Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee – morning session


okay good morning and I want to welcome
everybody to the Subcommittee on distance learning and innovation my name
is Greg Martin and I am my official title for this is meeting organizers so
just to remind everybody where we’re not technically negotiators that’s at the
main table so this is a subcommittee it’s a little bit different this is uh
we’re breaking new ground here so we’re all in this together I’ve never done I
better negotiator before but a federal negotiator but I’ve never served in this
capacity before so one of the things I’m looking forward to with this is that
it’s a little more informal so hopefully we don’t have to spend as much time on
rules and we don’t have any official protocols with things like that we will
talk about that before we get going though I think would be good for us to
get to know each other a little better and don’t worry would there’ll be no
formal icebreakers when I was a trainer for 26 years and I learned to have a
great deal of dislike for you know tell me something about yourself nobody else
knows what’s your favorite book you know any of those things to think so
we’re not going to we’re not going to do that unless you really want to tell
something about yourself that nobody knows feel free to go ahead and do it I
will not I won’t judge you at least not publicly so again my name is Greg Martin
and before we get going I want to introduce the members of the federal
team here that will be part of this today so I’m going to start with our
master of ceremonies sort of running everything and taking notes that’s Scott
filter who’s right here and I’m over here is our counsel Denise Morelli so
she’ll be with us for the duration over here from FSA is David musser so David
will be most of the agenda the the federal with the role of talking through
the issues well it will either be me or David and we will have an agenda for you
a more detailed agenda for how we’re going to proceed through this and which
of us will be talking about which particular subjects in the back you’ll
see the gentleman back there is Tony Gargano
when we start he’ll be moving up to the table tony is going to be our we don’t
have an official facilitator the way we do at the head table in for the main
negotiations but we do need I think to have some control over who’s speaking
who’s acknowledged so I’ve asked Tony to serve in that capacity so when we began
discussions I think what we’ll do is we’ll use the same protocol they have in
the main meeting turn your sign up your nametag up Tony will acknowledge you and
that way it will go into the record because we always want to know this is
being recorded we’re live stream so we want to know
who’s speaking so that way Tony will say you know you
know Miss Hancock or something like that and then it will be it will be knowledge
to speaking and what we’ll know that so Tony will serve in that capacity and the
back table here we had some Moorhead staff and I already forgot Jonathan’s
last name just as Jonathan hello Inc and he’s with us
ope see I’m with ope and then we have another counsel Sally Morgan with our
office of general counsel is over here and and then finally we have Beth
Daggett and Beth’s with accreditation so some of what we’ll be discussing des has
some overflow into accreditation so Beth will be the person who will be leading
that discussion ground rules I don’t want to make this too too formal and we
couldn’t have a three hour debate I guess over what our grammar rules will
be but I don’t think that would serve any real purpose so uh a couple things
I’ll just throw these out because this is an informal more of an informal
meeting and you know if anybody has any comments or suggestions or feels that
that they don’t they don’t like any of these rules or would like to discuss
them we certainly will the first thing I’d like to say is that because we’re
being recorded make certain that all your comments are directed into the
microphone and that when you’re not speaking and you don’t want anybody to
hear anything make sure it’s turned off again you’ll be acknowledged and when
your knowledge you can speak I I would like to make sure that all of us are
included in all of our opinions get get voiced around the table I don’t we’re
not gonna have any time you know official
limits you know someone saying you’re met your minute is up or whatever but
try try to keep the comments direct and brief and to keep the conversation
moving and not get too tied down and I know some of these some of these issues
some of them are not very are issues I think that there’ll be a lot of
agreement about across all you know across all sectors and political
opinions or whatever others not so much but I I want to keep the conversation
amicable I think all of us when we come to something like this have to
understand that your voice opinions that will be others will not agree with and
you have to be willing to hear those opinions some taking apart to a certain
extent but I but I want to make certain that we all remain civil in most cases
when I’ve done this that’s that is been what’s happened every once in a while
people get a little heated so just bear that in mind I’d like to refrain from
any personal accusations or mentioning any you know I don’t obviously if you
want to refer to a sector or something like that I have no problem with that
I’d like us to refrain from using the names of individual schools or
individuals if we can if we can avoid that
that would be great try to think of any other any other rules again you raise
your name tags to be acknowledged breaks we’ll probably have a break at around
10:15 10:30 well lunch is hard and fast at 12 and we have to do that because of
the way the recordings are working anyway but it wouldn’t matter because
I’m not very doctrinaire about many things but when it comes to lunch you
know I do that I’ve never done a working lunch if you’re having a working lunch
with me you’re working and I’m eating so um that’s always been my way of looking
at it so that’s a sacrosanct thing for me so we will take the lunch at promptly
at noon and as far as when we’ll break today I would liked you know we’re
scheduled to go to five I believe don’t know if we’ll go right to to five we’ll
see where we are tomorrow was a Friday and we’re it’s in
advance of a holiday weekend so I’d like to let you all go a little early maybe
tomorrow if that’s that would be a good thing unless you’re all insistent on
staying until exactly five o’clock I hope that won’t be the case but we’ll
see how far we get as far as our role I just want to reiterate our role you
probably already know this but again we are not negotiators we are a
subcommittee we are to discuss the issues in front of us and take our
recommendations back to the the main committee and they can do with them as
they see fit I mean I would hope that what comes out of here is so well
thought out and so amazing that they would just look at it and go of course
you know we’ll accept it um I think we have a a great opportunity especially
with some of these things not everything some some of them are a little more
complicated and going to involve a little more disagreement but I think
against some of these instances we have a real opportunity to to fix some nuts
and bolts issues in the administration it’s all the forayed where I think there
would be general agreement that across all sectors it something needs to be
done maybe not we might not all agree exactly what needs to be done but
something I would love to go back to the committee with with a report that showed
that I guess consensus is the wrong term because we don’t really reach consensus
here that shows general agreement among amongst all of us as to ought to be done
I recognize that might not be the case so the way I envisioned it and again
this is the first time we’ve ever done it and we don’t have formal protocols so
the way I envision it is that whichever of us we have to think about this to
whichever of us does the report back to the committee would you know where we
are where we are in agreement say say that you know the the committee
subcommittee was an agreement here about these things if there are areas where we
do not agree and we cannot come to some again not use the word consensus but
something like consensus that that would be reported as well so that that
individual would say you know members of the committee some members favored this
approach others favored this approach so that’s where I see it going of course we
don’t know what the outcome will be because this is the first time any of
this has been done I I think a couple of you noticed yesterday I know who were
comments yesterday and just this is just the way it is some of
what we’re going to be discussing today as you can see will will be an overlap
with accreditation some definitions and you may have asked the question why are
we dealing with that here since it will be dealt with on the main committee I
would just say because we were tasked with dealing with it here so um that we
will do I don’t know that we need to go into great deal of detail on some of
these things that we won’t have any say over at all because we’re gonna go back
to the main committee all of it ultimately winds up at the main
committee but well we’ll try the best we can to to get through those we’re going
to start with the accreditation issues today because we have Beth Taggart with
us from accreditation she’s far more informed about those issues than either
David or I are so she will be doing those trying to think of the same thing
I left out yes who’s gonna report out we do have we have how many people on this
committee are also on the main negotiation committee it’s just you and
your name again Jillian Klein so I would I would propose
and and and again this is we don’t have these formal things going on here but I
would propose that we that we allow Jillian to report back to the main
committee with the understanding that she will report she may have to report
something she doesn’t agree with just report but what happens or a report both
sides and you’re fine you’re fine with that
all right so because she’s on the main committee I think would make sense for
her to do that as opposed to making one of you come an additional day here so if
you’re all is there anybody who opposes Jillian in that capacity okay excellent
the other thing I think we ought to think about is how we how we approve how
we’re going to prove things I don’t know I know in the main committee they use
the thumbs up from down thumbs thing how do you all feel about that
ambivalent and indicate you like you bite yeah we’ll try it you know we’ll try to use
that same protocol so thumbs up would mean you were you were wholeheartedly in
agreement thumbs to the side I guess is what you can live with it
thumbs down is the typical Roman gladiator type thing right um enough of
that right so okay excellent that’s right Denise reminds me that though I
introduced the federal people we have not introduced any of you so as we go
around the room we’ll start here we already induced the federal people so
we’ll start with David and we’ll go around the room would you just please
tell us your name what what entity or you’re from and who you’re representing
and please be sure to press your microphone and say your name into it
hi everybody David’s cable higher education Marquette University hi I’m
Russ pullin with the witchy cooperative educational chat telecommunicator
technologies change in eight years ago and and I represent organizations that
have CBE and direct assessment members good morning Leah Matthews with the
distance education accrediting commission I’m representing
accreditation good morning sue Hobart with Des Moines University and I’m
representing nonprofit organizations supporting interstate agreements related
to state authorizations of distance and correspondence education I’m Mary Otto
from Campbell University and I’m representing the Council for Christian
colleges and universities my name is Amanda Martinez and
I’m currently going to American University and representing students hi
my name is Jessica UGA I am an attorney at the New York legal assistants group
and I’m representing legal services attorneys who work with students hi I’m
Jody Feder from the National Association of Independent colleges and universities
and I’m representing private nonprofits morning everybody Jillian Klein from
strategic education incorporated and their vice president of government
affairs strategic education is the parent company of Capella University and
Strayer University so I’m here representing for-profit institutions
with experience in distance education and direct assessment good morning
everybody my name is Robbie Anderson I’m the president of the state higher
education executive Officers Association and I’m representing the state higher
education executive officers good morning my name is Carolyn fast I’m from
the New York Attorney General’s Office and I’m representing state attorneys
generals office okay thanks and now what we’ll do is get started
with accreditation issues and again I’ll reintroduce Beth day I get from our
accreditation group and she will be the one leading the discussion on
accreditation issues oh I’m sorry we also have joining us today I am Marie
Weissman who is the head federal negotiator from the main table who has
graciously joined us this morning so she’s going to say a few words to you restrooms protocol for restrooms you go
whenever you need to and there I forget where that where are they Emery you know
I’m right outside the hall yeah men’s to the left women’s to the right and you
have to ask me for a Hall Pass first no good morning everyone my name is
anne-marie Weissman I’m the federal negotiator for the full committee and
I’m dropping in on all of the subcommittees so pardon my tardiness I
wanted to get here when you started but I was upstairs meeting with the other
two groups briefly I’ll be dropping in and out of each of the subgroup meetings
so that I can get a flavor of what you’re talking about
I will get a full rundown at the end of each day from Greg and the other
subcommittee leaders but I just wanted to make sure I had a chance to thank you
all for being with us for the hard work that you’re about to do and to let you
know how much we appreciate it and we think that you’ll be able to kind of
hash out some of the details here to assist the full committee in doing its
work and to let you know again that this is something new for us to have three
simultaneous subcommittees so we are experimenting a bit and we appreciate
you helping us and guiding us through that and if you have feedback at the end
to let us know how you thought it worked we would appreciate hearing from you so
thanks again and again I’ll be in and out but happy to meet with you and talk
with you if you have things that I can help you with especially regarding how
the full committee is working and how your work here will be brought back to
them so we’ll we’ll be in touch throughout this meeting and the other
two as well thank you Thank You Marie and you stay with us for
awhile or yeah okay all right so Emrys gonna remain with us for a little bit
and so what we’ll do is I’ll turn it over to Beth and she can so you can
start with 600 & 602 okay I’m sorry I yes mr. Anderson
thanks Robbie Anderson Co good to see you I know one of the issues that came
up in the Menken was just having the subcommittee
streamed and not having a presence of individuals and you know the of course
there wasn’t space for this time around but I was wondering if that was going to
be considered for future subcommittee meetings if there was going to be any
change of venue perhaps so because we published this in the Federal Register
and we have to give so many days notice for public meetings this is actually not
considered a public meeting because you were not a decision-making body the the
compromise that we settled on was to do the live streaming of them so that would
not change for this session of the negotiated rulemaking and when I say
this session it’s really the session so this through March so it won’t change
where you need to report or what you are doing or how we’re structuring here
because we said that it would be live-streamed upfront we felt that we
needed to honor that commitment we can certainly look to the future as to
whether it’s helpful to have them live streamed if it’s more helpful to have
the public present I think that we wanted to keep these more smaller more
intimate gatherings it’s not that we’re not looking for public feedback but I
think that these are more kind of working groups and because all of the
decisions are being made in the full committee that’s where the voting is
occurring we’ll be discussing each of these issues that you talked about here
and any recommendations that you make in that full committee so I think that our
goal is to kind of balance all of our objectives and it won’t result in
changes for the schedule that we have now through March thanks sorry Amanda thank you I just wanted for
best practices because of like questions and we’re all the way at the back that
we would if we have a question put our placard up just so you can see so and in
order if that’s possible we will do that as I said before well when we have Tony
Antonio Tony will will be directing who who’s acknowledged so that that will
we’ll have a protocol similar to what they have at the at the main table so
you just raise your tent and be and be acknowledged hopefully he’ll be my
eyesight is not not that good I wear different glasses to drive so don’t
worry but whenever I have like four pairs of I know I need progressives and
I refuse to get them out of Anthony so um you know I can’t see all right it
doesn’t matter I so anyway if I don’t see her sign I’m gonna try until when
when Tony’s up when Tony’s here up here he’ll he’ll have better vision I think I just proved my point
actually yeah turn you that’s I’m is was fast Carolyn fast yeah we do have we do have an agenda we
have one formal agenda and then we have another one that will indicate to you
who which whether it’s David or or or me and will be speaking I’ll make sure I
handed out over to Beth now good morning everyone
as greg has mentioned my name is Elizabeth Daggett I’m with the
accreditation group I’ve been asked to go over the I believe seven definitions
with some edits in part 602 under accreditation as well as one specific
one that’s in part 600 definitions so I thought we would tackle the ones in 602
first so if you go to section 602 point three could we just wait a sec everyone
is like settled okay hi again everybody has an agenda are there any other questions or is
already settled okay just one thing before you start Beth um the gender you
got the main agenda we are getting one copy there’ll be more it’s more detailed
to what we’ll be doing actually here so you again we’re getting that copy now so
if we could I think that the request was to go ahead and do the accreditation two
definitions first those are located in Section 602 point three most of the ones
that I’ll be discussing if you look at the beginning of that part the reason
there’s some changes to decisions to the definitions is that many of the ones
that were included in 602 overlapped with those that were included in 600 and
so there was a move to kind of have our definitions all in one place instead of
referencing the same definition in multiple places so that’s why there’s
that list right at the beginning that says that these definitions are
contained in Section six hunt for part 600 the first definition where there was
a real change to the language is the one listed as compliance report it’s on page
the top of page two and the change I’ll go ahead and read it
each definition compliance report means a written report that the department
requires an agency to file when that agency is found to be out of compliance
to demonstrate that the agency has addressed deficiencies specified in the
decision letter from the senior department official or the secretary it
continues to say compliance reports must be approved in order for the agencies
recognition to be granted or continued compliance reports must be reviewed by
the department and the Advisory Committee and approved by the senior
department official to continue to grant or to continue or grant in the case of
an award of initial of an initial award the agency’s recognition
and the reason for the change in this definition was to make it more clear
that a compliance report is when an agency is found to be out of compliance
with particular regulations regarding their recognition verses as you’ll see
later we added a definition for what’s called a monitoring report so there
these changes were made to provide a differentiation between those two
reports as well as to reflect the common practice of the use of the compliance
report are there any comments Jessica thank you I guess I just want to was a
concern that I know is raised in the main committee that we’re starting here
with just diving into really technical redlined language without any bird’s-eye
view and I guess it would be really helpful for me to have some sort of
framing discussion for where we’re going this morning and what the overarching
principles are here that are driving this red line changes other than their
definitions because this actually seems like somewhat of a substantive change if
I understand what you’re saying but it just some background would be helpful
I’d be happy to try to provide whatever background that I can I don’t actually
believe that the changes here demonstrate a substantive change we
currently have compliance reports and use them with accrediting agencies when
an agency were to fail to meet our requirements the options that are
available to the department thank you to Department include either granting
recognition either on an initial basis or rear eken asking for a compliant
report of up to a year to provide that report to demonstrate compliance or some
sort of limitation suspension or termination of the agency’s recognition
what the overall goals of some of the other I know the main committee is
discussing the accreditation issues but some of the goals in particular to this
area is to provide more flexibility for an agency that perhaps is not
necessarily out of compliance with a regulation
but then not providing only having a termination or compliance report as the
option so the clarifying language here is that the compliance report is used
when an agency is out of compliance with a regulation versus the monitoring
report language which you’d see later is used more for they have an agency
perhaps hasn’t had the opportunity to demonstrate compliance in a certain area
or they have policies that perhaps need a minor revision or some other area Emily thank you so I think from what I
heard you were asking for might have been a more higher level overview of the
goals of kind of where we’re going with this rulemaking overall so if that’s not
what you’re looking for feel free to flag me and stop me and I’ll just be
quiet and listen it was Jessica correct is that what you were looking for more
broadly about kind of what our plan is I guess I think there’s two things I think
there’s the the bird’s eye view of where this the overview of this rulemaking
what you’re saying and then I think the second one is um it sounds to me like
someone at the table has an idea of what we’re gonna talk through this morning
and I think that would be helpful to share out I don’t know in how that piece
fits into the broader project that you’re doing I just I feel like starting
with this definition is is some one piece of tiny piece of a very big puzzle
and just maybe to give us some context would be helpful thank you sure I can do
some of that and I think that Greg can probably do the second piece as many of
you know the the theme of our rulemaking overall is accreditation and innovation
so it’s it’s handling those issues as well as some others as we’ve talked
earlier we have three simultaneous subcommittee meetings that are going on
and we’re handling in those this is one of them
of course distance education and innovation we’ll touch on some
accreditation issues here as well particularly the definitions we also
have the faith-based subcommittee meeting talking about faith-based
instance toons particularly related to grant
programs as well as some other issues and then the third one is related to the
teach grant where they were talking about some operational issues especially
related to the conversion of teach grants to loans and how we can reverse
erroneous conversions that application process what that would look like some
of those details so the subcommittee’s of course will report back at each of
the next two full rulemaking sessions our overall theme is really innovation
trying to look at how our regulations and in some cases might impede that so
things that we might be able to take out of our current regulations things that
we might be able to modify in our current regulations or in some cases
areas where we might need to regulate in a way that provides for more innovation
so that’s the theme and I would say that related to accreditation more
specifically we’re looking at a couple of areas one of them is credit transfer
the discussion of regional versus national accrediting agencies and how
they may or may not accept credits from each other another area that we’re
looking at again related to that innovation theme is the idea of is the
way the current accrediting agency structure is set up is that leading to
an anti competitiveness is there difficulty if you are a new accrediting
agency who wants to form is there difficulty that would impede you from
doing that and then the third area I would say we really want to stress is
the idea of regulations being one size fits all the work that accrediting
agencies doing as a one-size-fits-all model and trying to move away from that
and move to a more in some cases it would be a risk based model in other
cases it might be a look at how accrediting agencies might give
different have different standards for different types of
institutions or different sizes of institutions right now if we have an
institution where there are 300 people at the institution the rules are the
same under most accrediting agency standards as it would be for a school of
30,000 and having worked at a small school previously I can tell you that’s
very challenging when you don’t necessarily have the resources of a
large institution so it not it’s not to say that you’re going to have lower
standards we want to ensure that the quality is still there that we still
have guardrails to provide protections for students but that we want to make
sure that it’s reasonable that we can have a sense of reasonableness around
regulations we don’t want to make them weaker we don’t want to make them easier
we want to have rigor and we want to emphasize quality but we also have to
look at who is best within the Triad to do that and how we can all work together
to serve students because that’s why we’re here so I hope that gives you the
brief high level overview that might be helpful if you have follow-up questions
again I’d be happy to answer them I believe the agenda that you had
discussed is coming around now so you should have that and that will list the
more individualized topics and again Greg may be able to speak to that part
of the structure a little bit more but happy to answer other questions I know
that many of you this might be your first experience with rulemaking and so
in the main committee we kind of had what I think of as Negra school we had a
brief slideshow and we could certainly share that with you if that would be
helpful in terms of how the main committee is operating and it’ll be
posted to our website shortly as well the facilitators that we have there for
the larger group developed it and I think it’s very useful Russell Thank You Russ foolin with WCET
and I I guess have an observation about this process and is curious what other
others thought and maybe a question for y’all is that is that this is the
distance learning in education innovation subcommittee and I’m trying
to figure out and I’m looking around the table and I’m we have one person
representing accreditation I think all of us have had things to do with
accreditation but we’re much more tend to be much more on the innovation
distance learning competency-based education the way it was set up so is
this committee first of all I feel this committee is a bit ill-equipped to
handle accreditation issues at large or I’ll
speak for myself I won’t speak for everyone else and wondered are we
looking at is this charge to this committee to look at all the
accreditation issues or the accreditation issues that that have an
impact on more on the innovation side I was trying to figure that out Greg yeah
I mean part of the problem here is you probably know is that we’re looking at
we’re looking a lot at 600 which is a lot to do with what the issues you
talked about that you’ve all been chosen to be here for there are definitions
that over we’re dealing with all those definitions and there are definitions
that overlap with the accreditation and with us so I think because we’re looking
at those definitions we’ve been tasked with discussing these overlapping
definitions I don’t think it is our goal or here to debate at length changes to
accreditation that’s occurring at the main table so what I’d like to do is is
Beth Beth is going to go over these with us and I agree I don’t think we should
spend as much time or as much effort on on these as we’re going to with the
other items that were we’ve been tasked to really delve into so I am I saying to
brush these offer don’t consider them that’s going to go through them we have
her expertise here where you have if you have a comment about them please please
make it if you don’t have a comment about it then you don’t have a comment
about it and we’ll take all those comments and if we
we have if nobody has any to say about it we’ll move on if the report back to
the committee is that we didn’t have any any discussion about that particular
item I’m fine with that but we’re just going to give everybody an opportunity
to go through it I don’t think you need to worry about it if you’re not an
expert in Accreditation I certainly am NOT
I’m like you my expertise is with a lot of this other these other items the same
with with mr. Musser that’s why we have Beth here so we’re just going to go
through them and I would ask any of you if you have expertise in that area or
want to make a comment or have a question ask it but do not feel as if we
have to you have to force conversation out of yourself that you don’t you don’t
really want to have about a given topic well so do you have any reply well I
really liked what you said about maybe going going through these things and
looking at them and maybe come back to them because as we get into the detail
issues that I thought were going to be on this committee that a lot of them
rely on accreditation and so and so I can see where we need to look at those
and perhaps we need to review them now and come back to them later and then
look at it that seems like that’d be a good point because we probably won’t be
able to prove some of the other things unless we have a better idea of the
accreditation so I do like that part of the conversation so thank you Greg my
pleasure Jillian and Jessica yeah just to your
comment Russ I would just add on the full committee there definitely is a lot
of accreditation representation and they think really thoughtful people there so
Lea’s here which is great so I you know I think this committee should feel
interested in talking through these and to your point seeing sort of how they
dovetail with distance education but also know that the full committee I
expect based on how it went earlier this week will have really
fulsome conversations also about these topics regardless of if we spend five
days here talking about it or five minutes so perspective given this
conversation I was hoping we could either ask Jillian or ask someone to
come with Jillian when she reports out to the main committee that
notwithstanding the fact that we’re talking a lot about accreditation we
feel somewhat uncomfortable with our own expertise and our recommendations should
be taken lately years I don’t I don’t know
exactly how to phrase that but I wouldn’t want given this conversation
what we to talk about these to be misunderstood by the members of the main
committee is possibly more authoritative Gregory yeah I don’t know that I would
use the words they take it lightly I never want to be taking what no I’m
just kidding but I think we can yeah what you’re saying that you know we that
we didn’t feel we could say we did feel that if that’s if that’s the consensus
of the group that we didn’t feel we had enough expertise here in that area to
really go into depth and addressing that then and we certainly can conclude that
if that’s if that’s the way after we talk about these the majority of you
feel and we can just report out what we have if we don’t have a lot to report on
those issues we don’t have a lot to report I’m okay with that I and I think
a merese okay with that as well I don’t think that would work for some of the
other things we were supposed to go into more detail on we just decided not to
talk about it but um but yeah I think it for accreditation certainly but we’re
going to give everybody the opportunity to address those items um a memory and
then Mary I appreciate what you’re saying and again because I’ll be at all
of the full committee meetings I hear your concern and I don’t want anybody to
feel pressured if if you have a particular area where you just feel you
want to say look pass back to the full committee it goes I mean if that’s what
we need to do we’re prepared to do that but again I think we tried to group the
areas in a way that we thought made sense if we didn’t get it quite right
you can feel free to say look we think this one needs a lot more discussion in
the full committee versus you know we had great discussion on this issue
and we’ve got recommendations again you you may have a recommendation that you
say we think the full committee should do this or you may say we can’t decide
half of us think this and half of us think that it’s your subcommittee so we
want you to feel free to do what you feel is best we want to give you some
flexibility but we hope that you at least attempt each of the conversations
and and do your best but we understand it it’s the same on the full committee
there are people who say there are some issues where I feel a lot stronger about
and and have a lot more to say and have a lot more back
so do your best and again give us that feedback let us know how we can help you
I’m gonna make a quick comment and a reflection of that it’s sort of to me it
just appears that we’ve been asked to cast a net and sometimes when you pull
up the net you have some extra things that you were really thinking that you
were going to go after so you decide whether or not you’re going to keep it
on the ship are you going to dump it over right so you know we’ll make those
decisions I guess through our conversations and I’m sure that whatever
we come up with that the full committee will be very satisfied and what we try
to report on because we’re putting forth a great effort that’s about it
emeriti it’s been said and just say we don’t put accreditation under one fell
swoop because I think there’s some parts in here that we’re going to have strong
feelings towards and be quite knowledgeable about sorry I think it’s
wise to be able to save for the areas but break it down and Umbro it all under
accreditation thank you Beth I’m sorry well yeah you had it up and then you
part it down and brought it up again I’m just along the lines of emeriti and some
of the other comments um I’m intimately familiar with these rules as an
organization that applies them every day um some areas are just going to be
administrative technical procedural things accreditors do to go through
recognition that I just don’t think that this group needs to engage on but there
are some very important sections as merit II said that overlap with the
other conversations taking place the definition for distance education
regular and substantive interaction you know direct assessment competency-based
correspondence and that’s why we’re here to talk about those areas and inform the
conversation about accreditation and what accreditation needs to do to be
more effective in reviewing distance ed programs Marty
you still have your card up all right Thank You Leah um and thanks to all the
other comments I think that it’s very important obviously that all of these
are discussed and I think the reason that I was asked to come forward as to
give an overview of the changes to the specific accreditation definitions and
be able and I will be here to be able to provide support as you’re talking
through other areas that it may address those but that these need to be
discussed at some point so I think what I’ll do is as Greg had talked about is
I’ll go through the definitions if any of the specific ones there are not all
of the ones that necessarily are of specific interest of everybody on this
subcommittee I’m gonna go through those at this point if you have any overall
questions or comments about those seven then we can talk about those but I’ll be
here as a resource and this is kind of to set some understanding of some of the
background I think that was discussed by Jessica and I’m Jillian of some of the
issues that are brought up in the accreditation
area that are being talked about at the main committee so so I I went through
the compliance report one I know that that’s a very technical area with
regards to the recognition process of agencies if you’d like I can get list
what the other ones worth that I was going to read through then the next one
is the final accrediting action it’s in the middle of page three the change to
that was to the second son so right it’s final accrediting actually means a final
determination by an accrediting agency regarding the accreditation or pre
accreditation status for an institution or program a final accrediting action is
the decision made by the agency including at the conclusion of any
appeals made available to the institutional or program by the agencies
due process policies and procedures and the reason this was put in is that it
wasn’t clear if the requirement to report a final accrediting action meant
prior to the appeals or afterward and this is to clarify what that expected
was Russell did you skip over direct assessment yes because those were the
ones that have been moved to 600 so I was only doing the one oh I’m so yes
well that one is going to be talked about specifically under direct assess
direct assessment programs by David muster he’s going to talk about all of
that altogether I’m sorry thank you for pointing that out no he was gonna he’s
got the whole direct assessment part so thank you the next definition after that
was good is monitoring report this is a new definition that’s added to the
accreditation suction as I talked about before this is to differentiate have a
different type level of report versus the compliance report which is a
definite out of compliance with a specific regulation monitoring port
means a report that an agency is required to submit to the department
containing documentation that the agency is one implementing its current or
corrected policies to compliance in practice but needs to provide additional
documentation or three compliance in practice but needs to update its
policies to conform with its practice so it’s a lower it would be considered a
lower level of report than a compliance report and would not be as it’s noted
here it would it would be submitted to the department but wouldn’t be required
to go through the full review by the Advisory Committee because it wasn’t it
lead to a actual finding of non-compliance the next one with an edit is
programmatic accrediting agency minor edits here means an agency that
accredits specific educational programs including those that prepare students in
specific academic disciplines or for entry into a profession occupation or
vocation it’s more to clarify and reflect what the programmatic
accrediting agencies that we accredit already do there was a minor addition to
the recognition definition but we felt like that was more of a technical change
and to reflect our current practice as that the agency has to be effective and
consistent in its application of the criteria Julian sorry to take us back I wasn’t
clear if you want to comment sorta for the end of long the definitions of known
as we go I was it was kind of waiting a little bit in between to see if there
were so I’m totally open okay I’m sorry I’m just go back to final crediting
action I’m wondering if it’s intentional that should that including still be in
there I’m trying to understand when the final accrediting action would happen
that’s not at the conclusion of appeals I’m if an if any if it program or
institution were to not elect to go through the appeals process okay okay
the problem is is that agencies it’s hasn’t been clear because they’ll do a
what’s considered an accreditation decision at a point when they make a
determination regarding a Pro an institution or program whether that’s to
accredit or not accredit or some other decision in between when they take some
sort of adverse action or actually any action they determined to be appealable
under their policies it wasn’t clear whether the department was expecting the
notification at the time of when that action was taken or at the time at the
end of the availability to appeal and well it had been found is that there are
times that an agency would notice that they have made a final determination of
perhaps a termination but then that institution or program had appealed that
and the appeals panel had either remanded back to the original decision
making or made a decision to overturn it and that program or institution would
then have conflicting information of whether or not they had lost their
accreditation or whether or not they are currently accredited and it was not
clear to the public so we were trying to make it clear that it’s once that
decision was made was at its final form and there was no further appeal rights
it almost reads like an accrediting agency could issue the final crediting
action before or not allow an institution to appeal I’m not sure that
whatever happened but because of the word including it’s a little bit okay
I can take that back not a problem okay thanks Caroline
thank you um yeah I also had a comment about the word including and I was a
little confused about if your response about what this means because if the
issue is I know maybe I’m misunderstanding the issue but it is the
issue that the that it’s unclear when it needs to be reported to the department
by by a school that has no by an accrediting agency okay so it seems to
me that that’s still a little confusing because the the accrediting agency would
have to know whether the there was going to be an appeal or else they would have
to wait till the end of the appeals process so it so in other words I’m also
confused about the word including and if it means if you’re if we’re trying to
say in the end of the appeal or after the Institute has decided not to appeal
the maybe that’s what it should say if that’s what that meant okay I can take
that back perhaps if we just struck the word including that might make it more
clear okay there any other comments or one or the others I was gonna move then to scope of
recognition where we have added a line to that definition so we’re on page four
in the middle so the scope of recognition is the scope with which the
department recognizes an agency so if an agency only only accredits four-year
institutions then they would have to ask for something additional if they wanted
to add graduate programs at a certain level so that what this is talking about
is what we define as the scope and so there’s only the change made to the
geographic area of activities to provide a pivot to provide more guidance in that
the the geographic the scope of recognition or scope means the range of
accrediting agencies for which the secretary recognizes an agency the
secretary may place a limitation on the scope of an agency’s recognition for
title for HEA purposes the Secretary’s designation of scope defines the
recognition granted according to the geographic area of accrediting agencies
and the addition of this line of such that the inclusion of a particular
geographic area in one Zack one accreditor scope does not preclude the
inclusion of that same or similar geographic area and another accreditor
scope so it’s saying that if a certain if there is currently a state agency
that a regional could include that state or if there was a regional who wanted to
have overlapping states with another regional accreditor that they could do
that and making that more clear that that’s not a prohibited practice it’s
never been prohibited but it’s more making it more clear in the regulation Jodi
yeah I just wonder if you could speak a little bit more to what the underlying
purpose of this provision is I believe that the department’s position was to
encourage competition and encourage access I guess my question is then what I’m concerned that perhaps that would
potentially lead to a situation in which you could have a sort of race to the
bottom situation are there any protections to prevent
that type of situation I mean I didn’t envision that the discussion of a
geographic area would encourage a race to the bottom well if you’re giving for
example institutions that in if you approve a regional accreditor that has a
same state as another regional accreditor could you end up in a
situation then where you have you know an institution in that particular state
has a choice to go to the easier the accreditor that’s perceived to go easier
on institutions I wouldn’t necessarily characterize out
that way I would characterize it as that there have more opportunity to have a
different accreditor versus having no choice whatsoever yeah I mean there are
and if there are national accrediting agency then they could already move from
accrediting agency to accrediting agency right that’s true I’m talking about the
situation involving regionals though so it’s just an observation I think that I
don’t think that any of the regionals would think that they’re at the bottom not the curve I’m not assuming I’m
talking about if you allowed new regionals to compete with the existing
regionals which is your stated objective David
yeah maybe a little more pejoratively stated it does seem like it would
encourage shopping around and so it may not be a race to the bottom but I would
be hard-pressed to imagine an institution that’s looking for
accreditation not to shop around to see where it gets the best deal Marty I
think some way I’m just trying to clarify since as I understand it this is
already allowed and it seems to apply more to the national creditors this is
trying to clarify that it could be done at the regional accrediting agencies I
think it’s just trying to clarify that it can be done it’s not focused at any
particular agency institutions can already move between regional
accreditors I mean if especially if you’re distance ed you just move your
headquarters and you can you know set yourself up in a different regional
accreditor I guess my interpretation of this is perhaps the regional accreditor
wants to expand beyond California and Hawaii or you know beyond New England
and I mean I don’t know what that does for students I mean if we’re gonna be
focused on how we’re advancing opportunities and protecting student
interests I don’t know what this does but maybe the experts on the main
committee can you know maybe give this more attention we can share with them
some of our thoughts about what does this mean for students as we kind of
move in this direction with this language merridy you still hope we’re
coming yeah I would propose that that we share with the main committee that my
thought is this actually makes it more confusing and accreditation is already
confusing enough to the average student I I would suggest that state
institutions cannot pick up and shop which regional state we want to be
located in so I would just propose we push its back to the main committee for
serious consideration that it does not add clarity and could it could in fact
lead to more shopping to meet your needs okay wise car
no one said measure twice cut once Gregory yeah so you married you’re
proposing that we did you want to take take the pulse of the group to see if
they’re how they feel about that okay well I think we I think we entertain
that then let’s see using the using the thumbs method I was talking about
another way but of course I couldn’t come up with any said well using the
thumbs method so why don’t those of you who do you want to restate that just
again merit II and then we’ll have it what I’ll do them anyway your first yeah
thank you we’ll get all the comments first Mendel and I just had a question
for Beth what was there any discussion or Marianne and was there a discussion
when discussing like this goal or your objective was to create you know
encourage our creditors to cross lines and it had consequences for students and
how you’re looking at it really what the discussion was is looking at it from a
perspective of you know accreditors but was there discussion of possible
unintended consequences for students who are then given more options and what the
prices would be how they would market that just looking ahead in the future
and whether it’s a good objective overall for students since that’s what
you’re saying we’re here for so in I was not in all of the discussions related to
all of the issues but in the discussions that I was present for the discussion
surrounding the possible impact on students was that we thought that the
competitiveness that it would bring would actually be beneficial for
students that in some cases it could lower the price for accreditation for an
institution the thought here was part of that big versus small discussion that we
had earlier that some accrediting agencies might end up specializing in
areas that they hadn’t specialized in previously so if you have an institution
where you have three hundred students and that’s your entire school when when
you have a large accrediting agency that’s looking at
this is a very dated example and I apologize but years ago when I was still
at a school they were asking us well how many volumes do you have in your
institutions library and we were a very focused institution with a single
mission two programs that were focused on the same discipline and we didn’t
need to have the large library that a main university would have but when we
were looking at changing accreditors the one that we were looking at wanted us to
have the same number that the large university and on the street had and we
couldn’t compete that just wasn’t that wasn’t the same type of thing now I
realized volumes in the library in the digital age is not the critical issue
anymore and I’m sure there’s a comparable issue that isn’t coming to my
mind but that was one of the examples that was kind of kicked around the idea
that when you have multiple opportunities for an institution to go
to it might yield a new accrediting agency that has a newer mission and
focuses more on smaller schools and trying to meet their accreditation needs
and then in a term it would focus on the needs of those students in a better way
and that they would have their interest in mind with the idea of looking at
resources that were reasonable for that smaller sized institution versus a large
complex research university that would have a lot more to offer but the
students who are attending those two different institutions when they’re
choosing those institutions they’re choosing them based on the idea of they
know what they’re looking for so I’m not going to go to a school that
offers a program or two programs and maybe has 500 students expecting the
same resources that you would have I wouldn’t expect their for example to
be a large health center whereas where I went to university it was a large public
state university there was basically like a mini hospital on campus you’re
not going to have the same kinds of things for students but when I picked
that school I knew where I was going versus other students are gonna pick a
smaller school and say maybe they’re gonna use the resources in their town
versus something on campus and I think it was just trying to be mindful of
those kinds of decisions that people are making
and with the hope that it would end up being better for the institutions and
the students help okay David just one other I think likely consequence so if
we imagine that now institutions can pick and choose where they are
accredited or by which institution you’re likely to start to see a
hierarchy among the accreditors where some are going to be seen as more
difficult which will be more desirable for the more elite institutions and so
you might start to get kind of an accreditation hierarchy in that regard I
don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but I think it is a likely consequence
that needs to be considered Jessica thank you I see students everyday and my
practice who are really suffering from schools that didn’t do the right thing
for them and I just want to articulate it’s a little bit hard to talk about the
last few years and the space without naming particular schools but you can
imagine some of the schools they may have attended that are no longer
operating and so I just want to reiterate that obviously the consumer
protection goal is really important especially for low-income students and I
think that and obviously you know there s I would be curious of Ed’s position
about you know one of the consequences of this opening a sort of race to the
bottom of accreditors or institutions that aren’t serving students well being
able to switch accreditors in a way that ultimately doesn’t serve the students that’s know I just wanted to provide a
comment that this um actual edition of this language would not change the
current allowance within the regulation this just puts into words that this is
possible and things that perhaps people thought weren’t possible were so there
wasn’t there’s no this doesn’t change how the regulation in an agency could
extend their boundaries today and we would look at that it’s allowable
nerdy it’s my understanding that the goal of the overall committee is to look
at the redline document but is not constrained by the redline document so
if we decide on input to advise them I want to clarify that it’s not
necessarily saying we do or don’t support the redline it’s that we may
have input that we think would help clarify it or changes even that we think
may we may want to see that are different than those proposed is that
accurate yes so that may add round to of comments David just very briefly so from
a student protection perspective I think the other issue here is that students do
not understand accreditation at all they just look for the word right so so as
long as an institution is accredited as far as the student is concerned that’s
cool because I can get aid so I don’t think that well I would worry that a
hierarchy of accreditors we already have it but even a greater hierarchy of
accreditors might pose bigger risks to students nerdy oh okay
Gregory did you wanted to see oh I’m sorry Emory I just I think that merridy
brought up a very important process point and again because I wasn’t here
for the very beginning of your discussion I don’t know if this was
covered but I think in light of her comment I think it’s worth emphasizing
what we have in the red lines were seen as a starting point or a proposal it’s a
little different than what we’ve typically done in negotiated rulemaking
and that we typically bring you an issue paper with questions and things that are
supposed to stop our discussion we because of the volume of what we’re
covering this time decided to bring opening language but it’s still a
discussion point it’s a starting point and we see what we’re doing as
negotiations true negotiations where we don’t expect this to be what leaves the
room or what leaves the full committee room we expect this to spark your
discussion and that you’ll have ideas that we didn’t think of that the idea of
the group being you know greater than the parts
so we don’t want you to think that we brought you here so you can say yes this
looks good we want to recommend it we brought you here so that you’ll make
recommendations for changes and that you’ll see things that we didn’t see and
it may be that it’s something that’s not redlined that you say well I think we
want to put this in there so feel free to use this as that starting point that
we intended it to be and and not to be so constrained by thinking we’re
expecting you to just come to the point of saying yes to all it’s it’s not an
accept all changes kind of discussion it really is to hear what you think thank
you yeah thank you for that clarification anne-marie because I feel
I’ve been sitting at the negotiations for the past three days so I are – I’m
sorry it feels like three days one and a half days and I feel like you know I’m
jumping in obviously much further along than the rest of you and so I apologize
for doing that my goal here really is exactly what you know and Marie and Greg
have said is to kind of provide the the changes that have been proposed and then
also provide the rationale for that and be able to answer the questions that you
might have so I just you know if I’m appreciative of you know the feedback
and the language because we will be bringing that all back to the main
committee so are there any other further questions on this particular one at this
particular time knowing that you can always come back to things as you want
Jillian yep I would just add and I’ll write a note to myself to take back to
the full committee that for sure Barbara and other representatives of regional
accreditation need to weigh in on this as well since that voice is not at this
table to make sure that we’re accounting for that also did you want to make comment microphone totally clear on what we were reporting
back on this point I think that merridy was going to make a proposal and then we
never got to cuz we were having it it’s a more helpful discussion but did you
still want to make a proposal and I was trying to listen to more of the
discussion to see if it changed it but I don’t think it really did just more that
I do think we bring this back to the main committee as a point that we had
active discussion on it and voiced concerns about downstream ramifications
whether it’s allowed now or not or whether it’s allowed now are just
clarified that we had concerns on downstream ramifications of this
potential overlap and shopping a creditor shopping yeah just on that note
I just like if we are prepared to take the pulse of the of the Committee on
what Mary just said as Express expressing those concerns to the main
committee and again if if others have differing opinions we will certainly
take that will go back to the committee as well saying you know the majority
felt this way but the word where there was dissent so let me just by show of a
thought how many want to put in the report report back what those
reservations that marady just discussed that looks like everybody oh I’m sorry I
put my glasses on all right so look so we have one that was the size so that
means you can live with it if not fully endorsing does anybody want to express
any any dissenting view from what marady talked about so that we would include
that as well if it exists because I I don’t want to choke off anybody who has
it I don’t know what sometimes it’s difficult to be in the minority you know
you feel like I don’t want to say because everybody else felt a different
way but I want to encourage you anybody here to express those opinions even if
you’re the only one okay then I think Amanda I think it would be important to
highlight that we really took a discussion on unintended consequences
and really how that would affect students and that there was really no in
my question I think I was also hoping to hear some data to back some of the
objectives which I can understand may be difficult to have data or some type of
backing of evidence but just that you know it was mostly a discussion there
was no true like evidence to back up like lower cost or where there would be
a hierarchy but just that those were some of the options that they would be
really thinking about and clarify when we’re reporting out that what the
potential scenarios would be no Mary just a question is there possibility
that the policy would change regardless of the language you’re cut you’re saying
it’s currently happening now correct and this is really just clarifying and I’m
just curious as to if that would happen if the main committee would recommend
that they rethink the entire policy of the ability to choose an accrediting
agency I mean as the regulation is currently written they could do the
activities that are written in the red line what the main committee decides to
do with that would be up to them so the committee could make a
recommendation to alter that regulation to say something else but in the absence
of it doing that – actually we’d have to all come to consensus which would
include the department’s vote of course and I don’t see that that’s the goal of
the administration at this point I think the goal is to encourage the
competitiveness and to look toward innovation and that their feeling is
that’s a good way to do it to encourage the idea of allowing this flexibility
and things like that so especially given that it already is possible that there’s
nothing in the regulation prohibiting it I don’t think that’s an area where
they’d want to go I think they could probably live with not including it
given that the text isn’t there now and they’re already you know accredited
schools can already choose their accreditor but I think it would be
contrary to the stated goals of the of the department to try to strike it or to
add something in to say we’re not going to allow it Jessica
I’d like to bring up go back to a process point is this an okay time to do
that certainly thank you I now that we’re getting into this I’m realizing
that our report to the main committee is going to be like pretty detailed and a
little bit nuanced and I just was going to recommend that we maybe decide to
have a second person because ideally and I just think it’s gonna be a lot for you
to try and capture sort of all the nuances of these discussions Jodie um if
we do decide to have a second person I just I am based in DC and I’m attending
every day of the Negron so I will be in attendance helps does anyone have any
thought about Jody’s offer Amanda I’m also available to Gregory yes so it seems as if we do have
multiple people who’d be willing to go to the table there’s at least two others
so are we as a group okay with that anybody we could and we could do that
that’s Emory just pointed out we could we could actually decide to split by
issue when we when we get moved towards having a report we could divide it up so
that all of you don’t have to speak to every one of you doesn’t have to speak
to every issue Emory yeah my thought and that was really just that as we look at
this the agenda for the subcommittee there are 23 distinct issues being
discussed and that’s a lot so so as not to have extra burden on anyone of you
who volunteered I know that you actually have other work and jobs in school and
things like that so it’s not to say that either of you are not capable but just
to say that it might be easier if you could meet individually and say you know
I I would rather take this issue and divide them up because it probably would
be a significantly large report and you know there’s a lot of reading and
backgrounds and all of that so I it’s just a suggestion you as a group can
decide what works best for you but sometimes having more people to help
what the work is is better and and I know they would welcome your presence
and appreciate the hard work that you’re doing here too Marty even if we don’t
think it stands a chance of coming to consensus it’s better that we have some
things on the record as a discussion in the main group so I hope we don’t back
away from things just because we feel that it won’t be a consensus together
Thank You Gregory so I wanted to just be clear of that we have there were three
individuals right that we make so I’m okay with those three individuals
determining which which items that were poured out to the to the to the to the
main committee if everybody else is so I don’t know that we want to spend a lot
of time debating here who should do what I yeah yeah as long as we have someone
to do it and I think we can just trust I’ll do it a
good job without just one point well we see that report before it goes to the
full committee yes absolutely you’ll see the report okay should we
continue okay hearing no further I was going to go ahead and continue perhaps
we can get through there are two more in this section and then to get to Gregg’s
break but we’ll see so the next one that we were going to look at is the senior
Department official it’s at the bottom of page four this is really just
clarifying the current practice which instead of so the senior department
official is means the senior official in the US Department of Education
designated by the Secretary to make decisions on accrediting agency
recognition and then the final definition in this
section that we would cover is the last one at the top of page five substantial
compliance and this is again going towards the addition of that monitoring
report that was at a lower level not necessarily indicating non-compliance
with a regulation so the substantial compliance definition means having the
necessary policies practices and standards in place and in all but a few
of those cases adheres with fidelity to those policies practices and standards
or having policies practices and standards in place that need minor
modifications in order to become fully compliant Judy in general definitely
supportive of the concept of substantial compliance I was worried about this
definition that the first part is a little too loose because you know what
are we talking about when we say in all but a few of those cases that language
concerns me I would be perfectly happy with retaining the second part you know
having policies practices and standards in place that need minor modifications
in order to become fully plant compliant because I think that’s really what we’re
talking about I know we can I don’t know if we can suggest actual changes to the
language yes so that would be my proposals to strike the first part of
that definition in retain the second I think the intent of the department in
this particular area was to have that having two options having the two
options so if we could try to figure out if there was some other language that we
might be able to put in place that would more accurately reflect could you
explain a little bit more what you’re trying to capture in the first part that
isn’t captured in the second right it’s that somebody that they have the
policies practices in place but perhaps in a couple areas they weren’t
implemented exactly as to the letter of those policies and procedures so it’s
giving them the opportunity to provide the documentation that they
our fault like that they have fully implemented it it’s not saying a
systemic issue which would then be a concern it’s saying that the examples
that were provided didn’t demonstrate that you’ve implemented these policies
and practices as you state that you did and so then being able to provide a
report that then demonstrates that they’ve actually implemented as as
written David yeah so I I agree about the concern I think the the bifurcation
of this statement really allows a pretty big loophole in the first clause so I
wonder if if you can combine the two and and say something like having the
necessary policies and practices and standards in place understanding that
some might need minor modifications in order to become fully compliant or
something like that yeah two comments so I I think I
understand what you’re trying to do here and I I think it makes sense maybe the
language isn’t working exactly it’s a group but I think what you’re saying is
if the mistake was made by an institution that is not in line with
their policies that they wouldn’t automatically be sort of in trouble if
it’s like I mean as a one-off as opposed to like a systemic issue at the agency
level yeah yeah yeah so so I think that makes sense maybe we can figure out a
way to get the language better my question was gonna be I’m curious if the
department has any way to get any data around how many instances they think
that this would capture them maybe or no since this is a new category I don’t
know the answer to that but it would be interesting I think for us to know what
the actual impact would be in terms of what the N size would be that we would
see fall into this new category it’s possible that the accreditation group
could go back and look at decisions we’ve made recently over the last review
period and see if there are any instances that we could point to I’m not
sure if we have that data but we could try to pull that for ya I think even if
it’s directional it would just be useful for us to understand sort of this we have a lot of placards up so hey
Murray did you want to say something just very quickly I think that the
intent here was more the first half of it being about following institutional
following agency policies and the second part was more having the policies so
said in a really you know trying to break it up very quickly it following
your own policies is very important of course but again I think the idea was to
allow for the one or two off mistakes where you have the policy in place the
policy is compliant but for some reason you made an exception or you didn’t do
something in a way that it wasn’t documented we’re comfortable with the
policy you have we’re just reiterating that you have to follow it in the future
and then that second part was for one or two things you didn’t have that policy
in place at all so that’s where we were going with it it was it was to say that
there is overall compliance but in you know in a couple of minor cases
something wasn’t done that should have been and and we want to allow kind of a
different standard for looking back at it in a way that we’re keeping tabs on
it that we’re not just ignoring it and saying oh okay we’ll just say fine let
it go we want to have a way of ongoing looking at that going forward so we have
a lot of placards up so merridy Leah Jessica Russell on the second part I
actually was wondering why compliance or adherence was not included in the second
ass in the second part of this because they
that case you didn’t have the policy at all so in the first case you do have the
policy but you didn’t follow it in the second case the agency didn’t have the
policy at all that they needed they needed minor changes but it doesn’t
speak at all to whether or not you were consistent and that appears to be a
theme that the department’s trying to get in here is the consistency and
applying your policy so that’s I would just make a recommendation that maybe
they look at adding um a similar piece that you know your fidelity to following
even if you’re they’re slightly off your policies so yes it’s not to say that you
didn’t have the entire policy but you didn’t have the full policy that you
needed so it needed a modification but you
I think our theory here is you can’t follow something if you don’t have it so
we wanted to give you the opportunity to create whatever missing piece there was
and then get it in place and that of course expect you to follow but if you
feel that there’s language we need to add around that again you can feel free
this is the time to go ahead and make those suggestions Leah I think I
understand what this policy is trying to accomplish in the greatly complex
process of recognizing accreditors sometimes you’re just missing a
conflict-of-interest document for one of your board members or sometimes you know
the review of an outside provider with more than 50% of the learning you don’t
have the application sometimes little things do get missed I think what this
is trying to accomplish is in those instances it gives accreditation staff
and to cqu a little bit more flexibility to say yeah you have the policy you have
evidence there was this one place that wasn’t done we’re just going to get a
follow-up from you on that and we’ll call it a day I think you can accomplish
that by just getting rid of this little bit of troublesome language here and in
all but a few of those cases I think if you strike that language I think you’ll
have a protocol in place to review a creditors that have their standards and
policies in place may need a bit more documentation to make the record
complete Jessica thank you I just wanted to voice
an overall goal that I think goes at a higher level to substantial compliance
but also compliance reports monitoring reports and some of the definitions we
skipped over which is just that I I’m a little concerned that these actions
wouldn’t be publicly available or they that these definitions may bring actions
that are currently publicly available out of the public record and I’m by no
means an expert in that but I think having a public record of these is
incredibly important to students and and advocates like me who work with them
directly so I just would like the Department to take that in consideration
so these particular like the monitoring report and compliance report and this
edition of substantial compliance would be applicable to accrediting agencies in
their recognition process and all of that any of the decisions made by the
department would be in the federal would be on our website as they are available
now I’m trying to think of I’m trying to try to figure out if there’s a
Louisville it might be a problem I think I might need to take that back and think
about it and then be able to come back but the thought of adding this was not
to reduce the transparency but more to provide greater flexibility Gregg well
yeah I’d like to get a sense of the what we just discussed this topic what we
would like to have in the report is the feelings of the of the of the committee
or sort of I hate to use the word consensus because we’re not doing
consensus here but the the the temperature of the Committee on that so
I know Lea had some language she wanted to do and merridy huh I mean how to do
easily just to rephrase that Scott you gotta recognize Scott for
those that haven’t know shit I am trying to make changes as people have
recommended them so please do take a look and if you’d like to give me a
specific wording on this particular one we can change it from one I have on the
screen currently or if you just want me to put a note in for us to take it back
and think about the things that we’ve said I know that were a couple changes
where we at one point have the recommendation if we’re moving the
entire first part of the definition and then winnowed it down to just a clause
within that so if I captured it how you like also let me know that I’m gonna let
people digest what Scott wrote first before I recognize anyone anyone have any further suggestion a
comment on what Scott has provided us Jodi yeah sorry it’s hard to talk to
them I can look at this screen I thank you for your clarification I understand
now what you were trying to do in that first paragraph I think what you’re
trying to say because you’re trying to say effectively that minor modifications
may be required in order to adhere with your own policies as well as adapter
policies to be fully compliant with federal regulations that this doesn’t
quite do that because the minor modification language isn’t modifying
both so I think there’s some wordsmithing that needs to happen here
and right unless at the very end I’m trying right maybe it hears with
fidelity to existing policies practices and standards I don’t know if that
points back enough to say I don’t know yeah I agree with what um I’m sorry to
jump in I agree with what Jodi said in that at the point and and I think I
can’t remember who accurately maybe I think there’s Jillian who said you know
part one is following the policies and part two as having the policies so I
think that that was what the intent was and I agree with Jodi I don’t think that
as is right and it reflects what the department’s intent was to having the
substantial compliance Julie sorry I think it’s in I was asking if we
could have come back to this or rather than trying to draft language
collectively maybe come back with some ideas or have the department come back
with some ideas because I think it’s just it’s it’s specifically the language
in all but a few of those cases that we’re concerned about what we really
want to say have is the minor modifications apply to both clauses does
that make sense with minor exceptions so what would read means having the
necessary policies practicing the standards in place and with minor
exceptions adheres with fidelity to those public policies practices and
procedures and ERDs or having policies practices and standards in place that
need minor modifications in order to become fully compliant Jessica I just my
understanding is this provision is really for the sort of mistakes that you
were describing that I think wouldn’t have any direct impact on students and I
was wondering if we could think about including that in the definition or
something like minor exceptions that don’t harm students or obviously that’s
not regulatory language but something to make clear that the intent of this it’s
is for like sort of clerical or technical errors it’s got your
just on the process now if anybody does have language on any of these
definitions between now and the conclusion of our processes in March you
can always feel free to email those to me my email address is Scott dot filter
at ed.gov Lea just in my experience of going through recognition for 20 years
you know these types of things are typically administrative clerical
document keeping types of things you know the recognition process isn’t going
to fly if you have a major policy lapse that truly ties to institutional results
that are affecting students I mean it just doesn’t work like that so I think
you know if we put in you know on administrative basis or that kind of
thing maybe that’ll address any questions for how students are protected
in the process of recognizing accreditors but but generally it’s it’s
really just an administrative protocol that they’re trying to address here in
writing to get allow themselves the ability to do that thank you Gregory did
you want to continue oh okay that concludes the discussion for this
section I want to thank Beth and Sally for being here with us and sharing their
expertise without which we certainly wouldn’t have been able to have as
robust the discussion as we did at this point I’m going to do what I do best and
call for a break so it is 25 to the hour so we’ll take 15 minutes please try to
be back at a time on a family basis we do have for those of you who aren’t
familiar where the area there is across the street from us a Starbucks which I’d
appreciate you’re not going to because you’ll be in line before me and just
kidding we also have a there’s a vida frost out to the right there’s a
McDonald’s there’s a couple of other sandwich shops we also have a little
commissary type cafeteria in here I’m going to add that for anyone who does
leave the building make sure you have your badge on you you will not have to
read you also have to go back through
security but it will shorten the process to coming back in and you don’t need to
scan food if you have food or drinks that you’re coming back with I know
usually they’ll scan people if you’re bringing that in the morning let the
guard know that you have food or beverages and you’d like them just to
hand look at them and they’ll do that so you don’t have to put that through an
x-ray machine I probably will up is safe to leave
things I’ll be up here yeah we’re gonna have a few people here don’t leave a lot
of money sitting around or something like that but I think computers please
do yeah please Tony says leave some money around you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you but ask I want to get to their table
please it’s 1055 I’ve been informed we have a
hard stop in 65 minutes Thank You Gregory
could you introduce Denise oh yes I introduced Denise before but we have
changed counsel so we now have Denise Morelli with this who will be counsel
for these discussions musical chairs right
so basically Sally was for accreditation issues we have one other issue that Beth
will be coming back up for I believe that’s pre accreditation but we’re going
to get into the definitions and in part 600 so if you want to pull that up before we get started Emery is going to
address a protocol issue with you and so I’ll turn the floor over to her I
thought I was going to the other committee member meeting so there was
some discussion with some of the members of the full committee and members of the
subcommittee about how the full committee protocols apply to you
generally speaking for negotiated rulemaking the full committee comes to
consensus on protocols about how the full committee will operate we did not
do the same type of thing with this committee because it’s a subcommittee
you’re not a decision-making body it’s a little more informal but there were some
discussions about people speaking with the press and so I wanted to read to you
just very briefly one item from the protocols from the full committee
members and just have a really quick thought about whether that might be
appropriate for this group as well and it’s about contact with the media it
says contact with the media investment community or other organizations outside
of the community of interest represented by the member will generally be limited
to discussion of the overall objectives and progress of the negotiators members
will refrain from characterizing the views motives and interest of other
members during contact with the media investment community or other
organizations outside of their community of interest represented by the member
and to the general public including through social media so the thought was
that if you are speaking with the press that you can talk about how you feel
about what you’re discussing but that you wouldn’t characterize the views of
somebody else so that Russell wouldn’t say well merridy said and marady thinks
and you know it would only be what Russell thinks so sorry to pick on you
you were the one who was right in front of me and unlike reg I do have
progressive lenses so I can see from the middle to there but I can’t see the
names down there they got blurry so these are a mixed blessing they’re good
in some ways but then I start doing that so it’s I’m still getting used to them
but I’ve just now given away my age in addition to all that other stuff
but I think what we would like to hear from is would people be agreeable to
that type of thing where you’re not characterizing the views of others that
you are free to reach out to anybody within your community of interest that
you are always getting input from them seeking advice from them hearing what
they think making sure you’re representing them but that if you did
talk with the press you wouldn’t characterize viewpoints that you heard
around the table from other people because you may get their viewpoints
wrong and that way you’re not speaking for others I I saw a thumb go up so
maybe we want to do a thumb temperature check if that’s agreeable to everybody
and if it’s not I can’t see everybody but if we have an agreeable just to let
us know why okay so we’ve got agreement so I thank you for that piece and I will
go up to the other two subcommittees now let you continue your work and just
thank you again for the cooperation thank you and Mary okay we’re going to
begin looking at the institutional eligibility and particularly and
starting at six hundred point two we’re back with our definitions and the first
one I’d like to take a look at in a red lines is a the definition of additional
location and branch campus you’ll you’ll note in the on page one of the document
which has contains the red lines for part 600 that we are adding a definition
of additional location so let’s take a look at that and we’re defining
additional location as a campus that is not geographically a part and at which
the institution offers at least 50% of a program and clarifying that it may
qualify as a branch campus we have always at the department had the concept
of branch of additional locations and in fact most additional locations are are
approved as such not not branch campuses so this is a the first time however that
we’ve I believe in regulation the actual
definition of what the additional location is you can see that
differentiated from a branch campus so note that a branch campus is is an
additional location so what we’re seeing here is an additional location can be a
branch campus but a branch campus is an additional location of an institution
geographically apart independent from the main institution and we consider the
location of an institution to be independent of the main campus if the
location is permanent in nature you can see that it has to offer offer degrees
in recognized credentials have its own faculty and administrative
administrative and supervisory organisation and its own budgetary and
hiring Authority so you can see that that’s what we use to draw the
distinction between what is a branch what does that was considered a true a
branch and what will be considered an additional location again this I think
just puts in regulation what those definitions are Lea I’m just curious
about may qualify as a branch I mean you know a branch as I understand it you
know can have its own ope ID you can have a lot of autonomy and does this
language mean that institutions can move additional locations which typically
have their authority from a branch or main does this give more flexibility for
additional locations to kind of move in and out of that kind of territory I’m
wondering if maybe financial aid can help us kind of parse through this as it
relates to eligibility for program participation David and so I think it’s
a good question but I want to point out some additional context first there is
often some confusion about what we mean when we say branch campus in many cases
it folks think of it in the way that is just that it’s defined in IPEDS where a
branch campus meets certain characteristics so it has different
reporting requirements etc but for purposes of total for eligibility branch
campus is a very specific definition that is that is listed below and the
biggest impact that having a branch Hanff can
has is that once you’ve established a branch campus and you can see all of the
requirements for autonomy here you can you can make that branch campus into a
fully eligible standalone institution without otherwise meeting the two-year
operation requirement so while its operating as a branch campus you’re
essentially meeting the two-year requirement for operation before you can
become a new institution so what we’re doing here is not really changing
anything about how about the policy that’s already established we’re just
making it clear in the regulation what an additional location is and keeping in
mind that an additional location is a location that is is part of a larger
main campus and has its own eight digit ope ID whereas the main campus has it as
its as the six digit sort of base ope ID so additional locations are considered
part of the overall institution and the same is true of branch campuses they’re
all part of the larger institution that is treated as a one unit by law answer
your question Leah okay Julian thank you Thanks
so based on my conversations I’m understanding that there are there have
been sort of some differences and how different accreditors or accreditors in
the department have defined and understood these terms so I’m just
curious if you have a sense and maybe this is for what’s your name Beth I’m
sorry if what impact you expect there to be on accreditors in terms of the
differences that you all have seen and how they’ve adapted these terms sorry hi
again I don’t anticipate there being major changes I think that most of the
agencies have at this point been utilizing the similar language so I
don’t see it as a major change for them Gregory any other comments related to additional
location or branch campus I want to make sure and I believe this will come more
under six hundred point nine but the unintended consequence that has really
impacted healthcare and those institutions such as ours and other
osteopathic or PA training schools is that many times we are sending students
on clinical rotations and we are sending them outside of our own state so the
unintended consequence has been many institutions then in those states have
to apply criteria for physical presence and this is where I just want to make
sure as we talk about the term branch campus if we are sending students out to
do a clinical rotation on a pediatric urology rotation they are not probably
going to be doing that in the state of Iowa and so they cross over into another
state to do that so the term branch campus does have an impact I believe
when we get to six hundred point nine and you’ve addressed it it looks like
through state authorization which has been a wonderful tool that we’ve been
able to use but I just want to make sure that you understand that that is applied
lots of additional costs to us in those states where physical presence you know
we do not have it keep forgetting to use the card so yeah that’s a it’s a good
point and I I also want to defer maybe to our to our council a little bit on
this but I believe that some of the issues that you’re describing our
requirements by States not necessarily requirements of the department the
department for the most part only requires you to report an additional
location if at least if if a student could complete
at least 50% or more of the program but even if you have a location that doesn’t
meet that definition if a state has certain requirements for you to meet if
you’re if you have a location in their state that doesn’t for example offer 50%
of the program you still have to meet the state’s requirements so while the
department you know we can’t override those requirements you know we the state
can can impose the requirements that it needs to so I don’t know if if there’s
something that you know we could change here that could be helpful to you and
we’re certainly open to that but I think we certainly not much that we can do
about the states having those kinds of requirements in place carry on Craig all
right we’re going to continue with a discussion of the definition of a clock
our and David will lead that discussion all right so scrolling down a little bit
going down to Scott has it up on the screen now definition of a clock hour so
if the o’clock hour is a very long-standing definition in our
regulations and its importance is that if you have a clock hour program you and
and you are providing title for aid using the clock our rules then you have
to monitor a student’s attendance by clock hour so you have to watch when
they clock in watch when they clock out and ensure that you have carefully
monitored the amount of time that they’ve spent in they’re actually in
attendance and working on their coursework when the regulation was
originally promulgated frankly there was no concept of distance education it
didn’t exist it was as long before that was even thought of so you have if you
can see what what existed before our edits was a 50 to 60 minute class
lecture or recitation in the sixty minute period a 50 to 60 minute faculty
supervise laboratories shop training or internship in a 60 minute period or 60
minutes of preparation in a correspondence course which did
exist at the time that we last edited this regulation there really wasn’t a
definition that applied or clearly applied to a program offered through
distance education and so what we’ve done is add one and it’s under four here
on the screen what we’ve added is the following so a o’clock hour in a
distance education environment is fifty to sixty minutes in a 60-minute period
of consecutive or non-consecutive academic engagement through distance
education so we’re specifically calling out distance education here for purposes
of this definition academic engagement is defined by the institution and
includes but is not limited to attending a synchronous class lecture or
recitation online interacting with a faculty member or participating in an
online discussion about academic matters participating in interactive tutorials
or computer assisted instruction or taking exams academic engagement does
not include logging into an online class or tutorial without active participation
or participating in academic or participating in academic counseling or
advisement so we’ve also added two additional conditions the first one is a
o’clock hour and a distance education program must meet all accrediting agency
and state requirements including restrictions on the number of clock
hours in the program that may be offered through distance education and to an
institution must be capable of monitoring a student’s academic
engagement in 50 out of 60 minutes for each clock hour under this definition
the purpose of this definition is to establish a framework for colleges to
offer clock our programs through distance education and to clearly and
establish what’s necessary for them to number one have the clock hours and may
ensure that they are in compliance with the oversight requirements that are
established and to monitor those clock hours and ensure that there’s they for
example know who the student is adequately determined that the student
is actually engaged during the period that you’re counting the clock hour David so just a clarification here David a
face-to-face 400 student lecture hall where I’m just sitting listening he’s
okay but doing the same thing online is not is that right keeping keep in mind
that most of the lecture halls that you might encounter would be offered in
credit hours we’re going to address the definition of credit hour in a moment if
that lecture hall environment was offered in clock hours then the same
requirements of that that existed before we added this definition would apply but
if it was offered through desta distance education then you’d have these
additional requirements Russell let’s see a comment and a question that in
section 4 there that the second sentence for purposes of the definition all the
way down to and then the next sentence all the way down to advisement that that
seems like that’s AC academic engagement I’ve seen it called academic activity of
seeing that in financial aid handbook I don’t know if it’s referenced elsewhere
but it almost seems like we now have a definition within a definition and
wonder if that would be something that would make sense to pull out since I
know it’s been referred the same sort of thing is referred to and returned to
title 4 and all that and then my so I’ll respond let you respond to that than I
have a question yeah it’s actually a very good point so the language that you
see here is very similar to what exists in the return of title 4 requirements I
believe it’s six six eight point 22 L where we define academic activity and we
can certainly consider I don’t think we thought about this but we can consider
potentially pulling out that concept and putting it into the definitions and
we’ll take that back yeah I think you did a good job in other places of trying
to get definition as one place and so because if they’re in two places they
always end up different right okay so that that would be the first thing on
that on section III there are in section two
I’m still a little bit I heard you start to talk about monitoring I’m still
scratching my head is what monitoring would look like could you could you
expand a little bit more on moderate monitoring and do we need to add any
more thoughts about what that would look like or I’m just worried about we put
things in there that aren’t defined and then it gets defined differently later
so yeah I would say that we’re very interested in in the committee’s
thoughts about what what monitoring should constitute and what requirement
should be established in regulation just as an example so so you guys are aware
in FSA we’ve gotten a number of questions for institutions that are
offering these kinds of programs and our policy to date even though it wasn’t
clearly expressed in the regulations is that as long as the institution had a
computer system that could adequately monitor the students engagement then we
would consider that to be acceptable but we didn’t put any boundaries around
exactly what that meant because we felt that we needed a regular regulatory
language to do that the there’s a couple of examples that I can give in one
example the institution had a system that actually was so it it had the
capability of actually monitoring students keystrokes and and displaying
exactly what the student was doing in their electronic system at all times so
it could show they could pull a report that showed that the student for example
was watching a video during this time was completing a test was working on an
assignment was listening to a lecture or synchronously and we we we considered
that to be adequate to include the clock our there are but there are also other
possible ways that a school could do that the the fundamental thing that
we’re looking for though is that the school has the ability to show that the
student is engaged for 50 out of 60 minutes during during any hour that’s
counted for title for purposes go ahead I apologize so one thing following up on
that said the monitoring note that you’re describing I think that there are
other areas where we start getting into privacy concerns and that there is I’m
trying to think I think it’s in the academic integrity language and some of
the some others where we have just something where there’s at least a
sentence that’s put in there about the the the institution looking at privacy
concerns I wish I could pull up the language out of my head but as soon as
you as soon as you said that that then red flags and started going off about
about those issues as well yeah I’d like to know more about what programs are
being considered for this format my experience in clock our programs tend to
be in the very tactile like welding or HVAC cosmetology massage therapy where
you’re measuring the hours of practice that student has had in that kind of
field I’m wondering because distant deac we haven’t seen a lot of activity come
to us whether title four or not in clock hour format so could you share with us
maybe what you’re hearing at the department about a need yeah I can give
you a couple of examples of programs institutions that have come to us with
this question in one case it was a cosmetology program that wanted to allow
students to take the textbook coursework online and where and do all of the
clinical hands-on work at the actual school school grounds so the institution
would generally the student would have to go through some material they would
have to read the material they would have to then take a test online they
would watch a video online that kind of explained how the process worked out
what whatever skill it was that they were working on and those hours counted
would count toward their their total clock hours but ultimately the student
would then have to come in on on the school grounds and perform
the actual activities on on an individual to demonstrate that they had
the appropriate skill most of the programs that we’ve seen have been
hybrid programs in which part of the program is taught on on-site and part of
the program is taught through distance ed and I and I don’t want to speak for
the institution but what they look what the ones that we’ve talked to have told
us is that they believe that it gives the student more flexibility and there’s
a there’s a desire to allow them to take whatever coursework that they can take
through distance ed while ensuring that they do come in and perform all of the
actual clinical work or work that requires them to be on site to actually
do that at on campus did you have a follow up
I would just say maybe maybe for this group you know as this language goes
forward we might want to recommend that the accrediting body have very specific
procedures to verify student activities teaching and learning in the clock our
setting online so I can see that being a very different approach than what we do
typically and we’re very used to looking at credit hour allocations as
accreditors but the clock our piece at least perspective we haven’t done a lot
of work in that area so it might be good to make that recommendation for the
accreditation recognition criteria Amanda I have two separate questions
relating to the clause the first one would be what were your thoughts on what
computer assisted instruction would mean like if you can give me an example or
interactive tutorials computer assisted instruction seems too broad in my
opinion so I’m just I would want to make clear what exactly that what the
Department of Ed was intending to define there and then the second question I had
or clarification just in my limited knowledge as I read the second part
o’clock hour and a distance education program must meet all accrediting agency
and state requirements I think I’m just trying to understand why the Department
of IDI only limited it to meet just accrediting agency and state
requirements and not have an and the Department of Ed just kind of leaving it
to those two two bodies for your last point can you give me an example of what
else we might have done else are we would defer to or what other things we
might have included I guess to me wouldn’t the Department of Ed would also
like to have more regulation or input on what’s happening and not just defer to
States and accrediting agencies at least and there could be some type of like in
previously the compliance reports and the monitoring reports you would you not
have any any type of hand or overlook at on distance education when they’re
making decisions on credit hours and said that this does allow them to have
access to more aid Gregory I think just use me typically we when it comes to and
really I know it’s a little bit gray but you’re delving into like a more of an
academic area you know what constitutes the academics of our program it’s online
and for the most part the department defers to to accreditors for that for
that type of thing we do regulated creditors and we do have standards for
them to meet but we would for what you’re talking about there the way this
regulation is constructed we would typically look to the accreditor
sometimes the state but most of the accreditor to determine the
appropriateness of the academic content which in this case is the online content
so I think that’s largely why why it’s it’s written this way we do talk about
that they have to be capable of monitoring the engagement so those are
the kinds of rules we impose on schools you have to monitor the actual
engagement but as far as the the appropriateness of the online
content we would we would typically not go there it’s outside of our purview and
want to respond what just to that for the first part of your question about
computer assisted instruction we had in mind there a variety of different things
that that a student might be doing online again this this one this
particular definition much of it was developed for return of taro for
purposes to identify academic activity and this this concept of computers
assisted instruction was partly intended to include things like working in a
class on something in action in an actual on-campus classroom but in the in
a distance education environment we would also include things like you know
the student is reading a textbook reading his or her textbook and you know
having to answer questions about what they’re reading as they go along things
where they’re not just sort of passively taking in the information but they’re
actually having to engage with the with the coursework this definition is
intended to sort of separate a student simply simply reading and preparing to
take a test or something from being engaged and actually sort of
participating and and that’s one of the things that we’re trying to establish
here Denise did you want to share something we prohibit ‘add from getting
into the content and that’s why the provision is in there about the
accrediting standards so it wouldn’t be that we would be advocating completely
because we’d still be looking at the monitoring part of it for compliance but
we can’t get into certain areas about how many hours are allowed to be this
and online or that that would be the accrediting body and licensing body
because we’re prohibited from oversight on that okay I just want to respond
thank you for clarifying that that makes it clarified for the second part the
first part then David would end for the engagement piece I I think computer
assisted instruction does not do you justice
in the intent of engagement I think participating and interactive tutorials
isn’t in my opinion the best word but interactive I like truly support that
that’s I think that should be the goal of distance ed is to have as many
engagement as you said it’s not just a computer-assisted like instruction it’s
more of the engagement piece so I think I would like to see more language that
really clarifies that and just says that instead of computer insisted instruction
I don’t think that gets to the point of what you’re talking about engagement Jessica thank you I some of you at ed
might be familiar but my office has a hotline with respect to a network of
sham beauty schools that operated between 1986 and 1994 we’ve gotten
hundreds maybe even over a thousand calls over the past year for people who
are still suffering the effects of their federal student loans often tax offset
wage garnishment I think that to the extent that this regulation is designed
for programs that are I would say disproportionately affecting low-income
students I just think that this is really an area that is ripe for fraud
and I obviously this is going to be a conversation we’re gonna be having like
in multiple parts in this subcommittee but I just have you know we see it every
day where this it just it it goes for 30 years in people’s lives
and I just want to take very seriously to the extent that we’re writing rules
to try and let more of those programs in the door precisely how we’re making sure
that they’re high-quality and I think you know obviously we have to change
with the times but I think the problem of certain schools targeting low-income
students with low quality education and selling them goods that don’t pan out
and that really being like doubly damaging because if they’re low incomes
is important Bertie Thank You HSA I have three pieces one is
more tactical I’d say be careful on the monitoring piece we see our students all
the time and this is K through 12 as well as University and I don’t speak so
much to the trades but downloading they’ll download a video that they’ve
been told to watch and that’s no different than sitting in a lecture hall
or anywhere else and watching it I also hazard a bit to say preparing for a test
is not the same thing or it’s different because it’s exactly what you do when
you go to a lecture and the faculty member will just you know when I would
hold a prep session for a class but I am I am concerned a bit on this and I think
because I’m I’m struggling a bit you answered a bit with Leah’s question but
where do you see this coming in I this feels to me like an area that we’re not
really savvy on we have a lot of gray area going on in this learning is we’re
looking at releasing Pell for inmates for an example monitoring that takes all
of that out because you can’t monitor them online and I think there’s other
ways of of having interactive communication so I’m trying to find the
balance between you know I don’t know if this measures quality I don’t know the
idea that somebody’s interacting with somebody measures the relevancy or the
quality of an academic or preparatory beauty program whatever that’s way just
feel like maybe we’re throwing the wrong thing at it can you David do you have a
sense or Gregory where changes where this going back to downstream what might
this impact where might people come back to this and say oh but this time I’ll do
my best with this one because I I’m not a psychic and I can’t tell you exactly
what that what will happen downstream but first I want to say that this is
attempting to make our current policy into a regular regulation so we are
aware that schools are slotted and I would say it’s fairly slow in the sector
that we’re talking about in clock our schools I don’t I don’t I don’t at least
from in my experience with programs and institutions ask them questions on this
topic I haven’t seen large-scale moves in the clock our world toward trying to
have everything be through distance ed but we are aware that schools are slowly
moving in that direction in an attempt to provide more flexibility to their
students and to ensure that they have materials
that are more accessible and that potentially even they can pay less for
their education because they don’t need their on ground facilities as often so
this regulatory language isn’t attempt by the department to well we’re back for
lack of a better phrase get out in front of this a little bit and establish them
some criteria that will apply to most of these programs but that is limited to
our oversight of the title four programs which is really the scope of our
authority and so we’re not here we’re not trying to get into how good the
program is that’s the really the accrediting agencies role we’re just
trying to establish what’s necessary for us to consider something to be a o’clock
hour and and count four and this is the important part especially for the
department and the taxpayer and count towards the student receiving additional
disbursements of title for aid because that’s what this ultimately is is doing
when they earn a o’clock hour their one o’clock hour closer to getting
more more title for money as they complete more of their program this is
Greg I want to at one thing what David said which was excellent that to kind of
tack on that he said that without this change it wouldn’t be as if clock our
programs that operating distance would be ineligible they’re not this is this
is like a reflection of a current of current policy so I don’t want anybody
to get the impression that you’re right now you cannot have a clock our program
this measured in distance by distance a lot of people feel that that’s the case
but that’s erroneous it isn’t so we’re not adding an eligibility here that
doesn’t already exist Julian oh I’m so sorry
well I certainly salute wanting to kind of codify the process for clock our
programs and title for eligibility I do think that there’s some kind of
cascading issues that come from this there’s conversations and
outsourcing you know for distance IDI you know clock our programs would have
to do their own kind of state authorization state by state by state
because they’re not covered by something by Sarah because they’re non-degree so I
think that we might want to as we look at this issue and look at this language
think about some of the parallel matters that come into play when you’re
implementing distance ed at the clock hour on a clock our basis instead of
credit hour but but I do see how there could be a need for hybrid approaches to
teaching and learning in programs that are measured in clock hours as opposed
to two credit hours I do think the accreditation community and the
licensing agencies and the examination organizations that verify the student
learning have to engage Thank You Julian so I just wanna I think to what Russ
said and then also speaking a little bit to amanda’s comment you know I think
from my perspective it would be helpful if the language in here that’s talking
about sort of what academic engagement looks like tracked back to other places
where we talk about it so for example like the distance ed definition or maybe
it’s just in guidance that you pulled some of this actual language from David
but I just think to the extent that we can minimize these sorts of differences
between delivery models it’s useful in protecting against fraud it’s useful and
consistency it’s useful and making sure or not and intentionally creating
loopholes and I think that gets a bit too what Amanda was saying too in terms
of like the weird language that we know exists currently in the distance ed
definition in general about cd-roms and whatever so I think to the extent that
we can sort of shore that up it’s probably useful in this process since
the requirements and that respect would be the same
yeah we’re that’s a great point and we’ll take that back Amanda just kidding go ahead
Gregory yep so yeah we will go ahead and move on
then you guys we would welcome other suggestions if you guys want to think
about this one for a while you have specific things that you would like to
suggest for example with the monitoring or anything else what we’d be interested
in that as before we report back to the full committee so with that I’m going to
move on down to the definition of a correspondence course alright so the definition of a
correspondence course is a very old definition it I believe and my council
hopefully will correct me if I’m wrong that it originated back in 1992 when
Congress made some changes to the Higher Education Act to put some restrictions
on correspondence courses after a correspondence courses were in were
restricted in that way for many years distance education became more popular
and Congress then made changes to separate correspondence courses from
distance education where distance education did not have all the
restrictions that apply to correspondence courses and some of those
restrictions include an institution lacks eligibility if half of its
students or half of its courses are enrolled in correspondence courses sorry
if half the students are correspondence students or half of its courses or
correspondence so the definition of a correspondence course here in the
regulations is really part of separating distance education from correspondence
which has significant impacts on on it for exit for example an institution’s
eligibility and how much aid a student can receive in a correspondence program
versus a distance education program so the change that we’ve made here under
correspondence course is that we have changed the word the instructor to
instructors assuming that and well let me just read that read it aloud so that
it makes it a little clearer so correspondence course is a course
provided by an institution under which the institution provides instructional
materials by mail or electronic transmission
including examinations on the materials to students who are separated from the
instructor interaction between instructors and students is limited and
it’s not regular and substantive as defined by the institution’s accrediting
agency so the main purposes of these changes and you’ll see similar types of
changes reflected in the definition of distance education and in just a few
minutes but the main purposes of these changes are number one to reflect that
interaction can occur between a student and multiple instructions instructors at
this at the same institution it doesn’t have to be just one instructor and to
put the definition of correspondence course in the hands of the accrediting
agency reflecting the accrediting agencies role as the arbiter of academic
quality and letting them define what that means in relation to distance
education so I’ll stop there and see if we have questions and Gillian my
favorite topic things okay so I have several questions the first is sort of
concerns in general about creating the conditions for a race to the bottom in
terms of how correspondence is defined distance that is defined regular and
substantive so looking for a really awesome conversation with y’all on that
as we move along but I have I think four comments questions etc to make I’ll try
and keep them brief so the first is I have concerns about and this you know I
think it’s a little bit chicken-and-egg to talk about this without having looked
at the distance ed definition so I think we’ll probably have just circled back
maybe after we get to the distance ed part and see how conversations we have
there relate to here but this idea of instructors and students I understand
what you’re trying to do but I am concerned about scenarios where an
institution can staff a phone line with a different faculty member every day
that would be available for 30 minutes and I’m being really hyperbolic here
right but this is what I’m concerned about where different faculty members
sits in the seat for 30 minutes every day to answer phone calls and that
counts as sort of meeting this definition of interaction or the course
not being in correspondence so you know want to figure out
we can have conversations about clarifying the language or putting some
safeguards in place to make sure that that instructor role is really protected
with respect to institutions of higher education because I think if we don’t
then we risk sort of client into question what an institution of higher
education is in general which I’ll probably say that sort of several times
throughout this morning this afternoon that’s my first comment my second is
related to the primarily initiated by the student conversations so same sort
of thing right I again being hyperbolic what if an institution says I’m gonna
have this 30-minute time every week that a student can call in and that will not
require me to do any proactive outreach on behalf of a faculty member reaching
out to a student so again I have concerns about what that does with our
understanding of what institution of higher education is and how we
understand that faculty instructor role to play an integral part in that three I
have concerns about moving the regular and substantive sort of definition and
monitoring etc to the accrediting agency and I can table that comment I guess
because we’re going to talk about that when we get to that point in here so I’m
fine sort of an interest of not being duplicative we can talk about that later
but I’ll just say I have concerns and then yeah so them in the my first
comment like I said the beginning is I would like to come back to this
definition once we have a fulsome conversation also about the distance
that changes and the regular and substantive changes and yeah we’re glad
to return to this after our bigger discussion about doesn’t the definition
of distance education so if folks have questions I’d be happy to answer them
now but I think it is a good idea for us to kind of move on after we’ve answered
those questions and then come back to have the bigger to include this in the
bigger discussion of distance ed so but let me get let me see who has questions
or if there’s anything else that folks would like to say first well yeah maybe
not answer this question now but I’m wondering about the practical
application of deferring these definitions to creditors only because as
program participation reviews take place off
the accreditor is asked what are your policies around certain things so we can
do a program review you know attendance taking if let’s say you’re in the
philadelphia case team and so you have middle states deac ACCSC you know you
know a host of institutional creditors that might mean that the case teams have
to start working around all of these definitions and I’d like to talk about
that maybe not right now David but at some point because we’ve deferred a lot
of this to creditors what does that mean in the practical application of program
reviews and that type of thing we’ll certainly talk about that in just a few
minutes Jessica sorry do you want or we just do you want no comments now on all
of no please it just seems so intertwined with if you’d like if you’d
like to hold them until the distance education discussion you’re welcome to
but yeah if anyone wants to have and make any other comments or questions
about this specific one first or you know I welcome them but we can move on
otherwise let’s go ahead thank you David okay we’re going to move on to a
discussion of the definition of credit hour now okay in a way to read this this
is something which definitely I know people have a definite feelings about so
I think I think my we might do well to look at what the current definition of
credit hour is and then and then from that look at what the proposed changes
are instead of the the other way around so you can see here that we’ve read
these changes the way these changes are set up and we maybe should’ve discussed
this earlier the D lined out portions are the red lined out or the current is
the current regulatory language and what’s underlined is is the new proposed
language so you can see that in credit hour definition an amount of work
represented an intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of
student achievement that is institutionally established that is an
institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less
than a one hour of classroom a direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two
hours of out of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen
weeks for one semester a trimester hour of credit or ten to 12 weeks for one
quarter hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different time
frame or at least equivalent amount of work required in paragraph one of this
definition for other academic activities established by the institution including
laboratory work internships practica studio work and other academic work
leading to the award of credit hours and then how that would be changed is the
credit hour now would be defined by an institution and a is a is a is defined
by an institution and approved by the institution’s accreditor based upon the
amount of work a unit of time spent engaged in learning activities and or a
set of clearly defined learning objectives or competencies you can see
that what we’re doing here with understand for credit hour is allowing
institutions and creditors to determine how they will evaluate academic progress
we we are interested in your feedback in how what you feel about this language if
you don’t like that language or have have problems with it what language you
might propose I’ll give you my time at my own just just observation and in
dealing with the definition of credit hour I always found I’m not going to
take any stance one more the other on on this except to say that the current
definition when you have words like institutionally established equivalency
they’re reasonably approximates I think that so I’m a firm believer that we need
change we need change there I mean I know some people are very wedded to this
this initial just this definition but I’ve always been of the opinion that it
it didn’t give people a whole lot and you wouldn’t use words like that so
really what we did originally I think within the initial this definition once
went back to 2010 2010 the program integrity regs but basically said you
know reasonably approximates and what’s below there is the is in for the most
part the old Carnegie unit so we’re departing from that now and in you as
you can see giving a lot more latitude to the institution and accreditors to
what’s going to constitute that that clock hour and and moving away from more
defined although it was loosely defined parameters as to what the credit hour
could be so I’ll just open the floor for discussion on that on the topic Gillian
thanks I just have a few comments so I think it would be useful for this group
well so my perspective is it would be useful for this group to also see the
guidance that was subsequently issued with respect to the credit our
definition after this definition was codified because I my remembering of
what happened that feels like a lifetime ago right it was this definition came
out I think a lot of people were upset about it and concerned and etc
and then the department came back out with additional guidance that provided
for a credit hour equivalencies and some other things and I think that was really
important and helping move folks to a place where they felt comfortable that
it wasn’t necessarily stifling innovation but also providing some
guardrails in terms of protecting taxpayer dollars I my own sort of
perspective as I would prefer to see this language retained here and then add
in language that accounts for the guidance that was given that allowed a
little bit more latitude with respect to what this definition looks like along
with my comment earlier about regular substantive for example I’m concerned
about moving this to a creditors especially if the department is really
concerned about transferability of credits between institutions that are
accredited by different types of a creditors seems to me like you’re gonna
exacerbate that problem by creating a whole lot of different expectations that
institutions are following based on who their creditor is and that’s going to
create challenges when that student then wants to move to an institution that’s
accredited by a different a creditor one one quick clarification and I think I
think this actually is part of what you were saying but in under the current
policy and a creditor does ultimately have the authority to set policies about
the credit hour it’s just that those policies have a sort of floor that is
established in the regulation as it currently is written this would still
give the accreditor the ultimate authority to define the credit hour it
just wouldn’t have all of the requirements that that exists in the
current regulation yeah my perspective is those requirements are put in there
for good reason and I just want to make sure that we don’t lose sight of that
from a consumer protection perspective other thing I’m sorry I know I’ll be
super quick is I think especially what from the lens of direct assessment right
that provides flexibility for institution staff right outside of the
credit hour and so I have concerns about what this does to the direct assessment
provision potentially if all of a sudden were potentially creating a scenario
wherein a creditor can say your program looks like direct assessment but isn’t
but we’re gonna allow for that now cuz we’ve the flexibility to do so so I
would just like to continue to think about it from that lens to lea I’d also
like to express a concern about unintended consequences for students
one of the other broad goals of this process is to allow easier transfer of
credit student mobility of what they learn and how they learn if we don’t
have a common framework around the units of those learning and we have different
accreditors defining at different ways I think we’ve created a lot of confusion
for students I was among the folks in 2010 that cried foul at the federal
definition of credit hour how dare you but then as I watched accrediting
organizations through my work with Chia start to implement it and then implement
it at deac I see how closely we’ve been able to map
those units of learning to outcomes that course program an institution level and
when we’re all working from this framework I think it benefits students
to have a clearer understanding of what those units are behind what they’re
learning there’s a lot more to say about this that’s all I’m going to say for now
I’m sure we’re probably ready for lunch in 12 minutes I think it’s Russell and then Jody well
I look at this and I dad you shared some of the concerns that were that have been
stated so far and my overall impression is that this is too big a leap for for
right now I think I think if we’re really looking if we were to start over
and do with us all that we from where we’re at today that we wouldn’t have
come up with the Carnegie unit and that’s a whole historical thing and it’s
in there and it’s in all of our systems and we’re going to have to address that
and then having it this loosely defined and set by all the accrediting agencies
I just don’t see how that’s that’s going to work that doesn’t mean we should
start to think about and it’s that I have a very loose idea about you know
everybody’s moving towards a competency-based thing but how do you
measure that and how are competencies different and how do we make sure that
there’s not somebody in Washington DC or Robert CO is coming up with all the
ideas of what every competency looks like so there’s there
there’s a it’s a major shift in terms of how higher education operates it can’t
be done all at once but it doesn’t mean you don’t start and then we try to
figure out what is that path to get from here to there but I think if you don’t
do that path if you just jump to something that is as as loose as what I
see this is that I think that we’ll have chaos and probably harm for this Jodi
David was close enough I just want to clarify it is this definition that you
put in this is the way it was before the credit our definition was put in the
prior no but it was there was no definition but there was but so
essentially it was as presented in this definition because it was defined by an
institution and approved by the equipment that’s right in practice
what’s what’s here in the language is how it worked before 2010 we do
reference and we did reference the credit the credit hour throughout our
regulations and it has a very important impact in determining for example how
much a student gets similar again similar to the clock hour but different
in some important ways the credit hours establish the enrollment status for
students which prorates the amount of for example Pell grants that they
receive and it also establishes halftime enrollment which makes students eligible
for direct loans so before 2010 all of those things still applied it’s just
that we we deferred essentially to institutions and accrediting agencies to
decide what a credit hour was all right I just want to further comment then that
this has been something that our organization has advocated for for a
long time is to go back to that status quo be in part because you know this is
really about sort of restoring the roles of the Tri
and the credit hour something that goes to the heart of an institution’s
autonomy to maintain control of its curricula and so that’s kind of why our
position has been that we would like to see the current definition eliminated
academic quality is really a per be something that’s under the purview of
the accreditor and not there shouldn’t be a federal definition of credit hour
and so partly we see this definitely we support this proposal because it is
something that would help restore the roles of the Triad and the creditor will
be responsible for ensuring that institutions are offering quality
programs and the department can therefore oversee the accreditor as is
envisioned by the program integrity triad I just also wanted to ask really
quickly were you seeing problems within this area before were there instances
where or have there been instances where institutions have committed have
violated this definition since it was put into place because if it isn’t
really achieving its purpose I would wonder why we’re retaining it Gregory ah
like I believe in Council or David can correct me from wrong that the genesis
for the definition of a credit hour was in large part it was to some degree
anyway the result of misgivings the Inspector General had about some
institutions offering very little work associated with a credit hour there’s
some some instances they identified in that area so I think there were there
was some there were some tangible are there weren’t violations at the time but
but there were things that raised raised a red flag on which we base this so I
wasn’t it wasn’t completely it wasn’t for completely arbitrary reasons that we
put this into place originally David so if you if you sort of look at
the other side of the spectrum not focusing on bad actress but focusing on
really good actors I think you know my read is that this provides some of the
flexibility that a number of institutions have been asking for from
the department when it comes to competency-based ed my question to you
David is that it seems like that flexibility if we sort of read on to the
next page under distance ed and regular and substantive that flexibility has
been taken away in that language and so so so my question is does regular and
substantive apply to non distance education programs know the requirement
for regular and substantive interaction is part of the statutory definition of
distance education and applies to distance education programs in a way in
for the purpose of differentiating them from Correspondence programs and it’s
designed for cases where a student is separated from the instructor so so I
get that but if if we think that regular and substantive interaction with an
instructor is an important piece of the educational process so we can debate
whether it is or not but assuming that we believe it is then it seems to me it
ought to apply across the spectrum so we can we should I think we probably want
to defer some of this discussion to the to the distance education definition but
one thing the one thing I’ll say is that regular and substantive interaction is
part of the statutory definition for distance education and is the main
reason that we are applying the regulations here is to resist to fulfill
the statutory intent to distinguish between the two types of Education
Congress still has restrictions on correspondence courses and the
distinction is there to distinguish between the two types and so we have to
have something in our regulations that does that but we think we’ll come back
to your point and discuss it more in more detail when we get to the distance
that definition Gregory point the clarification about
four minutes left we have three placards will we how about we do one more and
then we keep track of who’s next and we’ll say that the remaining individuals
keep their placards up and when we come back well address you go ahead yes obviously I only see the bad the the
things that turned out badly so my concern here is just that it would open
the door to fraud and I guess a question maybe you could address after lunches
I’m just trying to figure out what the problem is that you’re trying to solve
my understanding is that since the distance or sorry since the new credit
our definition went into effect in 2011 there’s only been two times that at his
found credit hour abuses which just doesn’t seem like that much to me given
the spectrum of title for programs and so I you know there are some people in
the room who who have expertise in different areas the mind that thinks
this strikes a good balance that I’m worried about up and dating that balance
in a way that would potentially tip against students and I’ll allow lower
quality programs in this is Greg I think that the intent here was largely to
recognize other types of educational ways of offering education to step
outside of the of the well as we talked about before that the other the existing
definition is somewhat tied to a Carnegie and it doesn’t say has to be a
Carnegie universe tied to that and there’s the idea that that’s a that that
is a not a completely unuseful way of looking at how a credit hour was
constructed but it is but in fairness it is somewhat antiquated and this would
allow greater flexibility with respect to how how content is delivered and not
tie it to that is as much to that to that older definition yeah I would I
would concur with that I think the other impetus for the change is that in part
what you’ve just you’ve said that we haven’t really found
significant issues with the credit hour since we’ve created that the regulation
and we we believe that we have heard from institutions that it is somewhat
inhibiting their ability to construct their programs in the way that they
choose notwithstanding the Inspector General’s concerns I’m not familiar with
with very many complaints about how the credit hour worked prior to 2010 either
so this is an effort to give more autonomy to colleges and to put this
more squarely in the hands of accrediting agencies so that they can
make this distinction for that but they can define this for themselves and with
that I think we’re gonna break for lunch we’ll pick up what we cut a bluff Dorf
here I just want to remind everyone again with the badge make sure you have
it it’ll give you a little less hassle getting back at the building does
everybody feel that an hour is sufficient all right well I will
cracked-out 40 minutes I think Dave I think that Scott’s correct we’re gonna
go I was inclined to anyway but an hour and 15 minutes that would get us back
here at 15 after 1:00 and we’ll resume thank you very much thank you you you the you you you you you you you you

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