On October 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released the following new regulation for higher education institutions as “§ 600.9(c) State authorization”:
“If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request.”
Institutions are expected to comply in each state in which they ‘operate’ by July 1, 2011. Institutions possessing proof that they are applying in a state by July 1 will be considered as ‘good faith’ that the institution is in compliance for the 2011-2012 year. Evidence of good faith efforts by institutions could include any one or more of the following items:
- Documentation that an institution is developing a distance education management process for tracking students’ place of residence when engaged in distance education.
- Documentation that an institution has contacted a State directly to discuss programs the institution is providing to students in that State to determine whether authorization is needed.
- An application to a State, even if it is not yet approved.
- Documentation from a State that an application is pending.
NCMC is complying with the new regulations in two ways:
- NCMC is contacting state regulators (where necessary) in states where students are taking an NCMC course on-line to make sure NCMC complies with state distance education regulations.
- NCMC has begun the process of developing procedures for tracking distance education students’ place of residence when they are enrolled in an NCMC on-line course.