HLC and Distance Education

Michigan Colleges Online
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Join us to learn about some of the recent updates to accreditation related to distance education. Dr. Karen Solomon, Vice President  and Chief Transformation Officer, and Dr. Tom Bordenkircher, Vice President of Accreditation Relations, will share their perspective on the following topics:

  • HLC’s interaction with the new 21st Century Distance Education Guidelines
  • Reporting requirement updates related to modality and the 25% program change
  • Changing federal regulations
  • Q&A: other changes that may impact the distance education areas of the college

Referenced Resources

Proposed 21 Century Distance Education Guidelines

Recordings of HLC Webinars including those hosted in collaboration with OLC


Karen J. Solomon
Vice President  and Chief Transformation Officer

Karen J. Solomon joined HLC in 2003. Since 2016, she has been leading HLC’s future-focused grant initiatives on innovation and student success.

Dr. Solomon serves as a public representative for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and is a past chair of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Executive Council. She served as a reviewer of good practices for INQAAHE and has been a consultant, presenter and peer reviewer for developing international accrediting agencies.

Previously, Dr. Solomon was the founding Executive Director of Illinois Campus Compact and served in various roles at ACT, Inc., Benedictine University, and Northern Illinois University. She holds an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University with a focus on adult learners and educational technology, a M.B.A. from Benedictine University and a B.A. from North Central College.

Tom Bordenkircher
Vice President of Accreditation Relations

Tom Bordenkircher, vice president of accreditation relations, has experience in P–12 public education, higher education, county and state government policy and leadership, national foundation leadership, and specialized accreditation. Prior to coming to HLC, Tom was senior consultant and state director for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s STEM Teaching Fellowship Program. In Ohio, he was the Associate Vice Chancellor for the state Board of Regents, where he oversaw higher education program approval and the development of a statewide accountability system for educator preparation programs.

His higher education experience also includes roles as professor of education, chair, director, and associate and interim dean. Prior to his work in higher education, Tom began his career as a teacher of young children with severe disabilities. His professional interests continue to center around research and policy work for young children, especially those experiencing learning and reading difficulties. Dr. Bordenkircher holds B.S., M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.