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Month: July 2017

Border Wars

  Evan Smith / University of Missouri-Columbia Missouri and Kansas had been long-time enemies from the pre- or early-Civil War years, depending on your terminology (map: Yet this writer, a Lawrence, Kansas, native, knows full well of Quantrill’s Raid on pro-abolitionist Lawrence, dramatized in, e.g., Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil (1999) and earlier films. I know also of the ironic humor in the name of Lawrence’s “Quantrill’s Fleamarket,” now defunct. The Eldridge Hotel still stands, rebuilt after the 1863 raid, and is often the home of high school reunions and other events. Later, MU and KU were infamous sports rivals, continuing “Border Wars.” When MU joined the SEC in 2012, much of that changed. Much of it. Columbia, MO is well used to TN and LA visitors, among others, now, while its regional airport connects with SEC’s Dallas, TX. During state authorization, KS and MO worked out a special reciprocity agreement before each joined SARA ca. 2014. If nothing else, the existence of a Kansas City, Kansas (Cowtown) and a Kansas City, Missouri (cf. station KCMO, which I grew up with) confused some and united others. Further, UMKC, a stone’s throw from Kansas and a former private university, attracts students from both sides of the Missouri River ( It is only natural that UMKC should take the lead, based albeit on SAN-Ohio (cf. in what is...

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Meet the MoKanSan Coordinators

Brandie Elliott Brandie Elliott is the State Authorization Coordinator for UMKC Online at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has been maintaining state authorizations and exemptions since 2013. In addition to overseeing state authorizations at UMKC, Brandie also supports the Vice Provost for Distance Education, manages purchases and travel expenditures for UMKC Online, and serves as the Quality Matters coordinator. Her main goal for organizing MoKanSan was to share the wealth of knowledge with regional institutions and develop a networking base for those interested in learning more about the field as well as meeting individuals in their area. Evan Smith Dr. Evan Smith, a Kansas native, has been involved in the field of continuing/distance education since 1984. Over the years, he has presided, presented, and helped organize conferences, frequently serving on the ADEIL (Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning) Board. In addition, Evan has contributed to WCET webinars and the Professional Licensure Task Force. He has also published in peer-reviewed journals and newsletters, occasionally winning ADEIL or Adult Higher Education Alliance awards for research or accepting UPCEA or ADEIL awards for courses for which he had recruited faculty and reviewed drafts. In recent years, he has been better known as a state authorization seeker and researcher for the University of Missouri’s Mizzou...

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The State of SARA

Brandie Elliott / University of Missouri-Kansas City 49. That’s the number of states and territories, that are now members of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements). The latest territory to join SARA is the Virgin Islands, approved by the SREB SARA Steering Committee in early June. SARA-participating institutions are now able to accept students from the Virgin Islands to enroll into their distance education programs. The governor of Florida signed legislation on June 9 which allows Florida to join SARA. SREB’s SARA Steering Committee will continue to work with Florida as they get their regulations in place. The Florida Postsecondary Reciprocal Distance Education Coordinating Council must meet now. Florida is anticipated to be a SARA member within the next few months. California and Massachusetts have not joined SARA yet but are working toward that end goal. In Massachusetts, SARA-enabling legislation has been introduced. In addition, SARA-enabling language has been included in the Massachusetts House Ways and Means budget, which was introduced in late May. California plans to introduce legislation in 2018. It is likely that California will likely join SARA in late 2018 or early 2019. A list of SARA states and institutions participating in SARA can be found on the SARA web...

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Regular and Substantive Interaction…Time to Revisit?

Evan Smith / University of Missouri-Columbia “RSI” may need to be revisited. Not only are there governmental concerns, but should we be defining types of instruction according to financial aid definitions or use of technology? A brick-and-mortar school does not classify teaching by how many films are shown, who leads discussions, or how often an overhead projector is used. If we wanted to categorize the classroom that way, we would have to resort to course evaluations, teachers’ memoirs, and institutional memory to reveal interaction at its fullest. The main exception is the “lab course” with its hands-on processes and procedures. In independent study (IS) programs, the student reads the materials and then takes action (does study questions and submits assignments), possibly sending in queries along the way. Students are not supposed to collaborate, whence the term independent study. This is true even when IS is put online; the course on the screen is largely student-driven, and progress is self-paced. Discussion boards generally do not work when students are enrolled at different times and pace themselves differently. Students in IS are rarely aware of who else is enrolled in their course. However, synchronous distance learning, usually degree-oriented, and allowing cohorts, firm due dates, and discussion boards is different: the virtual classroom. Offices can e-mail or otherwise communicate with students to remind them of their deadlines, whether it is matter of...

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The Rule of 10

Brandie Elliott / University of Missouri-Kansas City Internships, externships, field experiences, clinicals, rotations, clerkship, practicum, student teaching, and so on. Regardless of the name, supervised field experiences play a large role in state authorization. In fact, a supervised field experience alone can trigger a physical presence in the vast majority of states. This includes both online and students enrolled in face-to-face programs. If an institution is participating in NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements), the rule is fairly simple: 10 students per location per program at one time. SARA applies solely to distance education activity conducted across state lines. It does not apply to distance education activity inside a state or to on-ground campuses. To be clear, the SARA definition of “supervised field experience” is as follows: “Supervised field experience” means: a student learning experience comprised primarily of the practical application of previously studied theories and skills, under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional, located in the host state, who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled whether or not credit is granted. The supervised field experience is part of a program of study offered by enrolling SARA institution. Examples include practica, student teaching, or internships. Independent off-campus study by individual students not engaged in supervised field experience is exempt from requirements of...

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The Missouri Kansas State Authorization Network (MoKanSAN) provides collaborative opportunities for higher education institutions. MoKanSAN is supported by

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