2012 was a year that brought a number of diverse legislative changes to Higher Education. The following is a quick look at Legislative changes by State:
Alaska – Alaska reacted to the shortage of health care services in the state and passed House Bill 78, establishing a loan repayment and employment incentive program for certain health care professions who stay and work in Alaska.
Colorado – The Colorado legislature was very active in 2012 passing a number of bills that impacted the state’s institutions of higher education. In reaction to workforce needs the state passed House Bill 12-1061 requiring state agencies to create an annual report that will project the workforce need in the state and identify public and private colleges that can meet those needs. In reaction to increased need to address remedial education the state passed Senate Bill 12-047 and House Bill 1155. These two bills provides public funding for high schools to administer a placement test to be used by community colleges in order to provide support in order to avoid remediation and increase college readiness, and allows postsecondary institutions to use other measures other than testing for course placement and allow students to take college level courses during remediation. The state also passed Senate Bill 12-045 that created the ability for students to use reverse transfer agreements in order to combine community college and four-year institution credits to earn an associate degree. The state also moved on House Bill 12-1072 that requires public institutions to develop a policy for awarding prior learning through work experience, military service, community service, or independent study.
Connecticut – In regards to remedial education the state passed Senate Bill 40 that prohibits public institutions from offering more than one semester of remedial courses per student after the Fall of 2014. Colleges will be required to offer an intensive readiness course and embedding remediation into entry-level courses for those students who need additional remediation.
Florida – In regards to prior learning the state passed House Bill 347 that requires the State Boards to develop rules and regulations for awarding credits for education and training received during military service.
Georgia – The governor created a needs-based scholarship program called REACH (Realizing Education Achievement Can Happen) for middle school students who can receive a yearly $2,500 scholarship for meeting certain criteria.
Hawaii – House Bill 2639 requires the University of Hawaii to award college credit for service in the United State Military.
Idaho – House Bill 426 provides high school students with the ability to earn up to two years of college credit while in high school through online and summer courses, a portion of which will be paid for by the state. Senate Bill 1299 allows colleges and licensing boards to award credits for military service.
Illinois – Ended a program, with House Bill 3810, that gave legislatures the ability to award college scholarships to their constituents.
Indiana – The state aligned the number of credit hours required for graduation to 60 credits for associate and 120 credits for bachelor degrees with House Bill 1220. Senate Bill 182 also aligned core transfer courses through common course numbering and made them seamlessly transfer. The state also passed House Bill 1116 to allow colleges to award credits for military service and considers military training for occupational permits in the state.
Iowa – House Bill 2458 aid in loan repayment for medical students who agree to practice in rural areas of the state.
Kansas – State funding for remedial classes will only be allowed in cases of courses being provided for students in the military, students over 21, or international students who need English remediation through House Bill 2435.
Michigan – The state was one of only a few that passed a budget, House Bill 5372, that increased funding for public universities by 3%. The new funding formula is based on a number of performance measures.
Mississippi – The state now allows dual enrollment for high risk students, Senate Bill 2792 allows for student to earn a High School diploma from a community college while participating in job-training programs. House Bill 1042 requires public institutions to create a common core for in-state transfer and allows for seamless transfer. Mississippi will also be able to waive out-of-state tuition for students from neighboring states through House Bill 1095.
Missouri – The Governor created a scholarship fund to develop an accelerated track towards graduation through a program called “Innovation Campus Grants“, while the legislature directed the state Coordinating Board to identify best practices and eliminate ineffective practices in remediation, House Bill 1042.
New Mexico – Tribal Colleges can now participate in the state’s dual credit program that offsets tuition and fees, Senate Bill 256.
New York – The State Assembly directed SUNY and CUNY to conduct a study on remediation and readiness, Assembly Bill 9057.
Oregon – Established a scholarship program for STEM studies, House Bill 4056, and passed House Bill 4141 that encourages workforce development.
South Dakota – Senate Bill 177 incentives students who graduate and practice in a medical field in rural parts of the state, and House Bill 1234 does the same for graduates pursing a teacher career. The state also developed funding incentives that will award institutions for producing graduates in high-priority fields.
Tennessee – The legislature encouraged community colleges and universities to enter into reverse transfer agreements with House Bill 2827.
Utah – The legislature moved towards increasing IT curriculum and online delivery, House Bill 514, created a career planning program Senate Bill 290, called Utah Futures. The legislature also passed a bill that allowed for in-state tuition for current and former member of the United States military.
Virginia – With House Bill 195 Virginia students can get educational credits for military experience.
2012 also saw a number of court cases that directly impact higher education. The following is a quick look at a few of the cases:
Fisher v. The University of Texas – This case deals with the idea of race as a determining factor in College and University admissions.
Kirtsaeng v. Wiley and Sons – This case deals with copyright and first sale issues.
The United States Department of Education also had a great impact on Higher Education in 2012 from Direct Student Lending, to the Dream Act, and Gainful Employment Rules. Many of these initiatives are summed up well in a recent Article from Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
National Conference of State Legislatures
Georgia REACH Scholarship
Missouri Grant Program
Higher Education Court Cases
Fisher v. The University of Texas
Kirtsaeng v. Wiley and Sons
2012: A Year in Review