Monday, February 11, 2019

WGU Doesn't Owe $730 M after All: What the Ruling Means for WGU and Online Learning - Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

In 2017, Western Governors University (WGU) was slapped with a huge bill from the federal government. Two years later, WGU has been informed that it doesn’t owe $730 million after all. If WGU is now off the hook, it is likely largely due to Secretary Betsy DeVos. But the WGU ruling also has broader implications for online learning nationwide. While it is unclear if the WGU audit was a direct factor, in early 2019, DeVos announced that she was changing the rules for what counts as a course at the postsecondary level. Her announcement has important implications for WGU and for many other online programs schools, since the change effectively means that federal funds can now be applied to a wider range of postsecondary courses. DeVos is proposing to give accrediting agencies more flexibility in approving programs that don’t fit traditional educational models. This includes courses that may not meet minimum benchmarks for instructor-student contact hours.

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