Because of a lack of comprehensive nationwide regulatory strategy, the growth of online education has been stymied. The patchwork of local and regional authorization requirements has created a costly, conflicting, and often confusing barrier to entry that prevents many schools from expanding.
Under the direction of the Council of State Governments, representatives from various state education agencies have been working with the distance education group Presidents’ Forum to expand regional higher-education reciprocity agreements into a framework that will allow schools to take online education nationwide, reported the Chronicle of Higher Education. The agreements give schools licensed in one state the ability to teach in every state that has signed the agreement.
The group has been working for much of the year and is expected to release a finalized version of its recommendations soon. However, attempts to increase the amount of state reciprocity agreements in place will face their own challenges and, according to the Chronicle report, will most likely require legislative action in many states.
Reciprocity agreements are only one of the options being explored. The Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education has been working to develop ways to make state authorization more efficient and less complicated.
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