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Expanding student access to online courses among goals of new interstate agreements

by Tim Anderson ~ September 2015 ~ Stateline Midwest »
Over the past year and a half, nearly every state in the Midwest has joined an interstate reciprocity agreement that holds the promise of improving college students’ access to online degree programs while also simplifying the regulatory environment for participating institutions.
In September, only a few months after legislative passage of SB 221, Michigan became the 10th state in the region to become part of the pact. This voluntary agreement establishes common standards and uniform rules for the interstate offering of distance-education courses and programs.
According to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements initiative, Wisconsin is the only state in the Midwest that is not part of the accord. In all, 29 states were members as of early September.
In this region, the agreement is being administered by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.
The Council of State Governments is one of several groups that played a part in developing the agreement. CSG is the home of the National Center for Interstate Compacts, which provides training and technical assistance and helps states review existing interstate compacts or consider creating new ones.