MSCHE Provides Feedback to USDE for Distance Education and Innovation Rulemaking

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) had the opportunity to provide comments for proposed rulemaking related to Distance Education and Innovation.

Writing on behalf of the Commission, President Elizabeth H. Sibolski and President-Elect Heather F. Perfetti remarked that MSCHE is supportive of United States Department of Education’s (USDE) goal “of reducing barriers to innovation and providing greater flexibility in the way higher education institutions deliver academic programs.”

Adding, “…USDE’s recognition of the variety of technologies and modalities for delivering programs to students that have emerged since distance education was first addressed in regulation can be seen in the new and revised definitions. The definitions provide greater clarity and will better guide accrediting agencies and state agencies in their roles working with institutions as members of the regulatory triad.”

Their comments then addressed a particular new provision of the proposed changes where USDE had specifically sought comment. The MSCHE comments, which also expressed appreciation for the USDE’s efforts to capture the roles and responsibilities of those within the regulatory triad, noted that inclusion of the provision appeared unnecessary due to written arrangements already being within the purview of evaluation and monitoring of accrediting agencies..

Read MSCHE’s full submission at

In addition, the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC), provided comments under the signature of  Higher Learning Commission President and C-RAC Chair Barbara Gellman-Danley that addressed the same issue.