COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Update

The New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE) is paying careful attention to the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) situation.  In recognition of the current circumstances, the Commission has postponed its Spring 2020 international visits.   And, as of April 8, 2020, all Fall 2020 international substantive change visits were postponed until Spring 2021.

Staff have worked with institutions and evaluators to postpone all Spring 2020 visits (scheduled after March 15) to either June or September 2020

NECHE will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as needed.

We refer you to the Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Higher Education’s newly established website, www.ed.gov/coronavirus, which provides guidance on a number of topics including approval to offer distance education, length of academic year, and accommodating students whose enrollment is disrupted by Coronavirus . Additional guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.

We recognize that institutions are making changes in the academic calendar and modes of delivery to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff while ensuring the best possible academic experience possible in these circumstances, in light of the Commission’s Standards and policies and federal guidance.  We appreciate hearing from institutions about these accommodations.

The American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) have compiled a set of resources for institutions and governing boards:
ACE Resources and Guidance for Institutions
Coronavirus Resources for Higher Education Governing Boards

Resources for offering programs online are available at:
Building a Community of Learning
Remote Teaching Resources for Business Continuity

Statement of Principles on Acceptance of Credit by American Council of Education and other higher education associations can be found here

On March 20, the Commission contacted each member of the New England Congressional delegation urging financial support for our region’s colleges and universities. Please click here to read the letter.

On March 25, President Barbara Brittingham sent a letter on behalf of the Commission to institutional CEOs and others.  Please click here to read the letter.

On April 21, C-RAC, the Council of Regional Accrediting Agencies sent a letter to Secretary DeVos urging flexibility with respect to distance education for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Please click here to read the letter.

On April 28, the Massachusetts Attorney General released “Guidance on Endowments for Charities Facing Financial Challenges Due to COVID-19.”  Please click here to read it.

On May 15, the US Department of Education issued UPDATED Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the offering of programs through distance education.  The guidance can be found here.

If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Brittingham at (781) 425-7747 or bbrittingham@neche.org.

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