Mission review bill passes the House, transportation bill passes the Senate

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Mission Review

Two bills that would allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees advanced in the legislature this week.

House Bill 758 passed the House, and identical Senate Bill 328 was moved to the Senate calendar for perfection this week.

If passed, these bills would create a new process in which colleges and universities could appeal to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for the right to offer programs that are currently outside of their state-mandated mission.

For community colleges, this creates the opportunity to offer certain bachelor’s degree programs, but only if the program does not duplicate an existing program and if the college can demonstrate that collaboration with a university is not feasible or viable.

For communities across the state, the legislation will open up more opportunities to develop a skilled workforce and a healthier economy.

Highway Signage Bill

Also this week, the Senate sent highway signage bill SB 355 over to the House, and the House passed identical bill HB 1093 out of committee. If passed, the two bills would make it so that community colleges are eligible to purchase the same types of signs as four-year institutions. Currently, the Department of Transportation only allows community colleges to purchase space on signs similar to those used for restaurants and gas stations, while universities can purchase larger standalone signs.