Seismic Shifts in Distance Ed Regulations: Gauging Department of Education Rulemaking

Did you feel that quake? In its recent rulemaking, the U.S. Department of Education proposed major changes that will cause institutions to check how the shifting sands will affect their distance education offering and their provision of digital books. In brief, these changes are huge. 

The U.S. Department of Education’s goals are to protect students as consumers and to ensure that federal financial aid funds are spent appropriately. We applaud those goals, but are still trying to decipher the possible impact on students, faculty, and staff.  

Join the WCET and SAN policy team for updates on the Department’s proposals, which include:  

  • limiting greatly state authorization reciprocity benefits,  
  • eliminating “inclusive access” programs that include books and resources in tuition and fees, 
  • requiring attendance taking for all distance education courses, and 
  • categorizing all distance education programs as a “virtual location.”  

Additionally, we will provide a brief update on the professional licensure regulations going into effect on July 1, 2024.  

Come prepared with your questions. We will do our best to provide answers, outline next steps, and inform you on how to get involved.  

This webcast will be free and open to all via Zoom. Register to receive the recording. 

Distance Ed at a Crossroads: The Changing Landscape of New Regulations

Significant changes are being proposed for distance education courses and programs. If implemented, these new regulations will majorly affect your online courses, programs, and services to students. Join the WCET and SAN policy team for an in-person event to help you navigate the changing landscape of new regulations.

Topics will include:

  • Cash Management – Limitation of Books and Supplies as Part of Tuition & Fees
  • State Authorization – Reciprocity, State Oversight Exemptions
  • Distance Education – Additional Location, Removal of Aid for Clock Hour Asynchronous Distance Education
  • Return to Title IV – Taking Attendance for Distance Education Courses
  • Accreditation – Substantive Change Approvals, State Nursing Board Recognition

The full program will be announced soon. Register today to save your seat!

Registration Categories and Pricing

  • WCET or SAN member: $500
  • Non-Member: $900

Accessibility in EdTech: How Do Your Products Rate?

This webcast is hosted in partnership with NWHeat.

Ensuring accessibility in digital learning products is essential to providing all learners with equal educational opportunities. We’ll introduce you to a rubric designed to support institutions and edtech suppliers in their efforts to address accessibility.

This tool allows institutional leaders to leverage expertise from accessibility professionals across education and supplier organizations. It provides a common framework for evaluating non-technical aspects of accessibility in technology products and services that can impact purchasing decisions.

This webcast will be free and open to all via Zoom. Register to receive the recording.

Do We Need a National Open Education Strategy? An “Open” Conversation

Open education has made remarkable progress, yet the evolving landscape continues to present challenges. As open education work continues to grow at institutions, in states, and across regions, questions increasingly surface about how we might coordinate and advocate more effectively as a field. This includes how to advance open education policies at the national and state level, how to reach institutional leaders, and how to expand sustainable funding.

NCOER (a collaboration among the four regional education compacts), working together with DOERS3 and SPARC, invite members of the open education field to join us for an open conversation about the potential need for U.S. national open education strategy and discuss how we might better collaborate to advance shared priorities. This will build on a discussion started at the 2023 Open Education Conference.

To include as many voices as possible, there are three options for when to join. All who are interested in open education are encouraged to participate.

RECORDING – Wednesday, February 7 at 3:00pm-4:00pm ET / 12:00pm-1:00pm PT
RECORDING – Tuesday, February 13 at 2:00 pm-3:00pm ET / 11am-12pm PT
RECORDING – Thursday, February 15 at 4:00pm-5:00pm ET / 1:00pm-2:00pm PT

REGISTER HERE – Results from our Community “Open” Conversations
Thursday, March 7 at 2:00pm-3:00pm ET / 11:00am-12:00pm PT

2024 Legislative Advisory Committee Meeting

The Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC) informs the WICHE Commission and staff about significant legislative issues related to higher education and offers a forum for members to discuss promising initiatives from across the region and to learn about policy-relevant research. This year, the annual LAC meeting will be held in Denver, CO from September 11-12.

Understanding College Mental Health Needs and Solutions in 2024

This 2-part webinar series addresses the current trends of mental health on college campuses and technology based options as a way to effectively address them.

As colleges and universities move to address the ever-growing student mental health needs on and off campus, coupled with complex hybrid learning environments as a result of the pandemic, many institutions are now offering a plethora of student support resources across multiple modalities. Despite the increases in offered services, many counseling centers continue to be stretched thin. The causes are many including, but not limited to continuously increasing student behavioral health needs (with onsets both prior to and post-enrollment), disconnected messaging of offered services; and unintentional systemic barriers that can disproportionately impact underrepresented student populations. Given these dynamics, it is essential that campus communities focus on behavioral health models that meet students on their terms, connecting them with the right level of care at the right time.

In Session 1, using current data, this presentation will review and analyze macro behavioral health trends on campus over the past decade. In Session 2, we will follow up with an explanation of the benefits of implementing an integrated multi-modal stepped-care model to support and sustain student mental health and well-being. These models ensure effective use of available student support resources, decrease institutional/systemic barriers with a “no wrong door approach,” and thus increase engagement, health outcomes, and student success. This will be presented through case studies of several campuses highlighting successes, challenges, and replicable insights. Several interactive components will be utilized including live polls and interactive whiteboarding allowing participants to identify strengths, growth, edges, and ways to impart change on their campuses in real time. Both trainings will be recorded for later viewing.

Leadership Development in 2024: Fireside Chat

Join the Western Academic Leadership Forum (Forum) and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (Alliance) on January 24th at 2:00 p.m. MST for a conversation about leadership development in higher education. This fireside chat will include Raymonda Burgman Gallegos, Vice President of Programs & Services, Laura Woodworth-Ney, Principal of AGB Search, and participants from the WICHE Academy for Leaders in the Humanities who will discuss the importance of identifying leaders on your team, providing professional development, and self-advocacy.  Information about WICHE’s leadership academies and tips for producing standout nominations will be shared. If you are thinking about professional development in 2024, please join us for this conversation.

For more information about the Western Academic Leadership Academy, please visit this site.

For more information about the WICHE Academy for Leaders in the Humanities, please visit this site.

Findings of the OER Course Marking Landscape Analysis Survey

The presentation will include an introduction to the work the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) and the National Consortium of Open Educational Resources (NCOER) have conducted recently related to OER, including this survey. Presenters include WICHE’s Liliana Diaz Solodukhin, Senior Policy Analyst, Policy Analysis and Research.

Learn more and register here.

EdTech Unleashed: Charting the Course for Higher Ed in 2024

This insightful and forward-looking webcast delved into the dynamic landscape of digital learning in higher education. Our panel of higher education leaders explored topics such as leadership changes and ripple effects on online learning units, the evolution of credentialing, and emerging technologies affecting teaching and learning. We also examined the impact of technologies on the student experience. How can higher education keep pace with edtech trends while centering equity and learner-first practices? What skills are most crucial for success in the rapidly evolving job market, and how can administrators ensure those are being nurtured for students, faculty, and staff?

Accessibility Considerations in Open Education

This webcast is hosted by WCET in partnership with NWHeat.NW Heat logo.

The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) has significantly improved inclusivity and access in postsecondary education. Initially, textbook cost barriers were lowered, and many faculty have discovered that the philosophy of reusing, revising, remixing, and redistributing content has additional benefits for teaching methods and student inclusion. However, ensuring that OER content is accessible to all students, regardless of abilities, remains a challenge. Join this webcast to gain insights into accessibility considerations while selecting open resources and learn about solutions that can help you ensure accessibility for all students. 

This webcast will be free and open to all via Zoom. Register to receive the recording. Follow the Twitter feed at #WCETwebcast