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3 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: House Higher Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Community college finance | Community college students | Community colleges | Hazlewood Act | Higher education | Higher education affordability | Nontraditional students | Sex crimes | Student aid | Tuition | Veterans |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 Ed84hh
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [100 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Conduct a review of current funding formulas for community colleges. Specifically, focus on the elements of the instructional funding structure created by the 83rd Legislature: core operations, student success points, and contact hour funding and also the adequacy of state funding to sustain community colleges in light of the variance in resources available to individual colleges. Make recommendations for possible changes to the funding structure of community colleges or changes in the levels of current funding given the future workforce and higher educational needs of the state. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
2. Review the state's community college system, including a discussion of taxing districts, service areas and any barriers to access. Examine the governance structure to ensure that campuses in multi campus districts that are outside of a college taxing district receive fair and equitable treatment. Review the accounting and reporting requirements of community college districts to ensure open government and transparency. Study ways community colleges could offer accessible and affordable baccalaureate degree programs in areas where the state has a significant workforce shortage without compromising quality of education and training. Make recommendations to maximize efficient student pathways and to offer more affordable educational opportunities such as through dual credit and early college start programs.
3. Study the affordability and accessibility of undergraduate college education in Texas, including a focus on middle-class students. Analyze the cost of attendance and tuition rates, comparing Texas institutions to their national peers. Review the availability and effectiveness of financial aid programs, and analyze student debt and default rates. Study and recommend ways to promote timely and cost efficient graduation.
4. Study current policies and initiatives at institutions of higher education, including community colleges, and make recommendations toward the prevention and elimination of sexual assault on college campuses. Identify, evaluate, and recommend reporting mechanisms to ensure that students have safe, appropriate, and accessible avenues for reporting sexual assault. Study the existing campus support systems in place for students who are victims of assault, and provide recommendations of best practices. Evaluate the effectiveness of current policies and make recommendations to support the prevention and elimination of sexual assault at institutions of higher education in Texas.
5. Study the long-term viability of the Hazlewood Act, in particular the legacy tuition exemption provision. Review eligibility requirements and recommend changes to ensure that the program can remain solvent. Examine the costs of the program to institutions of higher education, including foregone tuition, additional infrastructure, administrative and instructional support costs, and the financial impact on nonveteran/legacy students. Analyze and report any effect changes to this program would have for veterans and their families. Review current data systems related to this exemption and recommend improvements to ensure quality and accuracy of information. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs)
6. Review educational opportunities for non-traditional students, including adult learners who did not complete a secondary education credential. Recommend possible funding options to promote degree, credential, and/or certification completion. Develop recommendations to promote programs that simultaneously allow adult learners to complete degrees, credentials, and/or certifications for the purpose of promoting and increasing workforce ready graduates.
7. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including HB 700, SB 18, HB 100, and the new higher education strategic plan for Texas as proposed by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, 60x30TX. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: Senate Higher Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Associate's degrees | Community college students | Developmental education | Distance education | Educational technology | Graduate-on-time programs | Higher education | Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas | Immunizations | Math education | Meningitis | Nontraditional students | P-16 councils | Persons with disabilities | Student aid | Texas B-on-Time loans | Texas State Technical College | Toward EXcellence, Access & Success Grant Program | Undocumented immigrant students | University graduation rates | University student transfers |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 Ed83h
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [72 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study and make recommendations regarding more cost-effective funding of financial aid, including ways to restructure financial aid programs to incentivize student success, particularly among low-income students, and the efficacy of current exemptions and waivers offered to students at institutions of higher education, including in-state tuition for undocumented students. Examine student loan debt, state and federal loan forgiveness programs, and institutional default rates.
2. Study and make recommendations regarding more effective means of using technology, including the effectiveness of online learning and online coursework for underprepared students. Examine the cost and funding of online education. Examine how electronic coursework and technology impacts students with disabilities, and make recommendations to ensure all students have access to electronic materials and courses. Review and make recommendations concerning statewide or inter-system cooperation for blended and online learning.
3. Study developmental education programs in public higher education institutions. Include a demographic analysis of students who require developmental education, and identify alternative means of assessing the need for developmental education, the effectiveness of delivery of developmental education programs, and the role of P-16 councils in addressing solutions for better preparing students for higher education. Review alternative means of offering and financing developmental education courses and identify potential cost savings.
4. Examine the existing transfer systems and the potential development of a 2+2 transfer system between public junior colleges and universities. Examine the transfer of credit between degree-granting private sector colleges, public junior colleges, and public universities. Examine the impact of national, regional, and professional accrediting associations on course credit transfer.
5. Study and make recommendations regarding academic and non-academic barriers to non-traditional students, including students with disabilities. Focus on ways to restructure course and program delivery, student support services, financial barriers, and remediation and academic advising. Study and make recommendations to reduce time-to-degree, incentivize on-time graduation, and increase graduation rates to meet the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015 and beyond.
6. Consistent with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's legislative directive to work with the Texas State Technical College System (TSTC) and other appropriate state agencies to develop a returned value funding model for TSTC, examine the benefits and challenges such an approach will have on technical education in Texas.
7. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following:
  • SB 5, relating to the administration and business affairs of public institutions of higher education;
  • SB 28, relating to eligibility for a TEXAS grant and to administration of the TEXAS grant program;
  • HB 9, relating to student success-based funding;
  • HB 33, relating to measures to increase the affordability of textbooks used for courses at public or private institutions of higher education;
  • SB 1107, Relating to the vaccination against bacterial meningitis of entering students at public and private or independent institutions of higher education;
  • HB 1000, relating to the distribution of money appropriated from the National Research University Fund.
Committee: House Higher Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Adult education | Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas | Community college students | Higher education | Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas | Job training programs | Manufacturing | Technology transfer and commercialization | University finance | University research | University student transfers | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 Ed84hh
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [46 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the various research funding programs available to institutions of higher education. Analyze the effectiveness of each program and recommend whether state funding should be continued. Consider whether the investments made in these programs are attracting research projects to Texas and whether more emphasis should be placed on policies that attract outside research funding to Texas. Consider whether maintaining multiple programs dilutes the state's efforts to attract groundbreaking research to Texas.
2. Review potential improvements to transfer pathways within the state's higher education system. Examine the impact of transferability on timely degree completion. Study and recommend strategies to improve the "2+2" model as a low-cost degree option.
3. Evaluate proposals for the state’s next master plan for higher education beyond 2015, including a review of various metrics to measure successful outcomes in higher education.
4. Evaluate the funding, performance, and administration of the state’s adult basic education programs. (Joint with the House Committee on Appropriations)
5. Examine the impact of research at state universities on the state economy. Identify ways to increase the partnership opportunities between private business and research institutions to enhance the commercialization of newly discovered technology. (Joint with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)
6. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 82nd Legislature.
7. Study and make recommendations for significantly improving the state's manufacturing capability.

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