[Webinar] Analyzing ED’s New Distance Education Rule

September 28th, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm CT
Thompson Coburn LLP

Thompson Coburn LLP

September 28th, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM CT

On September 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published its new, final distance education rule in the Federal Register. This new regulation includes important updates, including a revised definition of “distanced education,” detailed standards for regular and substantive interaction, and an amended approval process for direct assessment programs. Longtime providers of distance education should study the new regulation closely, as should institutions that may have launched online programming during the pandemic, and now are considering whether to make it a permanent part of their offerings.

On September 28, 2020, Thompson Coburn will host a 90-minute webinar during which the presenters will examine the new distance education rule. The presenters will focus on the key concepts introduced by the new regulation, and highlight potential implementation challenges.

This webinar will be the first in entry in Thompson Coburn's Higher Education Webinar Series for the 2020-2021 academic year. Each month, from September to May, the firm’s Higher Education Practice will be offering a free, monthly webinar focused on legal, regulatory, and policy issues impacting institutions of higher education. These webinars, each of which will be approved for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit, will touch on matters of significance for educational institutions of all types, large or small, public or private.

This webinar is approved for 1.8 hours general CLE credit in Missouri and 1.5 hour general CLE credit in California and Illinois. 1.5 hour general CLE credit in Texas is pending.


Aaron Lacey

Aaron Lacey
Thompson Coburn LLP

Aaron’s practice is dedicated entirely to helping institutions of higher education navigate complex legal and regulatory matters. He has significant experience in the array of federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards that govern postsecondary institutions, and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics relating to higher education policy and the federal financial aid programs.

In 2018, Aaron served the U.S. Department of Education as one of 17 negotiators charged with overhauling the Department's complex and controversial "borrower defense" rule. The Department selected Aaron to represent and negotiate on behalf of general counsels, attorneys and compliance officers at postsecondary institutions nationwide.

Aaron regularly represents institutions in administrative proceedings before state licensing entities, accrediting agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education, including matters arising from audits, program reviews, and investigations of the Office of Inspector General.

In support of institutional initiatives, he assists clients in drafting and negotiating a wide variety of agreements, including domestic and international articulation, consortium, licensing, marketing, and agency contracts, and in the case of postsecondary mergers and acquisitions, stock and asset purchase agreements. Aaron also assists with the management of regulatory and government agency relationships, policy creation and implementation, strategic planning, and compliance systems design.

Aaron is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and of the American Bar Association.

Katie Wendel

Katie Wendel
Thompson Coburn LLP

Katie handles a wide variety of regulatory and transactional work for the nonprofit and for-profit higher education sector, including online education programs, and has extensive knowledge of the laws and policies affecting colleges and universities.

She regularly communicates with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of clients to assist with Title IV issues and maintaining institutional eligibility with the Department. Katie also helps schools sustain successful student exchange visitor programs.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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