CCS/HCS/SB 997 - This act establishes several new provisions relating to higher education.
PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS
This act requires the Department of Higher Education to create guidance regarding notice of public employee eligibility for public service loan forgiveness by January 1, 2017. Public employers may use this guidance to provide notice to their employees.
On or before April 1, 2017, the governing body of each public employer shall adopt a policy that provides up-to-date, accurate, and complete information to each new employee regarding eligibility within 10 days of the start of employment. Public employers shall provide current employees with the same information on or before June 30, 2017. (Section 105.1445)
This provision is substantially similar to SB 1119 (2016), SB 1126 (2016), and HB 2576 (2016).
POSTSECONDARY COURSE OPTIONS
This act allows any Missouri public two-year college, including the State Technical College of Missouri, to offer postsecondary course options to high school students. (Section 167.223)
This provision is identical to HB 1610 (2016) and HB 1092 (2015).
HIGHER EDUCATION WEBSITES
This act requires the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to publish and maintain on its website a list of higher education institutions that meet certain requirements, as described in the act. (Section 173.005)
This provision is identical to HCS/HB 2742 (2016) and to a provision contained in HCS/SB 941 (2016).
This act also requires the Department of Higher Education to develop and maintain a website containing information for public and private institutions of higher education that directs students to certain information as described in the act.
An institution's inclusion of information on the website shall be voluntary. (Section 173.035)
This provision is identical to HCS/HBs 2234 & 1985 (2016) and SB 967 (2016).
DUAL CREDIT SCHOLARSHIP ACT
The act establishes a process through which the Coordinating Board for Higher Education shall certify an institution of higher education as an approved dual credit provider. To become an approved dual credit provider, an institution of higher education shall annually submit a written application to the Coordinating Board, as described in the act.
A dual credit course may not be advertised or represented as being delivered by an approved dual credit provider unless an application is approved by the Coordinating Board. (Section 173.2500)
This act establishes the "Dual Credit Scholarship Act", which shall provide funds, subject to appropriation, for eligible students enrolled in dual credit courses. The scholarship shall reimburse students for up to 50% of the tuition cost paid by the student, with a total amount not to exceed $500 annually. To be eligible, a student shall: be a United States citizen or permanent resident, be a Missouri resident, be enrolled in an approved dual credit program, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4 point scale, and meet one or more requirements based on economic need, as described in the act.
The act creates the "Dual Credit Scholarship Fund", which shall consist of moneys appropriated by the General Assembly and private donations made to the fund. (Section 173.2505).
15 TO FINISH ACT
This act establishes the "15 to Finish Act". The Coordinating Board, in cooperation with public institutions of higher education, shall develop policies that promote the on-time completion of degree programs by students. The policies shall include defining on-time completion, providing financial incentives for students on pace to graduate in no more than eight semesters, implementing banded tuition, and reducing the number of credit hours required to earn a degree. (Section 173.2510)
GUIDED PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS ACT
This act establishes the "Guided Pathways to Success Act". The Coordinating Board, in cooperation with public institutions of higher education, shall create a pilot program that shall include at least two of the following: majors organized into semester-by-semester sets of courses that lead to on-time completion; degree-based transfer pathways between participating institutions; available meta-majors, as defined in the act; student commitment to a structured schedule of courses; and clear degree maps, proactive advising, as defined in the act, and guarantees that required courses are available when needed by students. (Section 173.2515)
CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT PILOT PROGRAM
The Coordinating Board shall establish a concurrent enrollment pilot program, in which students are enrolled in courses at both a four-year and two-year participating institution at the same time and for which the coursework is officially recorded by both institutions. The purpose of the pilot program is to provide a broader range of academic and student support services while streamlining the path to degree completion. (Section 173.2520)
WARTIME VETERAN'S SURVIVOR GRANT
This act also reauthorizes the Wartime Veteran's Survivor Grant program, which provides higher education financial aid to the spouses and children of wartime veterans. Children and spouses of injured veterans shall be covered by this program if they were children or spouses within five years subsequent to the injury.
This provision shall sunset on August 28, 2020, unless reauthorized by the General Assembly. This provision contains an emergency clause. (Section 173.234)
This provision is identical to SCS/SB 855 (2016) and to a provision contained in SCS/SB 968 (2016), and is substantially similar to HB 2657 (2016) and to provisions contained in CCS/SCS/HCS/HB 427 (2009).
MISSOURI HIGHER EDUCATION CORE CURRICULUM TRANSFER ACT
This act creates the Missouri Higher Education Core Curriculum Transfer Act, which establishes a standard core curriculum and a common course numbering system for lower division courses at community colleges and public four-year institutions of higher learning. The coordinating board of higher education will work in conjunction with an advisory committee, composed of representatives from community colleges and public four year institutions, to develop a recommended core curriculum.
The core curriculum must be comprised of at least 42 semester credit hours and shall include basic competencies in communicating, higher-order thinking, managing information, and valuing; and shall include the knowledge areas of social and behavioral sciences, humanities and fine arts, mathematics, and life and physical sciences. All undergraduate students of the above institutions must complete the core curriculum as a requirement of graduation.
Each community college and public four-year institution must adopt a core curriculum of no less than 42 credit hours. Such curriculum must include specific courses and be based on the core curriculum recommended by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education.
The Coordinating Board must also approve a common course numbering system for lower-division courses at all institutions of higher learning in the state. Community colleges and four-year institutions must include in its course listings the corresponding numbers from the common course numbering system.
Students will be able to transfer credits earned under the core curriculum, as described within the act. The coordinating board must also develop criteria to evaluate the transfer practices each public institution of higher learning in the state and subsequently evaluate each institution. Institutions of higher education must publish in its course catalogs and on its website the evaluation policies of the Coordinating Board. (Sections 178.780 to 178.789)
These provision are identical to HB 2651 (2016) and to a provision contained in HCS/SB 941 (2016).
HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYEE SPOUSE TRAVEL EXPENSES
This act requires the spouse of any full-time employee of a public institution of higher education to file a quarterly travel report with the Missouri Ethics Commission, as described in the act, if he or she incurs out-of-state travel costs that are paid or reimbursed by his or her spouse's institution. (Section 1)
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HCS/SB 941 (2016).
HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION HEALTH CARE PLANS
The act creates a new process under which a participating higher education entity may join and leave the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan ("MCHCP"). A participating higher education entity may be required to pay an adjustment to MCHCP during the first year on the plan under certain circumstances and may not leave the plan for a period of five years. MCHCP shall not assume responsibility for any liabilities incurred by participating higher education entity or its eligible employees, retirees, or dependents prior to the plan's effective date. (Section 103.003)
This provision is identical to SB 1108 (2016) and HB 2688 (2016).