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It's Reauthorization of Higher Education Time!

OCTOBER 1, 2018

American colleges and universities have been governed by the Higher Education Act (HEA) for more than fifty years.  It was first passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's Vision for a Great Society.  It has since been reauthorized eight times and has grown in both length and complexity, with new elements being added or modified to reflect trends in society and in higher education.

Since it has been ten years since the HEA was last reauthorized in 2008, the U.S. Department of Education has announced that it intends to invoke the process of negotiated rulemaking relative to accreditation; state authorization; credit hour definition; the teach-out process; competency-based education; TEACH grants; barriers to innovation and competition; barriers to student completion, graduation, and employment; and eligibility of faith-based institutions to participate in the student aid programs.  The HEA reauthorization could be a straightforward process with relatively few dramatic changes, or it could fundamentally change the landscape of higher education.

The Department of Education has proposed convening a subcommittee devoted to ensuring that faith-based institutions are eligible to participate equally in Title IV programs provided in the Higher Education Act.  This is one of the wonderful features of American higher education.  There is a recognition that religious missions of colleges and universities contribute to the common good of our society.  Christian higher education is an important part of diversity and produces committed and compassionate citizens who want to engage in our world, not in spite of their faith but because of their faith.

More details about the reauthorization of higher education process relative to Christian higher education can be received through the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association for Biblical Higher Education, and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.  

Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant

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