Higher Education Act - Recommendations and Infographic

As Congress reviews the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), UPCEA, OLC, and WCET, the leading online and higher education organizations, have come together to offer recommendations and champion the interests of contemporary learners.

Together, UPCEA, OLC (Online Learning Consortium), and WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) represent more than 1,000 higher education institutions throughout the United States, whose members have long been leaders in the innovative use of technologies to increase access and improve educational outcomes.

UPCEA, OLC and WCET suggest the following guiding principles for Congress when considering current laws and regulations in the use of educational technologies, either at a distance or in the traditional classroom:

  • Fairness. Provide equal access to Federal financial aid for students learning at a distance or via innovative methods (including but not limited to competency-based education and adaptive learning) as for "traditional" students.

  • Innovation. Rules grounded in the traditional classroom hinder advancements. Since innovations will continue to emerge among higher education institutions, consider authorizing particular innovations in the HEA itself and allow greater flexibility in statute for the Department of Education to waive rules or conduct further "experimental" or "demonstration" projects to help incubate future innovations.

  • Accountability. Holding colleges to standards for student performance and protection of financial aid funds need not add to the burden of over-regulation. This balanced approach to any new laws and regulations should be narrowly tailored to address specific needs.

Read the full list of our priorities here.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Changing Face of Higher Education

Contact your federally elected officials to let them know, the Higher Education Act should be updated for the 21st Century Learner. To find who your elected representative is and how to contact them, visit the following link: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

For more information, contact Jordan DiMaggio at jdimaggio@upcea.edu or 202-400-2689. 

View the full press release here