Straight Talk On State Authorization
The issues and regulations surrounding state authorization are complex and multifaceted. To provide clarity on this important topic, DEAC held a series of regional meetings featuring informative presentations from DEAC Executive Director Leah Matthews, Elise Scanlon, Principal, Elise Scanlon Law Group; and Jeannie Yockey-Fine, Senior Manager, State Regulatory Services at Cooley LLP. Topics covered included:
an overview of state authorization expectations and requirements at the federal, state and institutional accrediting levels;
interpretation of current guidance from the Department of Education; and
suggested strategies for DEAC institutions.
If your institution was not able to attend any of the regional meetings, you can view or download the meeting materials using the links below:
Regional Meeting Program
Presentation: Elise Scanlon
Presentation: Jeannie Yockey-Fine
Please contact DEAC Executive Director Leah Matthews with any questions about preparing your institution to meet state authorization requirements.
About the Presenters
Leah Matthews began serving as Executive Director of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission in April 2013. Her background and experience include extensive knowledge of accreditation in the U.S. and abroad, for-profit, career education, traditional higher education, as well as state and federal regulatory systems that relate to higher education. Before joining the DEAC, Matthews served as Vice President for Recognition Services at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the national coordinating organization for higher education accrediting organizations. In that role, she managed the CHEA recognition process for sixty accreditors that provide regional, national and programmatic accreditation. Prior to working with CHEA, Dr. Matthews served nearly twelve years on the staff of the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges.
Dr. Matthews earned her PhD in Education with a concentration in Higher Education Policy from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. While working as a civilian for the U.S. Army in Japan, she earned a Master of Public Administration via distance education from the University of Oklahoma.
Elise Scanlon is a Principal in the Elise Scanlon Law Group in Washington D.C. Before starting her own firm, Elise was counsel on the Education Team in the Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She also has served as Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). From 1999-2008, Elise managed an accreditation process that included more than 700 higher education institutions and served as a national voice on accreditation for for-profit higher education.
Elise’s practice focuses on advising colleges on policy, regulatory and operational matters they routinely encounter and assisting in the development and implementation of comprehensive quality assurance systems focused on improving student achievement. She also advises accrediting agencies and other nonprofit organizations on governance and management issues. Elise has a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Dickinson College.
Jeannie Yockey-Fine joined the Higher Education Practice of Dow Lohnes (now the Higher Education Practice Group of
Cooley LLP ) as Senior Manager, State Regulatory Services in 2011. Jeannie works with attorneys and other professionals in the firm’s Higher Education Practice to provide client institutions and organizations with expert assistance and guidance related to state authorization and regulation of higher education institutions as well as state-level professional licensure.
Before joining Cooley LLP, Ms. Yockey-Fine served as Licensure Manager and Educational Policy Analyst at the Florida Department of Education’s Commission for Independent Education, reporting directly to the Executive Director. In that role she was responsible for overseeing compliance with Florida rules governing private postsecondary institutions as well as monitoring trends affecting postsecondary education in states around the country.