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HEA: Another Type of (Re-) Authorization

Evan Smith / University of Missouri As Camera (2018) informs us, the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, with 2008 revisions, has been under much discussion and reevaluation in Congress. The Act includes federal student loans, which greatly affect the US economy, where unemployment is widespread. Will the HEA be reauthorized? At the time of writing, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) of HELP (the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are working with or in spite of the Republican Senate, seeking Democratic and Presidential approval. Many meetings have been held, weekly in 2018 and at various times over the years.  How Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will weigh in is uncertain. On the House side, we have Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairing the Education and the Workforce Committee, working to eliminate (1) some federal grants and related programs and (2) regulations that protect student loan borrowers from for-profit institutions. Rep. Foxx’s opponent is Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), with experience revamping No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Competency Based Learning/Education (CBE), much in the news in its own right, also comes into the picture as a bipartisan plan to let students earn “credits” via demonstration of knowledge or mastery of skills. Other areas of two-party agreement are, paraphrasing Camera (2018): Abbreviating and simplifying federal student loan application Earlier application toward understanding costs entailed Making federal aid and...

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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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What is MoKanSan?

The field of state authorization is an ever-changing landscape, leaving us with a number of questions and uncertainties. We can sum up the field in two words: It Depends. At times, there are a number of changes and modifications happening at a rapid pace, leaving us struggling to catch up. Enter MoKanSan. MoKanSan is the Missouri-Kansas State Authorization Network. It was created to provide networking, collaborative, and informational opportunities for regional institutions. However, membership to MoKanSan is not limited strictly to members residing in Missouri and Kansas; anyone can join. Modeled after WCET’s State Authorization Network, but on a more direct level, MoKanSan will disseminate important information to its members regarding the latest news and updates in the realm of state authorization in distance education. It will be a place for members to not only hear the latest regarding state authorization, but will also provide a venue to both offer and receive advice, and providing support to fellow institutions. MoKanSan will host a second MoKanSan State Authorization Summit in January 2018. Stay tuned for details! Suggestions and guest writers are welcome. Let’s create this group...

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

UMKC Online.

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