State Legislative and Regulatory Activity Update - May 21, 2013

In Maryland, Governor Martin O'Malley (D) signed S.B. 510 into law. As previously reported, the bill removes student refund provisions for institutions of postsecondary education that enroll Maryland students in fully online distance education programs. The measure, effective July 1st, also exempts out-of-state online institutions participating in the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus from the requirement to register with the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The California Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee amended and approved A.B. 1147. As currently drafted, the bill requires massage practitioners to complete a curriculum totaling a minimum of 500 hours or the credit unit equivalent. Of these 500 hours, a minimum of 250 hours shall be from approved schools. "Included in the 250 hours from approved schools shall be instruction addressing anatomy and physiology, contraindications, health and hygiene, and business and ethics, with at least 100 hours of the required 250 hours from approved schools devoted to these curriculum areas. The remaining 250 hours required may be secured either from approved or registered schools, or from continuing education providers approved by, or registered with, the council or the Department of Consumer Affairs. After December 31, 2015, applicants may only satisfy the curricula in massage and related subjects from approved schools."

On Monday, the Texas House of Representatives concurred with Senate amendments to H.B. 1296 clearing its way for Governor Rick Perry's (R) signature. The bill requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to prepare information comparing institutions of higher education in the state and to post the information on the agency's website. This information includes identification of future workforce needs from Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) projections as well as comparisons between institutions regarding cost of tuition, retention rates, graduation rates, average student debt, student loan repayment rates, and employment rates. Each postsecondary institution would be required to provide a link on its website to the information posted on TEA's website

Minnesota's legislature gave final approval to an omnibus higher education funding and policy bill after both chambers approved a conference committee report last week. As drafted, each institution receiving financial aid must annually report the following for undergraduate programs:

(1) enrollment, persistence, and graduation data for all students, including aggregate information on state and federal Pell grant recipients;

(2) the job placement rate and salary and wage information for graduates of each program that is either designed or advertised to lead to a particular type of job or advertised or promoted with a claim regarding job placement, as is practicable; and

(3) the student debt to earnings ratio of graduates.

On the regulatory front, Utah's Board of Nursing released draft amendment to the state's Nursing Practice Act Rule due to the passage of H.B. 51 earlier this year. Proposed revisions include defining accreditation to mean "approval of a nurse prelicensing course of education by one of the following accrediting bodies: the NLNAC; the CCNE; or the COA." The draft rules will however allow a nursing education program to operate for a limited amount of time prior to obtaining "accreditation" provided certain specified criteria are met. 


800k graduates

PSCUs open doors to many of the 9.1 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.