The higher education department works to preserve the quality of both brick-and-mortar universities and online schools in Arkansas. Through a number of initiatives, the Department has improved the strength and availability of higher education, especially in Arkansas online colleges.
Higher Learning Initiatives
Combating Diploma Mills
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education upholds the prestige and quality of online colleges by requiring all degree-granting universities in Arkansas to meet a set of standards established by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Department has funded initiatives to warn individuals of diploma mills, which are illegal operations that sell certificates or degrees but require no course work. The Department also issues reports of non-authorized institution(s) to the state if the institution does not comply with rules and regulations. Lastly, the Department collaborates with other states and universities to make sure they stay abreast of diploma mills as well.
Academic Program Proposals
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education considers a number of academic program proposals every year. In order for an Arkansas university to add a new degree, course, or program, the Department must first approve it. Over the years, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education has approved a number of online schools in Arkansas, including the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, DeVry University, and numerous others.
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education educates state faculty members in charge of online education courses at various universities through faculty development programs. In fact, workshops, seminars, memberships in professional organizations, and community activities are planned out for university professors so they can know what’s expected of them in teaching online courses. Faculty members teaching an online course are required to attend online teaching training and in-service updates every three months. A 15-hour orientation is also held for new online faculty members to help them understand campus policies and teaching strategies.