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Tom Dolan Establishes Texas State Authorization Network

By Timothy Howard, Social Media Coordinator

Tom Dolan, Associate Director of Texas Tech University Worldwide eLearning, recently established the Texas State Authorization Network (TxSAN). The purpose of TxSAN is to help higher education institutions in the State of Texas comply with authorization to conduct activities in other states.

States have various guidelines that educational institutions must follow. Examples of these guidelines include policies that ensure the quality of the education for the student, accurate representation of the course information to the student, etc. These guidelines vary from state-to-state, making it sometimes difficult for higher education institutions to offer distance education or conduct activities in other states. That is where TxSAN seeks to assist Texas educational institutions.

After TTU Worldwide eLearning recently joined the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN), Dolan began to realize there was a need for a similar group that could help Texas institutions comply with state and federal guidelines.

"I knew at my first SAN meeting that we needed to form TxSAN," said Dolan. "There are national organizations that help institutions with federal and state guidelines, but it can be difficult for many Texas institutions to have the resources and time to participate in them."

In early April, Dolan approached the Texas Distance Learning Association ( TxDLA) Public Policy Committee and quickly received approval from the TxDLA Board to create TxSAN as a TxDLA resource. Tom hopes that the group is not only easy to join but also has a clear purpose of how it will assist institutions.

"The mission is to support and help each other be in compliance and educate participants that may be new to some of the federal and state guidelines," Dolan said. "We also want to equip institutions with the knowledge that they need to conduct activities in other states. Just being able to ask a question and knowing others may have an answer is great support."

TxSAN members communicate once a month via a conference call moderated by Dolan. Members also receive an email newsletter that keeps them informed on state authorization news.

The first TxSAN conference call was held on April 25th, 2017.

"The first meeting was great! We had 41 participants from 32 different institutions," Dolan remarked. "We introduced everyone to each other and defined the scope of what future meetings would look like."

Tom also spoke about his future hopes for TxSAN.

"Every institution wants to increase their student enrollment numbers but TxSAN will continue to keep its main focus on assisting with the compliance of regulations. As we continue to support each other in better following state and federal guidelines, the students will benefit greatly."

If you know anyone whose institution might benefit from membership in TxSAN, please email Tom Dolan at tom.dolan@ttu.edu for more information.

 

 

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