Lincoln University has networked with several organizations. The POD Network and UPCEA organizations provide networking to focus on teaching as the core resulting in success for all students and promoting standards of good practice in higher education. The other networking organizations provide assistance, and guidance with developing quality online courses, complying with state and federal regulatory requirements, and integrating online learning and educational technology.
The POD Network exists to provide professional development and a community of practice for scholars and practitioners of educational development and to serve as a leading voice on matters related to teaching and learning in higher education.
University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities, and timely publications.
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)
SARA is an agreement, among member states, districts, and territories, that establishes comparable national standards for the interstate offer of postsecondary distance education. When states join SARA, they agree to follow uniform processes for approving their eligible institutions' participation. They also agree to deal with other states' SARA institutions in a common way when those institutions carry out activities in SARA states other than their own.
SARA's policies help protect students and provide benefits to both states and institutions carrying out distance education in multiple states. As of July 2019, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of SARA. About 1,993 colleges and universities are SARA members.
States must approve their in-state institutions for SARA participation (based upon institutional accreditation and financial stability) and resolve student complaints.
SARA lays out the framework for state-level reciprocity. This includes a governance structure, implementation by the four regional higher education compacts (MHEC, NEBHE, SREB, WICHE), a National Council for SARA to ensure comprehensive national coverage, and a financial plan to support operations.
As a participating institution, Lincoln University must follow the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education Programs, which was adopted by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC).
While SARA does not deal in detail with non-credit instruction, if an institution participates in SARA, its for-credit and non-credit activities in SARA states are covered by the agreement.
WICHE Cooperative For Educational Technologies (WCET)
WCET is the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. The mission of WCET is to accelerate the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. WCET focuses on institutional success, policy and regulation, student success, and technology.
WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) is a division of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). The WICHE compact consists of 15 states and Pacific territories. Part of their purpose is to provide greater access to and improve the quality of higher education. Lincoln University is not located in a western state and therefore does not need to be affiliated with WICHE.
State Authorization Network (SAN)
Since states oversee higher education, SAN helps institutions address the many complicated regulations that impact an institution’s ability to offer services in a state other than where it is located. This organization will help us decipher the regulations and help us to become compliant, which will contribute to student success. Also, it coordinates and brings people together to share ideas and resources. Some of the basic principles of the state authorization regulations include applicable regardless of modality or activity, based on student location while participating in the activity (not official residence), and two approvals: institutional and professional licensure.
SAN is a division of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). The WICHE compact consists of 15 states and Pacific territories. Part of their purpose is to provide greater access to and improve the quality of higher education. Lincoln University is not located in a western state and therefore does not need to be affiliated with WICHE.
The mission of Quality Matters is to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning nationally and internationally. This includes:
Development of current, research-supported, and practice-based quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures.
Recognition of expertise in online education quality assurance and evaluation.
Fostering a culture of continuous improvement by integrating QM Standards and processes into organizational plans to improve the quality of online education.
Providing professional development in the use of rubrics, tools, and practices to improve the quality of online education.
Peer review and certification of quality in online education.