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Washington Highlights

ED Begins Negotiated Rulemaking on State Authorization, Repeat Coursework

February 21, 2014—The Department of Education (ED) Feb. 19-21 held its first round of negotiated rulemaking on a variety of issues related to “program integrity and improvement.”  The 15-person committee and ED officials began exploring topics that had been proposed and discussed in public hearings over the last year. The department announced its intention to draft proposed rules before the next session.

Of interest to medical schools, negotiators discussed federal aid for retaking coursework.  Previously, the department issued guidance indicating that the regulations do not apply to graduate or professional programs [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 28, 2012].  In an issue paper on the subject, ED highlighted the response from health professions programs with integrated coursework that requires students who fail one course to repeat the entire term’s coursework to academically progress.

The department also plans to revisit regulations for institutions providing distance education outside their home state, typically via online programs. ED’s previous attempt to tie “state authorization” to federal aid eligibility was thwarted by a D.C. Circuit Court decision in a case brought by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.

Other topics slated for discussion include clock-to-credit-hour conversion, state authorization in foreign (international) locations, cash management, and the definition of adverse credit for Direct PLUS loan eligibility.

Later rounds of negotiated rulemaking are scheduled for March 26-28 and April 23-25.


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806