State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs
Welcome to Louisiana Tech’s State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs. Here you will find links and information on institutional accreditation, academic affairs and policies, and state authorization. The information presented on the website shows where Louisiana Tech is authorized to offer online courses and online degree programs. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Global Campus are working diligently to comply with every state’s regulations to allow students from all states to enroll in our online programs.
State Authorization – An Introduction
On October 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released new “program integrity” regulations. One of the regulations focused on the need for institutions offering distance or correspondence education to acquire authorization from any state in which it “operates.” This authorization is required to maintain eligibility for students of that state to receive federal financial aid. Institutions have until July 1, 2014, to have obtained the appropriate approvals. Meanwhile, institutions are required to demonstrate a ‘good faith’ effort to comply in each state in which it serves students.
State regulations predate the federal regulation and remain in effect. States with regulations expect that institutions already be in compliance with their regulations before serving any students in their state.
UPDATE (June 5, 2012)
The U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling to ‘vacate’ the distance education portion (§600.9c) of the U.S. Department of Education’s ‘state authorization’ regulation. In last summer’s ruling on a lawsuit challenging the regulation, the U.S. District Court ruled to vacate the distance education portion, but purely on procedural grounds.
When proposing a regulation, the Department of Education is supposed to follow a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking process, which allows the public to comment on suggested rules. The District Court found that “the State authorization regulations, as this subsection, or any variation thereof, was not included in the notice of proposed rulemaking.”
On July 27, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter stating that it will NOT enforce the distance education provision of the state authorization regulations.