Performance and Data Top Work of House Higher Education Committee

The House Higher Education Committee met this morning, February 5, to talk about performance and accountability for Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions.  

To begin the work session Melissa Beard, Education Research and Data Center and Jane Sherman, Council of Presidents provided an overview of the newly released Public Baccalaureate Dashboard and talked about  how the dashboard was established and the metrics provided for the public, four-year sector.

Following the presentation, the committee heard from Jane Sherman  regarding the state negotiated performance plans for the public baccalaureates.

The Committee then held a public hearing on two pieces of legislation, House Bill 1320 and House Bill 1453.

House Bill 1320

House Bill 1320 requires the Washington Student Achievement Council to establish and maintain a statewide Online Transfer and Student Advising system by September 1, 2014, in conjunction with other state agencies and higher education institutions.

The purpose of the Online Transfer and Student Advising system is to assist students to access higher education programs quickly and speed completion oftheir educational programs by clarifying and simplifying the process for exploring programs, resources, and transferability of courses.

Overall testimony was in support of the legislation. Some concerns were raised regarding the potential for additional costs and resources if the development of the online system were to require additional data and crosswalking between institutions and the advising system.

Evergreen testified in support with the caveat that the proposed substitute reflects changes in the bill to recognize the dynamic nature of the College’s curriculum and the need for translation for students that transfer from Evergreen to other institutions.

House Bill 1453

House Bill 1453 reduces the minimum number of required credits from six to three quarter credits for State Need Grant eligibility.

The legislation would make students who attend less than full-time to be permanently eligible for the grant. The bill does not speak to the fiscal impact but focuses on the policy change regarding eligibility.

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