New Action on Proposed Regulations on Teacher Preparation Programs

While we were convening at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting, the U.S. Department of Education made its next move on the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. The Department sent the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) focused on the distance education portion of the proposed regulations. OMB will review the supplemental NPRM prior to publishing it in the Federal Register.

We won’t know exactly what information the Department is seeking until the supplemental NPRM is issued. We also don’t know how long the comment period might be—but it could be as short as 30 days, so we will need to be ready to respond.

You might recall that distance education is included in the proposed regulation from December 2014, and that states are required to report on distance education teacher preparation programs in the proposal. The U.S. Department of Education has this regulatory definition of distance education:

Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this definition to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include—

(1) The internet;

(2) One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;

(3) Audio conferencing; or

(4) Video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.

For now, please stay tuned. We will be monitoring the Federal Register and will craft resources to support you in your advocacy efforts on this new request. For background on the regulations’ development, see AACTE’s resource page.

Please contact me with questions or comments at You can also continue to use the e-mail to send regulations-related questions or comments to AACTE’s government relations and advocacy team.  

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Deborah Koolbeck

Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE