State Legislative and Regulatory Activity Update – October 4, 2012

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) has proposed amendments to its rules for institutional and program certification of non-public, for-profit and out-of-state postsecondary educational institutions offering courses and degree programs in Arkansas.

Of note, the amendments would change the initial certification period from two to three years.  They also prohibit institutions applying for an initial institutional or program certification from advertising until AHECB certification is granted.  Furthermore, the draft rule states that "all institutions must provide a plan for assessment and course/degree placement for student success.  For an entity applying for certification to establish or locate an institution in Arkansas, the AHECB or comparable assessment and placement guidelines must be used for student enrollment."

Finally, the proposal clarifies that private sector colleges and universities certified by AHECB are exempt from licensure by the Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education "unless the institution fails to maintain accreditation from an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)."

AHECB will hold a public rulemaking hearing on October 26th on the campus of Arkansas State University - Heber Springs.Written comments on the amendments will be accepted through the same day.

On the legislative front, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed AB 9303.  The bill would have required surgical technologists functioning in New York healthcare facilities to be certified or a graduate of a U.S. military surgical technology program.  In his veto message, the Governor noted that the bill fails to "clearly address critical issues such as scope of practice, supervision, supervision, and the oversight role and regulatory jurisdiction of the affected agencies, namely the State Education Department and the Department of Health."

APSCU Facts

800k graduates

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.