NC-SARA is pleased to announce the election of four new board members: Kathleen Santora, Peter Smith, Larry Tremblay and Michael C. Zola. Each will serve three-year terms extending through 2019. Biographical information on the new members is available HERE; a complete roster of board members is available HERE.
Today NC-SARA released information about the upcoming reporting of institutional enrollments. On February 9, a group of individuals met in Boulder to discuss the May 2016 reporting and make recommendations for the 2017 reporting. Those recommendations and NC-SARA's responses can be found HERE.
ACICS (the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) is a national accrediting body that has been in the news for the well-publicized failures of some of the institutions it has accredited and accusations of lax accrediting practices. The US Department of Education has removed ACICS from its list of "recognized" accreditors, but a lawsuit over that action is pending in the courts. In the meantime, ACICS-accredited schools have 18 months to obtain accreditation by another recognized accreditor in order to maintain the eligibility of their students to participate in federal financial aid programs.
As many of you know, we were disappointed with the state authorization of distance education rules recently released by the Department. That disappointment changed to confusion after we read a blog post by our good friend and colleague Russ Poulin of WCET.
As many of you know, the Department recently released new rules on the state authorization of distance education. Those rules contain what we and many others have viewed as a troubling definition of a "state authorization reciprocity agreement."
Recent conversations that our friend and colleague Russ Poulin of WCET has had with Department staff indicate that we're misinterpreting what they intended with that definition.
The enrollment data posted on the NC-SARA website on September 26, 2016 was reported to NC-SARA in May, 2016 in the first of what will be an annual reporting cycle. As expected, this first attempt was challenging for all of us – institutions and NC-SARA alike.
NC-SARA has issued provisions affecting SARA institutions’ submission of their enrollment data for this spring. Institutions will report during the period May 9-20, using a secure link that will be sent to each SARA institution. There is no substantive change to the earlier draft release of the two documents relating to enrollment data submission (NC-SARA Data Reporting Guide and NC-SARA Data Sharing Agreement). To facilitate submission, however, rather than having institutions separately submit a signed data sharing agreement, institutional approval of the agreement has been incorporated by reference into the institution’s submission of its data.
A special committee on SARA policy regarding methods of including multi-institutional consortia in SARA has begun work. It will recommend policies to SARA Regional Steering Committees and the NC-SARA Board in fall, 2016. The Committee will be chaired by
SARA recently received attention from the NY Times, which reported on consumer groups’ appeal to NY’s Commissioner of Education, urging that NY not join SARA. In response, Paul Lingenfelter, chair of NC-SARA’s Board, wrote letters to the editor of the NY Times (see below ) and the Commissioner.