Government Affairs

State Authorization and Distance Education Negotiated Rulemaking Continues | Policy Matters (February 2024)

February 29, 2024

Major Updates

Negotiated Rulemaking on State Authorization, Distance Education, Accreditation and Other Topics Continues
In early February a session was held in continuation of the US Department of Education’s crucial Negotiated Rulemaking on Program Integrity and Institutional Quality, with the second of three sessions running from February 5-8, and the third and final session scheduled March 4-7. Following a kickoff in early January, stakeholders reconvened to further explore and refine proposed regulatory changes across key areas of higher education. These include state authorization, distance education, accreditation, and more. Noteworthy proposals under discussion entail stricter accreditation requirements for new programs as well as visits to all locations; modifications to state authorization including a complaint process and governance requirements for reciprocity agreement organizations; as well as significant adjustments to distance education practices including requiring of taking attendance in all fully online courses. These proposals are the Department’s stance for negotiators to continue to refine and change during rulemaking. Each of the sessions allows for public comment periods, allowing for broader community engagement. Participants and interested parties are encouraged to engage in this vital process, with further details and registration information for the public virtual session attendance available on the Department’s Negotiated Rulemaking site. Learn more

Unclear on what federal negotiated rulemaking entails? Check out our newly released Policy Matters: Primers and Insights brief: An Introduction to Negotiated Rulemaking for Higher Education.


Bipartisan Workforce Pell Bill Considered Before the US House of Representatives

This week, the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Bill, marking a significant step towards reforming education and workforce development financial aid. This bill seeks to expand the Pell Grant program, traditionally aimed at providing financial aid for undergraduate students and longer-term programs, to now include short-term job training programs. The bipartisan support for this bill underscores a more recent recognition of the evolving needs of the American workforce and students. By extending Pell Grants to cover short-term workforce training programs, the legislation aims to open new pathways to high-quality employment for millions of Americans, addressing the skills gap in many industries. There have been some concerns about how the bill is paid for and how certain institutions are categorized to help cover the costs of the bill. These concerns and other details are being closely monitored by those in the Senate who are considering their own legislation and actions on workforce Pell. 


Webinar Recording | Navigating Regulatory Changes in Higher Education
Hosted by the UPCEA Policy Committee and the Online Administration Network

Designed specifically for academic leaders, administrators, and legal and compliance officers, this session delves into the critical regulatory changes set to reshape online and professional continuing education beginning July 1, 2024. Our experts guide you through the intricacies of licensure notifications, financial responsibility standards, administrative capabilities, certification processes, and the latest in gainful employment guidelines. Additionally, gain insights into the current US Department of Education negotiated rulemaking sessions, focusing on state authorization, distance education, and accreditation. Equip your institution with the knowledge to navigate and adapt to the significant regulatory updates impacting online education. Discover the keys to successfully navigating the evolving regulatory landscape in higher education with our webinar recording.


Other News



Policy Matters: Primers and Insights
Helping you navigate policy frameworks critical to higher education in the United States.

Access our resources providing an introduction to foundational topics in federal legislation and regulations impacting online and professional continuing education for universities and colleges. Read more.

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UPCEA Policy Committee

Kristen Brown, University of Louisville, Chair
Bridget Beville, University of Phoenix
Corina Caraccioli, Loyola University New Orleans
Abram Hedtke, St. Cloud State University

George Irvine, University of Delaware
Rob Kerr, University of Illinois, Springfield
Craig Wilson, University of Arizona


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