Minnesota Higher Ed Office Says Udacity’s Nanodegrees Might Violate State Law

Jeffrey Young:

Udacity touts its nanodegree as a new kind of credential—so new, that it defies traditional classifications and laws. But officials in Minnesota say the professional program could still fall under state regulations designed for degree programs, which would require Udacity to register with the state if it wants to offer online courses to its residents.

The state’s Office of Higher Education sent a letter to Udacity officials last month notifying the company that Minnesota law requires schools offering degrees to “register with our office prior to offering distance education programs to residents of Minnesota.” Education providers that fail to register “must not advertise or operate in Minnesota,” or else face an injunction or fines, says the letter signed by Betsy Talbot, Manager of Institutional Licensing and Registration for the state office. The letter asked Udacity to provide more information about its programs.