State Legislative and Regulatory Activity Update - February 12, 2013

In Santa Fe, New Mexico Representative Nate Gentry (R) introduced H.B. 467, the Post-SecondaryEducational Institution Act. The bill requires regionally accredited colleges and universities to register with the New Mexico Higher Education Department and "adopt a procedure for the resolution of student complaints." The bill also extends an existing surety bond requirement to regionally accredited postsecondary institutions that were heretofore exempt from having to post abond or alternative surety. 

Amended state authorization legislation was approved by the Hawaii House Higher Education Committee on February 5th by a unanimous vote of 9 to 0. A summary of the amendments can be found here. Back on the mainland, legislation was introduced in Tennessee allowingnationally accredited institutions to award "academic" or "specialized"degrees. S.B. 1170, introduced by Senator Stacey Campfield (R), also includes transfer of credit language that prohibits Tennessee Higher Education Commission authorized institutions from making transfer of credit decisions" solely upon the regional or national accreditation of the institution from which the credit was received." Finally, Mississippi H.B. 830 and H.B. 831 failed to meet the February 5 committee reporting deadline for general bills in the originating chamber andare unlikely to be considered further this year. As previously reported, H.B.830 would require Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation for degree-granting postsecondary institutions by July 1, 2016. H.B. 831requires institutions subject to the Mississippi Proprietary School and College Registration Law to provide prospective students with statistics for job "placement in the field" of study; provides students the right to file complaints against the institution at any time; and mandates that institutions publish and implement procedures for student grievances

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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.