STATE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY ACTIVITY UPDATE – November 15, 2012
Pre-filing of bills for 2013legislative sessions has begun in several states. In Texas, transfer ofcredit legislation, H.B. 30, was introduced by House Higher Education Committee Chairman Dan Branch (R -Dallas). Of particular interest to private sector colleges, the measurecontains legislative language supported by Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) that would allow qualified degree granting private sector institutionsto participate in statewide transfer of credit compacts. Such institutions will undertake an application process and submit their curriculum to the Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval. The transfer compacts identify learning objectives for course work in major degree fields in an effort to articulate specific courses completed in educational institutions throughout the state that can then be transferred to general academic teaching institutions. The Texas Legislature convenes for the 83rd Regular Legislative Session on January 8, 2013.
On the regulatory front, the TexasWorkforce Commission proposed amendments to assist the Career School and Colleges department with its regulatory duties. Most notably, the proposal introduces a "penalty matrix" for accessing administrative penalties. The Commission will accept comments on the proposed rule through November 25.
The TWC regulates more than 500 career colleges that provide education services to more than 160,000 students annually. The agency is responsible for investigating complaints about schools, monitoring regulatory compliance, arranging for the disposition of students affected by a school closure, and administers the Tuition Trust Account to pay tuition refunds when a school closes.
PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.