Leadership Programs

Policy Programs



Multi-State Distance Education Reciprocity Compact


Higher education institutions, employing the capacities of available technologies, are increasingly able to offer services to students on a national canvas. Many of today’s colleges and universities employ online learning and varied degrees of onsite support to offer study on a national, and even international, scale. Designed originally to regulate in-state residential campuses, regulatory requirements and evaluative measures vary considerably from state to state. Fifty individual states, and the institutions that seek approval to offer courses within them, now engage in duplicative, costly, time-consuming and inconsistently applied regulatory exercises. Moreover, some states exercise minimum qualitative control, reducing the ability of states to accept approvals on an interstate basis. Reform is needed in the policies and processes of state regulatory review and approval for postsecondary educational institutions, and especially for those colleges and universities with national footprints that offer degrees across multiple political boundaries. To that end, The Presidents Forum and the Lumina Foundation approached the National Center for Interstate Compacts to help with the drafting of a compact aimed at reducing the problems. 
Status: Project funding has been approved; participated in first advisory group meeting to lay the foundation for a new interstate agreement. Subsequent advisory meetings are to be held in 2011, with a draft compact available in 2012.