State Legislative and Regulatory Activity Update - March 5, 2013

 

The Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee will be considering two bills today to prohibit the Illinois Student Assistance Commission from making grants to applicants enrolled at for-profit institutions. The authors, Senators Andy Manar (D) and Chapin Rose (R), are members of the Committee.

In Minnesota, the Governor's higher education policy bill was introduced in both the House and Senate. As currently drafted, the measures would require institutions to provide appropriate training to staff, including the admissions staff, financial aid staff, administrative or office staff, and faculty. Additionally, the bills give the Office of Higher Education the authority to terminate a postsecondary institution's eligibility to participate in state student aid programs for maleficence, including termination "from participating in federal financial aid programs by the United States Department of Education, if such termination was based on violation of laws, regulations, or participation agreements governing federal financial aid programs."

Finally, the Washington Senate Higher Education Committee favorably reported a substitute bill that establishes, in conjunction with public, nonprofit and for-profit institutions of higher education, "a statewide online transfer and student advising system that integrates information related to programs, advising, registration, admissions, and transfer. The system must be easily accessible to all Washington high school students and their parents or guardians, higher education students, faculty, counselors, advisors, and other professional staff."

Among the stated purposes of the system is to:

  • Provide a method for students to assess which courses and programs are transferable from one institution of higher education to another, and which programs will transfer with credit towards completion of their chosen degree or certificate; and
  • Provide information regarding student financial aid and other services that assist students to research, access, and complete degrees and certificates.

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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.