State Online Approvals
It's a little known fact that not every college or university can offer online classes in every state. Like many consumer goods, individual states may have regulations that are more or less stringent with those of other states, or the federal government. It is important that students from outside Missouri, who are considering taking an online class from Truman State University, make themselves aware of these rules so that they know how their educational choices effect them.
Where is Truman approved to operate online courses?
The map above reflects the status of Truman's approvals as of March 7, 2012. We will update this map and list as new approvals come in. All states colored in Green are states in which Truman can currently offer online courses without restriction. States in light red are states in which Truman still needs to pursue accreditation. This process is on-going. If you are from one of these states, and are interested in taking a course from us, let us know. This can help us prioritize the order of our submissions! States in a dark red/burgundy color are states in which we do not have approval, either because the states' regulations are too stringent, or the cost is too high to pursue certification at this time. When a sufficient number of interested students from these states inquire about our programs we will more fully pursue approval in these states. States appear in gray are states in which we have applied and from which we are awaiting a response.
Thus, at present, residents from the following states are welcome to enroll in Truman online courses without concern: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Texas statute requires the prominent posting of the following information...
Truman State University is not regulated in Texas Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code
Accreditation bodies associated with Truman academic programs can be found here.
For complaints contact Dr. Kevin Minch, Director of the Truman Institute, 660-785-5677
Why can Truman offer online courses in some states and not others?
Most states have their own regulations regarding online courses. These rules are mainly designed to identify providers so that the state can better handle concerns about programs when they arise. However, as the market for online education has expanded (particularly in the for-profit sector), regulations by individual states have become more and more elaborate. In some states the regulatory burden is simply too high to meet when only one or two students from a given state is taking a class. These states tend to charge significant licensing fees, or require detailed licensing reviews, which make it challenging for smaller public institutions to meet the requirements in a cost-effective manner. In Truman's case, we've elected to defer licensing in those states to avoid having to pass these significant costs on to the consumer.
Additionally, in October 2010, the US Department of Education issued a mandate that all universities receiving Federal aid must be registered/licensed in all states in which they "operate." Each state has its own definition of "operation" - ranging from offering a class to a resident of that state, to advertising in that state, to having supervised internships in that state. Because the inconsistency of these regulations across states was so significant, the new mandate was initially deferred to 2014. It was subsequently overturned by federal courts on procedural grounds. However, most observers expect the regulation to return, reworded, in the not-too-distant future.
Unfortunately, a significant number of colleges and universities have elected to ignore these regulations in the hope that they will change or go away. In the interests of our students, Truman has been moving at impressive speed to get approved in as many states as possible. In the course of four months of aggressive filing we have already received approval in 19 states. Our focus has been, to the extent possible, on those states where we know we are most likely to draw students. Eventually, we hope to complete filings in all 50 states. Those states in burgundy in the map above, however, are unlikely to be licensed for our programs in the near future, as their regulations tend to be more cost effective for entire degree programs that are offered online. Approval to offer individual courses or professional development classes is currently either too costly, or too complex, to warrant submission. However, if need or demand warrants it, we are committed to eventually pursuing approval in these states.
The bottom line is this:
"Truman's approval in some states and not in others is not a quality issue - it's a bureaucracy issue."
What happens if I enroll in a Truman online course and I'm not from an approved state?
It is important that the educational consumer understand that Truman will not seek to verify the physical location from which you are taking an online course. We recognize that some students may have a permanent residence in one state, but temporarily reside in other states for purposes of work or education. This page is designed to provide the consumer with the necessary information to make an informed choice about where they find their educational opportunities on the web. It is ultimately your choice from whom you seek to learn. However, students should be aware that Truman is committed to making all possible good faith efforts to comply with state and federal licensure laws. If you are a student from a state that does not recognize online classes from Truman, that state may deem our provision of a course to you to be in violation of their laws or regulations. Thus, that state could deny you the ability to use a class for purposes of licensure, satisfying continuing education requirements, transfer of credit to a university within that state, or other conceivable honors, certifications, and licenses tied to academic credit or professional development. It is the responsibility of the student to be certain that the classes they are taking will be applicable for the uses for which they are intended.
Do Truman transcripts identify online courses?
The Truman schedule of classes identifies those courses which are taught online. However, Truman transcripts merely identify the course. No distinction is made as to whether the course is offered in a traditional classroom setting or online.
This seems strange. I thought the Internet was about opening-up information to the world, not creating artificial borders. Who do I complain to?
There are several professional organizations already organizing to oppose these laws. However, you can write to your state representative, assemblyperson, or senator to register your concerns about regulations in your own state. On the federal level, several members of Congress are already working to oppose increasingly onerous federal regulations in this area. You might share your thoughts with them as well. In principle, we support the notion of quality assurance regulations for online education. There are numerous providers who do not take the necessary steps to ensure a quality experience for their students. Regional accrediting bodies - such as our own Higher Learning Commission - already spend a significant amount of time ensuring that colleges and universities are prepared to offer online courses and programs, and that they meet standards of continuous improvement. Where problems in regulations exist, they exist in their lack of uniformity across states, not in the intent to ensure quality. A group of University presidents is currently working to advocate for uniformity nationally. We support broadened access to learning, wherever it can be achieved.
Who can I contact if I have more questions about whether I can/should take online classes from Truman?
Feel free to contact the Truman Institute ate (660) 785-5384 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Who accredits your academic programs?
Truman State University has been accredited since 1914 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Truman has maintained full accreditation for all of its programs through the years since then. Various agencies also fully accredit specific programs. They are:
AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
American Chemical Society
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Missouri State Board of Nursing
National Association of Schools of Music
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Contact the Higher Learning Commission at http://www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org or (312) 263-0456.