involved in distance education. The guidelines are also intended for evaluation teams. They are based on two documents: a 2006 report prepared by the United States General Accounting Office, Evidence of Quality in Distance Education Drawn from Interviews with the Accreditation Community, and Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education, prepared by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Coooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). These guidelines replace the 2001 C-RAC Statement of Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs, and are intended to be used in conjunction with the relevant standards and policies of each accreditor.
The new guidelines have now been adopted and endorsed by all seven regional higher education accrediting organizations in the U.S.