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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bill to Ease College Transfers Passes House

by Reeve Hamilton and Andrew Weber | Texas Tribune
May 10, 2011

A bill that streamlines the process for community college students seeking to transfer into a four-year universities was kicked out of the House and over to the Senate this afternoon.

House Bill 3025, by House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas, passed unanimously on third reading. “It’s easy to talk about making it easier for people to transfer,” Branch told the Tribune. “This bill actually does it.”

The bill would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and universities to create transfer compacts that allow for common course designs that are easily transferred between institutions. By eliminating the need for students to retake some classes, the goal is to give them more bang for their buck in education costs and college credits.

“It’s about having some consistency across the board, as well as rigor and ease of transferability,” Branch said. “Therefore, you have efficiency within the system and we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

The bill also provides for a more hands-on approach for course planning by requiring every student to meet with a counselor to establish a degree plan after completing 45 hours of coursework. Each degree plan would be established on a statewide level through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and public universities. These plans would not be permitted to exceed the minimum number of hours for each major. However, students could take classes outside the degree plan if authorized by a counselor.

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