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Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Hill plays key role in national plan to streamline online authorization

Coordinating Commission Executive Director Marshall Hill has played a prominent role in a select national group responsible for plans that will streamline regulations and allow universities and colleges to more easily offer online courses across the country.

The Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education last week released a report that seeks to free higher education institutions from the maze of costly, inefficient and inconsistent regulations and laws in different states that often make it difficult to offer online courses to students who reside outside an institution’s home state.  The report outlines an interstate reciprocity system to address this issue. The plan also sets in place consumer protections to safeguard students.

This commission included roughly 20 higher education leaders from across the country, including state officials, regional accreditors and federal regulators. Hill, who also serves as chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers executive committee, was a vocal and active member of this group, which formed in May 2012.

While the plan is based on the voluntary participation of states and institutions, it is expected to be widely adopted across the country since the proposal was developed by a diverse group of leaders representing the full spectrum of stakeholders in postsecondary distance education policy.

There currently is legislation pending in the Nebraska Legislature that would authorize the Coordinating Commission to enter into such reciprocity agreements on behalf of the state. Originally introduced as Legislative Bill 467, this legislation is now included as an amendment - AM 852 - to Legislative Bill 331. LB 331 has been designated as a Speaker Priority Bill.

Additional information: Press release from Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education

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