Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Direct Assessment Programs and Middle States:

Toward Innovative Curriculum Delivery

Webinar: September 18, 2014 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

The U. S. Department of Education has recently established guidelines through which institutions wishing to offer competency-based/direct assessment programs can obtain approval for participation in Title IV financial assistance for students enrolled in such programs. The guidelines state that institutions wishing to offer direct assessment programs, for which 100% of all degree requirements are earned through methods other than credit or clock hours (34 CFR §668.10), must first obtain approval from the Commission before seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Education for each direct assessment program.

The U.S. Department of Education has also announced in the July 31, 2014, Federal Register that it is inviting institutions to apply for participation in an Experimental Sites Initiative in which the U. S. Department of Education will permit an institution to provide Title IV aid to students who are enrolled in direct assessment programs even if the entire program does not use direct assessment. Institutions wishing to apply for approval must also receive approval from the Commission. Commission staff have confirmed that institutions desiring to apply for approval from the U.S. Department of Education for participation in the direct assessment Experimental Sites Initiative are not required to obtain final approval from the Commission prior to submitting their application to the department.

In response, the Commission has developed a process for approval of direct assessment programs, be it for approval of a program for which the 100% of students' academic program is through this modality or for approval for a program proposed to be part of the U.S. Department of Education's Experimental Sites Initiative. 

Institutions interested in learning more about direct assessment programs and the Commission's process for approval of such programs are invited to participate in a webinar, September 18, 2014 at 2pm.

The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding what direct assessment is;
  • Middle States process for approval of direct assessment programs (including credit hour equivalencies, faculty role, and rigor)
  • Hints, tips, and advice to complete a sucessful complex substantive change process

To register for this webinar, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8857667133463950337



Dr. Sean A. McKitrick, Vice President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Registration Information

Registration is open to all Middle States institutional representatives and staff.  If you have any questions about the webinar or need assistance in registering, please contact Erika Swain, Director for Training and Volunteer Services