Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Higher Education Authorization and Distance Education Reciprocal Exchange Act (2015 PA 45) was signed by Governor Snyder on June 8, 2015, and became effective June 9, 2015.
This act authorizes the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to enter into reciprocal distance learning compacts; ensure that distance learning providers meet standards of practice; set annual fees; protect student records; and establish a student complaint system. In-state schools that choose to participate as part of a national reciprocity agreement are authorized to provide distance education in other member states. Out-of-state schools located in states that are not a member of a national reciprocity agreement may seek authorization under this act to provide distance education to Michigan residents. To be eligible to apply and participate, a school must be degree granting and accredited.
Non-degree granting proprietary or trade schools, with no physical presence in Michigan, providing distance education to Michigan residents need to be licensed under the Proprietary Schools Act, Public Act 148 of 1943.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has statutory powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities regarding the establishment and approval of non-public institutions incorporating private colleges and universities in accordance with Public Act 327 of 1931, Educational Corporations-Private College or University, Michigan General Corporation Act, MCL 450.170 to 450.177.
Schools that provide training in a specific trade, occupation or vocation are required to be licensed by the State of Michigan, Proprietary Schools Unit, in accordance with Proprietary Schools Act, Public Act 148 of 1943. Students attending these schools do not receive a degree, but may earn a certificate of completion.