Two Webcasts on State Authorization for Distance Education


Laurie Hillstock

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Earlier this spring, the U.S. Department of Education’s rulemaking panel met to discuss a number of items, but did not reach final consensus regarding state authorization for colleges that operate distance-education programs within other states. As a result, any new, proposed regulations are left to the discretion of the Department.

Though no new regulations have been proposed by the Department as of yet, state’s still expect colleges to obtain authorization. As such, the leading distance education organizations have come together to provide updates on the regulations and advise on what colleges should do next during two upcoming webcasts.

The first is scheduled to take place tomorrow (August 14th) at 2pm ET and will focus specifically on the future for regulations. Presentations will include:

  • Introduction by Moderator: Dr. Laurie Hillstock, Facilitator, Online Learning Consortium Leadership Series
  • Existing and Changing State Regulations: Dr. Joan Bouillon, Director of Regulatory Compliance, Pearson
  • U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense Regulations: Mr. Russ Poulin, Interim Co-Executive Director, WCET-WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
  • What are Institutions Doing About State Authorization: Mr. Jim Fong, Center for Research and Consulting, UPCEA-University Professional & Continuing Education Association
  • What colleges Should be Doing About Distance Education: Ms. Jeannie Yockey-Fine with Cooley LLP

Though the session is full, the link to the recording will be made available on the OLC website within the week. However, registration for the second session is still available. The second session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 19th at 2pm ET and will focus on the future for reciprocity. To register or to learn more, please visit the Presentations will include:


  • Introduction by moderator: Jenny Parks, Director, Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  • Update on SARA Progress Across the Nation: Regional SARA Directors
  • SARA, Clinicals, and Professional Licensure: Alan Contreras, Coordinator, NC-SARA and W-SARA
  • SARA, Consumer Protection, and Complaint Processes; How Can Institutions Improve Their Processes and Websites: Alan Contreras, Coordinator, NC-SARA and W-SARA and Sara Appeal, Academic Programs Manager, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
  • Other commonly asked questions about what SARA will and will not “cover”: Marshall Hill, Executive Director, NC-SARA, and Alan Contreras, Coordinator, NC-SARA and W-SARA



Post Written by: Dr. Laurie G. Hillstock: Facilitator, OLC Leadership Series


Dr. Laurie G. HillstockDr. Laurie G. Hillstock has been a faculty member and administrator in higher education for over 15years.  Most of her experiences have been in the distance learning arena, focusing on strategic planning (i.e., organizational structure, policy, accreditation, and funding models), faculty and curriculum development, marketing, and student success. She has also taught a number of credit bearing courses in the online, hybrid, and web-enhanced learning environment.

Dr. Hillstock currently serves as a mentor for the OLC Certificate program as well as a content developer and workshop facilitator for other OLC workshops, including the Online Leadership series.  Dr. Hillstock holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (Higher Education) and M.A. in Human Resource Development from Clemson University.  She also holds a B.A. in English (minor: Computer Science) from Converse College.

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