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There is no significant fiscal implication to the State.
Based on information provided by a sample of community colleges, the establishment of an additional baccalaureate degree program for an eligible community college under the provisions of the bill could result in a significant fiscal impact for that community college to cover start-up and operating costs. Such costs could include, but are not limited to, securing proper regional accreditation, upgrading facilities and libraries to accommodate upper division coursework, and costs associated with faculty salary and workload. This analysis assumes these costs would be paid for out of institutional funds, partially offset by any state appropriations from formula funding.
Tyler Junior College currently offers the first three years of a baccalaureate dental hygiene program, but students must leave and go elsewhere to complete the fourth year. This would allow Tyler Junior College to offer the final year to students, which would potentially offer some benefits to dental hygiene students.
However, as the fiscal note indicates, this legislation could be quite costly. It is not a matter of simply adding an extra year to an existing program, there are significant changes that would need to be made by the school in order to fully transition to a four year program.
Due to the conflict between the clear benefit for students and the potentially significant cost to this pubic junior college, we remain neutral on HB 3348.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Eltife.