Information Resources – Namiaz http://namiaz.org/ Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:03:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://namiaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-150x150.png Information Resources – Namiaz http://namiaz.org/ 32 32 Hillsborough County – Disaster relief resources available for residents affected by Hurricane Ian https://namiaz.org/hillsborough-county-disaster-relief-resources-available-for-residents-affected-by-hurricane-ian/ Sat, 01 Oct 2022 15:21:48 +0000 https://namiaz.org/hillsborough-county-disaster-relief-resources-available-for-residents-affected-by-hurricane-ian/


Posted October 1, 2022 | 11:06 a.m

Hillsborough County residents affected by Hurricane Ian are eligible for individual disaster relief from FEMA. Residents can easily access federal disaster relief through the Mobile FEMA App available in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. The app allows residents to upload and share photos of damage, access local resources, and toggle between English and Spanish. Help can also be requested by completing an online questionnaire and a Help Request DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585). Those with access to the internet are encouraged to apply online.

FEMA fact sheet has more information, including program details for individuals and households as well Information in multiple languages how FEMA can help residents and their families after a disaster.

Connect. stay alert

For more information on Hillsborough County’s response to Hurricane Ian, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL warning system. You can also follow Hillsborough County on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor for updates.

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HC STORM or 833-427-8676the county’s storm information line or visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.

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The 12 Most Disturbing Moments in It Follows Ranking https://namiaz.org/the-12-most-disturbing-moments-in-it-follows-ranking/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 21:43:00 +0000 https://namiaz.org/the-12-most-disturbing-moments-in-it-follows-ranking/

It Follows opens in a sunny suburban neighborhood. Then a young woman named Annie bursts out of her house and sprints down the street. Screaming horror music plays. She’s clearly running from something, but nothing seems to be chasing her. Annie pauses and looks back at the house, waiting for her moment. Eventually she makes it into her parked gray sedan and then drives away.

Later that night, Annie is sitting by a lake. She stands with her back to the waves and watches the road. Her cell phone rings and she answers and tells her father that she loves him. Then she looks up as if she sees something coming, but a wide-angle shot of the beach shows nothing—just the sandy shore lit by the car’s headlights.

The next morning everything is still, overcast and grey. Annie lies dead on the beach, with one leg turned and at an unnatural angle, a bone sticking out of her skin. Her face is relaxed and unreadable. We don’t know what killed, but whatever it was, it was both incredibly powerful and unfathomably cruel.

The shot of Annie’s dead body is definitely the bloodiest image in the film. It’s undeniably haunting. The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that by this movie’s standards, it’s a little obvious. Yes, a teenager’s mutilated body is indeed a surefire way to make audiences gasp, but as the film progresses it will become apparent that it has far more insidious ways of making us suffer.

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Clery Law | Miles College https://namiaz.org/clery-law-miles-college/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 20:58:54 +0000 https://namiaz.org/clery-law-miles-college/

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy & Campus Crime Statistics Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 requires the distribution of an annual security report to all current students, faculty and staff. The Annual Safety Report provides statistics for the past three years on reported crimes committed on campus, in specific off-campus buildings, on Miles College owned or controlled property, and on public property on or immediately adjacent to campus and off campus are accessible. The report also includes institutional policies related to campus safety, such as policies on alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, reporting crimes, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and fires in on-campus residential buildings.

Annual Report 2021 – Campus Crime, Fire, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs

This information is provided to comply with the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act 1998. They are created by the Miles College Department of Public Safety (MCDPS). Each fall, students and staff receive an email notification with a link to this report. The URL is also included on the Human Resources and Admissions websites to inform prospective students and staff. You can link directly to the website at www.miles.edu.

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Justice Department Announces More Than $246 Million in Grants to Tribal Nations | GRANDPA https://namiaz.org/justice-department-announces-more-than-246-million-in-grants-to-tribal-nations-grandpa/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:42:03 +0000 https://namiaz.org/justice-department-announces-more-than-246-million-in-grants-to-tribal-nations-grandpa/

The Department of Justice announced today that it will award more than $246 million in grants to Alaskan Native American and Native American communities to improve public safety and help victims of crime. The announcement coincides with the 17th annual tribal government-to-government consultation on violence against women being held Sept. 21-23 in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Each year, this event serves as a necessary reminder of the violence perpetrated against women in tribal communities across the country, as well as an important opportunity to address this public safety crisis with due urgency,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Department of Justice remains committed to honoring our nation-to-nation partnerships and making tribal communities safer.”

The purpose of this event is to seek recommendations from tribal leaders on how to manage tribal funds and programs and improve the safety of Native American and Alaska Native women from domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, murder, stalking and sex trafficking, along with strengthening the response of the federal government to these crimes. The annual consultation, convened by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), is required by law to address the federal administration of tribal grant funds and programs funded under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) and its subsequent ones new permits have been established. In addition to addressing violent crimes that disproportionately harm women and girls, the consultation will also focus on ways to improve access to local, regional, state and federal crime databases and criminal justice information systems.

More than four in five adult American Indians and Alaska Natives have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. This equates to almost three million people who have experienced stalking, sexual violence or physical violence by intimate partners.

“Through this 17th annual consultation, the first to be held in Alaska, the Department of Justice recognizes our special government-to-government relationship with Native American leaders,” said Assistant Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “We also renew our commitment to listening to these leaders who know best how to make their communities safer. Together we can make meaningful progress in ending violence against women.”

“Ensuring access to justice for all is central to the Justice Department’s mission and is the primary goal of numerous efforts across the Department,” Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta said. “While we have made progress in addressing domestic and sexual violence against people in Indigenous communities, we know there is still work to be done and we are committed to doing it.”

The Tribal Grant Awards are designed to help improve tribal justice systems and law enforcement response, improve handling of child abuse cases, combat domestic and sexual violence, support tribal youth programs and a range of services for the Crime by the Indians and Alaskan Natives to fund the victims. The awards are administered by OVW, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

“Every day, these funds help tribal governments, coalitions, advocates and service providers meet the needs of survivors — and this is critical given the epidemic scale of violence facing Indigenous communities,” said Allison Randall, associate director of the OVW. “Tribes know best what interventions will bring justice to survivors. We are honored to assist tribal communities in implementing strategies that align with community values ​​and practices. Tribal grantees have told us that this funding has transformed the care they can provide and has fundamentally transformed the lives of survivors.”

OVW will award $28.04 million to 30 grantees as part of its tribal government program, which improves tribes’ ability to respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking against Indian women, increasing the safety of survivors support and to develop education and prevention strategies. To facilitate the development and operation of nonprofit, nongovernmental coalitions against domestic violence and tribal sexual assault, $6.38 million will be awarded to 19 grantees through the Tribal Coalitions program.

OVW will also award seven grants totaling $3.67 million under the Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program, which supports projects to create, maintain and expand services for sexual assault survivors run by tribes, tribal organizations and non-profit organizations offered in tribal areas. Finally, under the Tribal Jurisdiction Program, four grants totaling $1.53 million will be awarded to tribal governments to provide support and technical assistance in planning and implementing changes in their criminal justice systems to exercise special criminal jurisdiction and assist in the to pay the costs incurred in the exercise of jurisdiction.

The OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has allocated more than $116 million through Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) to support the delivery of crime victim services in tribal communities. Of particular note, TVSSA FY2022 funding can now be used to assist Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) by providing services to the family members of MMIP victims. Raising awareness of MMIP among community members in general as well as individual MMIP cases; and working with tribal, federal, state and local officials to respond to MMIP cases. An additional $2.95 million was awarded through the OVC project Beacon: Increasing Access to Services for Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Human Trafficking Program, created to increase the quantity and quality of victim-centric services , available to support Indigenous victims of human trafficking in urban areas .

The Department also funded more than $6 million through the OJP Office of Sex Offender Sentences, Supervision, Arrest, Registration and Prosecution to help tribes comply with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. As soon as the prizes have been awarded, you will find information about the scholarship recipients selected in the context of the respective call for applications online at OJP Grants page.

“Through collaborations like this that the Department of Justice is able to fully engage and engage with our tribal partners, hearing directly from tribal professionals about their challenges and the resources that would best help them meet those challenges.” said Amy L Solomon. “It is a privilege to work hand-in-hand with tribal leaders to strengthen public safety, improve victim services, and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts.”

More than $82.2 million has been awarded under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a streamlined application that helps tribes apply for tribal grant programs that improve law enforcement and tribal justice practices, expand victim services, and prevention and intervention support. CTAS grants are administered by the OJP ($54.49 million) and the COPS office ($27.72 million).

“The COPS office values ​​our partnership with tribal law enforcement agencies and is pleased to announce these important public safety grants,” said Acting Director Robert Chapman of the COPS office. “Challenges are facing law enforcement across the country, and those challenges are particularly exacerbated for tribal law enforcement. The awards announced today will assist in the recruitment and retention of law enforcement positions and ensure these officers have the training and equipment needed to protect and serve their respective communities.”

As part of CTAS, the COPS office provided $27.72 million through awards to 47 tribes to expand implementation of community policing and address the most urgent law enforcement needs in tribal nations through an expanded comprehensive program. Funding can be used to hire or rehire full-time law enforcement officers and village public safety officers, as well as to procure essential equipment, technology and training to help initiate or enhance tribal community policing efforts.

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Texas Tech project to combat misinformation in Hispanic communities https://namiaz.org/texas-tech-project-to-combat-misinformation-in-hispanic-communities/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 22:37:00 +0000 https://namiaz.org/texas-tech-project-to-combat-misinformation-in-hispanic-communities/

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Three Texas Tech faculty members are trying to combat the misinformation and disinformation among the Hispanic population. They are trying to understand why the Hispanic community lacks so many sources of information compared to other communities.

Lucinda Holt is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communication. She said this project is important because of the growth in the Latino population.

“And there’s not a lot of information in Spanish,” Holt said.

The lack of Spanish resources plays a large role in the communities’ perception of health.

“We’ve heard from people that they get most of their information from social media, particularly Facebook,” Holt said. “Many of them don’t have access to local news at home or they only hear what their family members are telling them.”

Misinformation and disinformation had fatal consequences. During their research, they spoke to a Plainview man who was hospitalized for COVID-19.

“He also knew a 23-year-old who died because he believed the COVID-19 vaccine was bad for him. And so he decided not to get vaccinated,” Holt said.

Holt said the first step in combating misinformation is to increase representation.

“So we need more Latinos, more Hispanos. And again it goes beyond the language. We need more Hispanos and Latinos,” Holt said. “You know, stand in front of the camera. Don’t be shy and share this message.”

Along with Holt, Kent Wilkinson, professor at the College of Media & Communication, and Ryan Litsey, associate dean of user-centric services at Texas Tech University Libraries, all take it upon themselves to solve this problem.

“We will take this information and start production. So that’s print, so TV, radio, we’re looking at social media, and we’re going to produce Spanish-language content with English reinforcement,” Holt said.

This representation is also indispensable in crisis communication. She gave an example of the recent Uvalde shooting.

“The information in English is confusing but imagine if your child were in this building and you don’t speak English and you don’t get any communication in Spanish and you don’t know where to go, where to report anything with happens to your kid or where you can even find resources,” Holt said. “Crisis communication, so accurate communication, is critical to this project.”

You can find more information about the project at website here.

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What was the motive for serial killers Carol M. Bundy and Doug Clark? https://namiaz.org/what-was-the-motive-for-serial-killers-carol-m-bundy-and-doug-clark/ Sun, 18 Sep 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://namiaz.org/what-was-the-motive-for-serial-killers-carol-m-bundy-and-doug-clark/

Shortly after Doug Clark met Carol Bundy at a local country bar, he moved into the apartment she shared with her two sons from a previous marriage. Los Angeles Magazine writes that Clark Bundy confessed his most depraved sexual desires shortly thereafter. Her first known act was molesting the 11-year-old daughter of a neighbor from her apartment complex. This heinous crime was photographed by the couple. Unfortunately, Clark was not satisfied with this lonely endeavor. He told Bundy that his darkest fantasies included the worst kinds of sexual sadism. He longed to kill a woman while performing a sexual act together, a dark fantasy that would soon be realized.

What happened next is up for debate, as both Clark and Bundy have given conflicting stories. However, it is widely believed that Clark began scouring the Sunset Strip for potential victims, and he didn’t wait long to make his first move. He lured his first victim to his death, a teenage sex worker named Marnette Comer. Next, Clark killed stepsisters and teenage runaways Cynthia Chandler and Gina Marano. The young women had been hanging out on the Sunset Strip when Clark approached them. After murdering her, he confessed his crimes to Bundy. But instead of alerting the police that her boyfriend, who lives in the household, had just confessed to killing three women, she stayed. And then she became part of his plot.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available to help. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact the RAINN National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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Tragic details about Doris Day https://namiaz.org/tragic-details-about-doris-day/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 03:47:00 +0000 https://namiaz.org/tragic-details-about-doris-day/

Doris Day came from a broken home when her father left her family when she was 12 TCM. In her autobiography “Doris Day: Her Own Story”, She wrote that her early memories of her father were of a “staid German fanatic”. Still, even after her father left she could never blame him.

After years of separation, the actor met her father in 1956. Loud her book, she saw him at the train station in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he invited her to visit his bar, which Day was shocked to discover was in a mostly black neighborhood. Walking into the bar, she met Luvenia, a black woman and her father’s fiancée. “I felt completely enveloped by… the wonderful change that had come over my father.” wrote Day.

She didn’t see her father again until several years later, when her mother and Marty Melcher went to her aunt’s home — in an incredibly racist neighborhood. Day invited her father, but when he showed up, he left Luvenia in the car. No one – including Day – asked them to come in, and after a brief and awkward time, Day’s father left while his daughter just waved at Luvenia in the car. The singer never saw him again.

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, call 1-855-4-VICTIM or the VictimConnect Hotline via chat for more information or assistance in finding support services. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.

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US News & World Report ranks UArizona among the top 50 public universities https://namiaz.org/us-news-world-report-ranks-uarizona-among-the-top-50-public-universities/ Mon, 12 Sep 2022 13:35:25 +0000 https://namiaz.org/us-news-world-report-ranks-uarizona-among-the-top-50-public-universities/

By Nick Prevenas, University Communications

today

The University of Arizona received several strong marks in the 2023 US News & World Report Best Colleges Ranking published today.

UArizona ranks 105th overall and 48th among public universities. The university ranks 11th among all colleges and universities designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

“I am very proud that the University of Arizona has once again been recognized as one of the top public universities in the country,” said the University of Arizona President Robert C Robbins. “We are an institution that serves a robust and diverse student body made up of students who study alongside many of the world’s leading scholars. This ranking is a great reflection of our commitment to our students.”

The university’s Management Information Systems undergraduate program maintained its excellent position (#5 overall, #3 among public universities). UArizona also achieved strong scores for its undergraduate programs in Accounting (tie 20) and Entrepreneurship (tie 21). Both programs have improved by 11 places compared to last year’s ranking. Eller College of Management is ranked #30 overall by US News for the best business programs in the country.

Arizona was ranked 29th overall in nursing, 54th overall in computer science, 54th in engineering, 67th on the list of top colleges for veterans, and 75th on the “A+” list. Schools for B students.”

Each year, US News also publishes a Best Value Ranking, which reflects a school’s academic quality, as reflected in the 2023 Ranking, and the 2021-22 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The university put No. 143 on that list.

In the publication’s annual list of top graduate schools, released March 29, US News ranked Eller College of Management’s Management Information Systems program #1 among public universities and #3 overall. UArizona’s geology program rose to #2 overall.

Other current rankings are:

  • UArizona was ranked 87th overall and 51st among public universities by The Washington Monthly 2022 National University Rankingspublished on August 28th. This ranking analyzes colleges and universities based on their contribution to the common good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and public service promotion.
  • UArizona ranked #256 out of 3,098 institutions analyzed Non-partisan political center for his report on university return. UArizona was ranked #59 among public universities and #1 in Arizona. According to the BPC’s analysis, its estimate of the lifetime return on enrollment at UArizona is $1,055,820.
  • UArizona ranked 131st overall and 56th among public universities in Forbes’ annual list America’s Top Collegespublished on August 30th.

US News & World Report ranks colleges and universities based on various criteria of academic quality. Measures under consideration for national universities include graduation and retention rates, peer and advisor evaluation, faculty resources (such as class size, benefits and salaries), student selectivity, student financial resources, donations of alumni and graduation rate performance Difference between actual and projected graduation rates.

Editor’s Note: Not all academic programs are rated annually by US News & World Report. However, all the above rankings are newly published. US News & World Report also publishes rankings of the best online programs, the best global universities, and the best graduate programs. For questions about the rankings of specific programs and departments, email official@usnews.com.

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Texas Produced Water Consortium Reports to Texas Legislature | KLBK | KAMC https://namiaz.org/texas-produced-water-consortium-reports-to-texas-legislature-klbk-kamc/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 22:00:11 +0000 https://namiaz.org/texas-produced-water-consortium-reports-to-texas-legislature-klbk-kamc/

The following is a press release from Texas Tech University:

LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Tues Texas Produced Water Consortium (TXPWC) released its preliminary findings Thursday (September 1) in a report to the Texas Legislature titled “Beneficial Utilization of Produced Water in Texas: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Way Forward.”

Enacted by Senate Bill 601 in 2021, the consortium was formed to bring together stakeholders and other information sources to study the economics, treatment technologies, and environmental and public health considerations for the beneficial use of produced water outside of the oil and gas industry.

In detail in the report, the consortium estimates that the potential to treat produced water from the Permian Basin could result in an estimated 2 billion barrels per year (256,000 acre-ft) of treated produced water, with up to 4 billion barrels per year (511,000 acre-feet) that may become available for use in this arid region of the state.

“The Texas Legislature is proactively seeking new water sources to alleviate projected future shortages,” said Consortium Executive Director Rusty Smith. “The treatment of produced water for useful use is already taking place in other states. If we can demonstrate that produced water in Texas can be treated to a quality that protects public health and the environment, it could be a game changer for future generations.”

Pilot projects focused on testing and analyzing treated production water are next on the horizon for the TXPWC.

Smith sees great value in the ability of these projects to provide more data on achievable water quality and economics associated with the beneficial use of treated production water.

“We are working to develop calls for proposals over the coming months to identify and select pilot projects, and continue our current work to discuss public policies and regulatory approaches to beneficial use,” he said. “I am very proud of everything that the members and staff of the consortium have achieved so far and very excited to see what the next phase has in store for us.”

The TXPWC is a membership-based organization housed within the Office for Research and Innovation at Texas Tech University, made up of oil and gas interest groups, environmental NGOs, other academic institutions, public utilities, landowners and agricultural institutions. For more information about the consortium and the report to the Texas Legislature, go to txpwc.ttu.edu.

(Texas Tech University press release)

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How Has Online Learning Impacted College Accreditation? https://namiaz.org/how-has-online-learning-impacted-college-accreditation/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 23:26:19 +0000 https://namiaz.org/how-has-online-learning-impacted-college-accreditation/

With universities launching a variety of new virtual learning platforms and expanding their online course catalogs to meet demand for distance learning options, it’s hard to argue that COVID-19 has helped change the way learning is being done Institutions across the US are taking place Remote and online programming has driven the digitization of higher education, little has changed about the way the country is regional accreditation bodies Evaluation of institutions and their programmes, which the heads of accreditation bodies say are mainly measured by their results over time.

According to Jamienne Studley, President of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), the growth of virtual learning during COVID-19 has helped firmly spotlight discussions of student achievement as educators work to maintain student engagement and provide appropriate academic support remotely. When it comes to evaluating online programs, she says organizations like hers tend to measure student learning outcomes such as post-graduation success and job placement, among other metrics that are related to WSCUC’s online metrics are found Key Indicators Dashboardto “contextualize student achievement across time and institution”.

“It is important to prepare institutions and accrediting assessors to use this information thoughtfully, consistently, and in a nuanced way to understand whether students are successful and why, to estimate differences between student populations and delivery models, and particularly how this information relates to use is improve results,” she said in an email government technology.

Studley said the shift to full online learning in all course subjects during COVID-19 has forced educational leaders and institutions to take a closer and deeper look at the diverse needs of students, particularly first-generation students who tend to be subject to frequent instructional guidance require more readily available in traditional, face-to-face courses. Together with the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, the two accrediting bodies have accredited a total of 340 institutions, most of which other colleges and universities have followed and expanded online programming during COVID-19.


“A particular challenge that online education has brought to the fore is ensuring that student services and support are tailored to different programs, student needs and educational delivery models. Online education has forced colleges and universities to ask [more about] how to provide effective counseling, information resources, career development, undergraduate opportunities, health care and other services to their students. This, in turn, has prepared them to better understand the needs and support options of all students,” she said government technology. “Many students and educators believe that online education is simply a method of delivery that can be judged against the same standards of quality and outcomes that accreditors apply to higher education in general… As with current debates about distance and In face-to-face work, the challenge is to ensure we understand what we mean by success, productivity and outcomes, and to think creatively about how we can ensure quality for students in any type of learning environment.”

Similarly, Janea Johnson, a PR and data specialist for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) said very little, if any, has fundamentally changed in the way SACSCOC accredits schools when they add their online course catalogues. While some assessments for institutional accreditation took place remotely in the early days of the 2020 pandemic, she said all 810 institutions accredited by the organization would be assessed against the same standards, which included student outcomes, institutional planning and the question whether or not instructional strategies are detectable, measure-based.

“We have accredited institutions that provide online education well before COVID, and we use the same process to determine if institutions are prepared for online instruction,” she said. “We make no distinction between in person and online [learning] for our member institutions, and our institutions are responsible for 88 standards, regardless of their course delivery method… There is no alternative way.”

Sonny Ramaswamy, President of Northwest Commission for Colleges and Universities, said a large part of assessing the effectiveness of online programs in the institutional accreditation process is examining how the trainers themselves are trained. With the advent of digital learning tools transforming the way people teach, Ed-Tech professional development is a key factor in how well schools can manage online courses.
“We need to make sure that the online program is properly vetted, in the sense that they have the appropriate resources and the faculty members and credentials to be able to do this,” he said, noting that fully online schools like the Western Governors University do so among the 162 institutions accredited by the organization.

“When we accredit and visit institutions, we look at different types of courses and degree programs that those institutions offer, whether online or on campus, and also look at them in detail. We also need the institutions’ annual reports, where they provide us with information about online or face-to-face courses and degree programs,” he said. “They disaggregate the data for us in terms of enrollment and also in terms of completion, completion, retention and all those things.”

Despite some concerns about the effectiveness of distance learning for students who need more in-person academic support and guidance, he hopes the rise of distance learning will help “democratize” higher education in the years to come by meeting students where they are.

“As an accreditation body, our assessors check how the students perform. Did they receive the knowledge that the institution promised? Did they achieve the degree that the institution promised? And then we’re starting to track other things now too, like results beyond college,” he said. “As far as [concerns about] academic dishonesty and academic integrity and all that, you could let it happen in either situation, online or in person… The idea is really to make sure you’re responsive to that student’s needs, wherever that student is, and I think those digital revolution really allows us to do this well.”

Speaking of which Accreditation Commission for Distance Learning, Executive Director and CEO Leah Matthews said the effectiveness of online programming depends largely on how the courses are administered. Like Ramaswamy, she believes that professional development in the ed-tech field is a key factor in an online institution’s ability to gain accreditation.

“Many [regional accreditation bodies] have very clear and concise procedures for adding distance learning that institutions have had to follow in order to move forward and some are tracking quick approvals that happened at the start of the pandemic. There was some leniency in quickly approving distance learning, with the caveat that there would be a rigorous review of educational quality,” she said, noting that unlike most regional bodies, DEAC only has full online academies in all 50 states rated.

“Educational quality standards for distance learning measure outcomes in a similar way as [in-person] educational delivery, but standards for how teachers are qualified to teach online learning, how learning management systems deliver the curriculum to the online learner and the quality of that curriculum, its accessibility and ability to measure student learning and to provide student progress reports delivering learning outcomes is a really important factor. This is often done differently than student curriculum assessment in a traditional face-to-face learning environment,” she continued. “I would also say that we value supplemental resources differently… How is that integrated into the curriculum? Are the materials of appropriate rigor and relevant?”

Matthews added that while accrediting bodies are complying US Department of Education Guidelines for institutional and programmatic evaluation, the USA has a largely decentralized accreditation system. She added that the effectiveness of online programs can vary widely when comparing first-generation students, who need more academic support, to advanced students, who benefit most from the flexibility of online learning.

“When you’re decentralized, no two institutions or two accreditors work the same way, and all that decentralization and diversity can create unequal outcomes for students,” she said. “Getting started with online learning can be extremely difficult for them… First-time learners tend to have the greatest challenges when it comes to focusing, staying focused, and staying with it.

“If we really want to scale up online learning, especially for these learners, we really need to focus our resources on support services for them, coaching, mentoring, academic advice, tutoring and building communities of online learners.”

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