The Omaha World Herald brings word that the latest proposed rules for distance learning serve Nebraska colleges and universities but poorly.
Nebraska senator Ben Nelson has criticized the latest distance learning rules set to take effect July 1, 2011, saying, "The flawed distance learning regulation is just one example of the disconnect that seems to exist between the U.S. Department of Education and Nebraskans."
Indeed, the Nebraska higher-education system does have a lot at stake. The University of Nebraska alone offers nearly 80 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral and professional degree programs to more than 20,000 students in the United States and around the world.
Senator Nelson believes that many of the proposed rules are a poor fit for Nebraska, which has a large number of students in rural areas. To curtail the state's ability to provide an education to these students via the latest distance learning technology would bring disaster. Many would find themselves forced to give up their dreams of a higher education altogether.
The latest protests coming out of Nebraska represent just a small portion of the general outcry in response to the Department of Education's proposed legislation for for-profit colleges and distance learning programs.