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Relating to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress, and timely graduation of students in public higher education.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 25 would require each general academic teaching institution to provide to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the legislature, by March 1 of each year, a report describing any courses in the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual adopted by THECB for which a student who transfers to the institution is not granted academic credit at the receiving institution. The report must include the course name and type, which institution provided academic credit for the course, and the reason why the receiving institution did not grant credit.
Not later than March 1 of each year, each public junior college would be required to provide to THECB and the legislature a report on courses taken by students who, during the preceding academic year, transferred to a general academic teaching institution or earned an associate degree at the college. Requirements for the report are prescribed in the bill's provisions.
This bill would also require enrolled students to file a degree plan after earning 30 hours of credit, rather than 45, and would require high school students enrolled in dual credit courses to file a degree plan after 15 hours of credit.
Additionally, this bill would require each higher education institution to develop at least one recommended course sequence for each undergraduate certificate or degree program offered by the institution, with certain prescribed information. This includes identification of all lower-division courses for the degree program and the specific sequence in which courses should be completed to ensure timely completion. The recommended course sequences would be included in the institution's course catalog and on the institution's website.
This bill would allow each general academic teaching institution to enter into an articulation agreement with a lower-division institution of higher education for a certificate or degree program for which students transferring from the lower-division institution to the general academic institution receive transfer credit. An "articulation agreement" means a formal written agreements between the applicable institutions identifying courses offered by the lower-division institution that must be accepted for credit toward specific course requirements at the general academic teaching institution.
Finally, the THECB would be required to conduct a study and make recommendations to the legislature regarding the feasibility of implementing statewide meta majors for higher education institutions, as well as the effectiveness of the requirements regarding the transfer of course credit between higher education institutions for courses in the core curriculum.
Texas Action remains neutral on SB 25 because it does not promote or violate any of our principles.