Distance Education

Learning from Anywhere: Guiding Institutions Through Complex Regulatory, Policy and Transactional Issues

While distance learning is certainly not a new concept, the advent of the Internet has fostered an explosion of distance education programs and online courses.  Public, private and for-profit educational institutions now offer distance learning programs at every educational level and in virtually every field of study.  While distance learning courses and programs continue to evolve and expand, the institutions offering these programs must navigate an increasingly complex web of legal and educational challenges.

HMBR attorneys have a deep understanding of the complex issues educational institutions must confront in connection with their distance education programs.  Our elite team of education lawyers has extensive backgrounds working with accrediting bodies and with state and federal education agencies, as well as teaching on-line courses, giving them a first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of distance learning classes.  Our lawyers understand the online education industry and have reviewed distance education requirements in nearly every state in the nation.  We are also familiar with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) which is the voluntary agreement among member states and territories establishing national standards for post-secondary distance education programs and courses offered across state lines. 

The attorneys in our Education Practice regularly help colleges and universities acquire the authorizations necessary for their distance education offerings to keep our clients in compliance with the myriad laws affecting distance education. At HMBR, we also recognize that our clients often face internal policy issues and other obstacles that may hinder the development of their online programs.  We work with our clients to craft strategies aimed at resolving institutional conflicts so that clients can launch their distance education programs successfully.  We also regularly counsel clients in connection with transactional matters involving distance learning programs, including preparing and negotiating agreements with on-line education service providers.