Navigating Accreditation for Online Courses and Programs

Pre-Conference Workshop Session 1

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Brief Abstract

 Join us for a pre-conference workshop on accreditation in the online space.  This workshop brings together leaders with experience in accreditation from a variety of institutions and organizations to discuss policies and procedures, preparing for and maintaining accreditation, and implementing best practices.  As demand for online courses and programs grows, ensuring quality and accreditation is essential for digital leaders - but it can be tricky to navigate the ins and outs. This half-day event will feature presentations and small group discussions on the successes and challenges of accreditation, and will provide an opportunity for participants to shape the upcoming OLC agenda for supporting digital accreditation through research, policy briefs, webinars, and more.

There is a fee for this Pre-Conference Workshop: $225 Early Bird / $250 Full Price. Select both an AM and a PM pre-conference workshop to receive special combo package pricing of $395 Early Bird / $445 Full Price (total savings of $55).

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Lynette provides leadership for the OLC Research Center for Digital Learning and Leadership. Prior, she was the Director, Learning Enhancement for the Center for Learning Experimentation, Application, and Research at the University of North Texas. Lynette’s experience spans the educational pipeline from K-12 to public universities and community colleges, and in addition to her digital learning and leadership roles, she has served in a number of positions in Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, and Educational Partnerships. She has worked extensively with public, private, corporate, and philanthropic organizations, was involved in two State of Texas Star-Award winning initiatives, and led the statewide Texas Reverse Transfer Initiative, resulting in more than 7,000 degrees awarded within the first year of the program and policy mandate. Lynette also teaches Quantitative Methods and Research Methods courses for the University of North Texas, and has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, an M.S. in Educational Psychology, and a B.A. in Psychology. In her spare time, Lynette practices yoga, reads everything from YA to historical non-fiction, and is involved in her community in Denton, TX.
Russ Poulin is Senior Director of Policy and Analysis for WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which is a national organization focused on the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Russ directs WCET’s state and national policy efforts, research activities, and supports efforts to improve the practices of multi-institution consortia. Russ represented the distance education community on national committees, comments on policy issues, and edits the WCET Frontiers blog. Russ received a bachelors from the University of Colorado Denver and a masters from the University of Northern Colorado. He is also partial to movies, cats, and his wife, Laurie.
Dr. Betts has 20 years of experience in higher education serving in key leadership positions within private, public, and for-profit institutions as a program director, Senior Director for e-Learning, Director of Online & Blended Learning, and Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Betts has expertise is in higher education, online and blended learning, curriculum and instructional design, strategic planning, and evaluation. Her research focus is on online and blended learning, Online Human Touch/high touch, Brain-Targeted Teaching, 21st century skills, workforce/career development, student retention, and faculty development. Dr. Betts is a Middle States peer evaluator and Quality Matters peer reviewer. She is also an instructor for the Online Learning Consortium Advanced Certificate program. Dr. Betts has also been a keynote speaker at conferences and government-supported events in Sweden, South Korea, Canada, and across the United States.

Extended Abstract


  • 8:30-9:00 Registration/Check-in

  • 9:00-9:05  Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • 9:05-9:30  General Session One: Tools for Preparing for Accreditation: Using the OLC Scorecard to Benchmark

  • 9:30-10:00  Breakout Session One

  • 10:00-10:25  General Session Two: Policies and Regulatory Issues Impacting Accreditation

    • Russ Poulin, Executive Director, WCET

  • 10:25-10:55  Breakout Session Two

  • 10:55-11:05  Break

  • 11:05-11:30  General Session Three: From the Field: Experiences of an Accreditation Reviewer

    • Kristen Betts, Clinical Professor, Drexel University

  • 11:30-12:00  Panel Discussion and Closing Remarks