WICHE Media Mentions
[The Interstate Passport] was mostly pushed by community colleges, said Patricia Shea, who oversees it for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. “They were talking about the frustration they were seeing when their students came back to campus and said they were having to repeat the same learning.”
Observers of online education believe the piecemeal approach to pricing and value considerations for online programs won't be resilient in the face of increasing competition and stricter pressures. “I feel like there’s this balloon and it’s just stretched. It’s going to break,” said Tanya Spilovoy, director of open policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). “We’re just all waiting for the explosion to happen.”
According to Spilovoy, legislators looking to drive down fees often ask education officials for the number of students served by their online programs. But that question prompts more questions than answers, she said: What percentage of a student’s course load needs to be online before they’re considered an online student? Will a simple head count suffice, or will that yield duplicates and other misleading statistics?
“We’re all speaking different languages. They want to know something but they don’t ask it in a way that the institution understands,” Spilovoy said. “Part of the important work is finding a middle group and having them all speak the same language.”
“We as a society have a hard time asking for help, so it’s hard enough to ask for help [without feeling] that everybody’s going to know it,” said Dennis Mohatt, vice president of the behavioral mental health program at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and director of the WICHE Center for Rural Mental Health Research.