Summit for Online Leadership and Administration

Policy Track

Are you concerned about how federal or state policies might impact the your institution and the students you serve? In this year’s Policy Track at the 2018 Summit for Online Leadership and Administration, you’ll hear from experts in the field, right in the heart of Washington, DC. 

Please join us and our partners CAEL, UPCEA, and WCET as we seek to reshape the landscape of federal and state policy. In addition to providing the high level content to inform your institution about key policy issues impacting online students, you are invited to participate in a special session designed to produce a Policy Framework that will guide each organizations’ respective advocacy efforts.  

June 19th, 2018

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Federal Policy Insights: Non-Higher Ed Policy Impacting Higher Ed

While most higher education policy analysts are dialed in on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), there are other major federal policy issues that have profound implications for higher education, especially adult and online learning. Net Neutrality, the Tax Code, and Accessibility regulations are but a few examples of non-HEA legislation and regulation that impact us all. This session features experts on these and other hot topics being discussed in  Washington DC. Attendees will leave this session with a greater understanding of the unintended (and sometimes even intended!) effect that federal legislation has on the work we all do.

  • Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE
  • Amy Laitinen, New America
  • Julie Peller, Higher Learning Advocates

Moderator: Chris Murray, Thompson Coburn

12:45 – 2:15 PM

General Session | Federal Policy Panel: Economic Competitiveness and Online Learning

Join panelists from leading organizations as they discuss the intersection of the knowledge economy, online learning, and higher education along with a host of other federal policy topics. As legislators work through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, we see signals that legislation could be more inclusive of non-traditional education providers, which may provide different or new pathways and skills for workforce development while also having interesting financial aid implications. At the same time, four-year institutions continue to make headway in a domain previously dominated by community colleges via non-degree credentials and other competency-based training. Attendees will leave with greater familiarity on the future of workforce development and other federal policy issues.

  • Diane Auer Jones, Department of Education (invited)
  • Iris Palmer, New America
  • Van Ton-Quinlivan, California Community Colleges

Moderator: Joel Simon, CAEL

2:30 – 3:30 PM
State Higher Ed Policy Trends: Cap Appropriations. Lower the Price. Expect More.

If federal higher education policy gets most of the press at national conferences, it is often state policy issues that most directly affect our institutions. Higher education has experienced declining state allocations in the wake of rising concern among policymakers and the public alike about the cost and value of a college education. As a result, states have increased their focus on workforce development, displayed certainty that distance education costs less and should be priced lower, renewed interest in alternatives (new institutions or alternative providers), and implemented tuition-free community college plans. We’ve convened a group of state-level policy experts to help attendees make sense of these trends and themes so that you can anticipate what legislative initiatives could be on the horizon for your state.

  • Neal Holly, Education Commission for the States
  • Morgan Wilson, National Governors Association
  • Evie Cummings, University of Florida Online
  • Russ Poulin, WCET

4:00 – 5:00 PM 
Working Session:  Policy Brief Development

You’ve heard from the experts, now it is your time to weigh in! Higher Education leaders often struggle to mobilize around policy issues because of the perceived learning curve, the limited access to legislators, or the lack of time. In this working session, we will break down the most pressing policy issues for higher education. Discussants will lead group discussions and collect feedback. The perspectives shared will inform a policy brief that will be widely distribute after the event.

  • Jennifer Mathes, OLC
  • Jordan DiMaggio, UPCEA
  • Tanya Spilovoy, WCET

June 20th, 2018

8:30 – 9:30 AM
Working Session: Harmonizing Online Definitions

This working session will provide online leaders with a historical perspective on some of the definitions and criteria that exist for the stakeholders they serve. We will use our time together to components that can be used to conceptualize online experiences. Ultimately, this work will serve as the foundation for new set of definitions with the potential to inform the practices of stakeholders, inside and outside the higher education ecosystem, and influence policy.

  • Julie Uranis, UPCEA
  • Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska

10:00 – 11:00 AM 
Online Education Compliance: Engaging Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Students, and Vendors in the Implementation of Compliance Goals

As the popularity of postsecondary online education increases, so have compliance risks. Online courses must comply with a complex regulatory framework including federal, state, and accreditor regulations and standards. This interactive session begins with a brief overview of core areas of compliance to consider when designing and administering online courses and programs (e.g., consumer protection and state authorization requirements, web accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and the crucial but controversial Title IV distinction between distance education and correspondence education). Presenters will then guide a discussion of policy formation and implementation strategies that are inclusive of the various stakeholders affected by compliance mandates within the institution and of third-party vendors as well as opportunities for advocacy and leadership outside of the institution. Recommendations for and discussion of compliance strategies for small, medium, and large or complex institutions or university systems will be highlighted throughout.

  • Richard LaFosse, Indiana University
  • Ilona Marie Hajdu, Indiana University


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