The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU) Government Relations Department works with members of the Connecticut General Assembly on issues pertaining to higher education funding and advancement, workforce development, and other opportunities for the 17 ConnSCU campuses. This legislative summary provides an overview of legislative activity pertinent to general higher education issues and ConnSCU specifically.
The following is a summary of bills passed during the 2012 Regular Session that impact the Connecticut State College and Universities (ConnSCU).
General Education Core of Courses
House Bill 5030 (Public Act 12-31)
An Act Concerning the Development of a General Education Core of Courses to Allow for the Seamless Transfer Among Public Institutions of Higher Education. This Act requires the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the community-technical college system (CTC) to develop and implement, by July 1, 2013, a general education core of courses. The core must comprise at least 30 academic credits and be offered in CSUS's and CTC's liberal arts and sciences programs and any other degree program designated as a transfer program. If a student earns academic credits from the core and subsequently transfers to the other system or a different institution in the same system, the Act requires those credits to count towards that system's core requirements.
College Readiness and Completion
Senate Bill 40 (Public Act 12-40)
An Act Concerning College Readiness and Completion. The Act generally prohibits the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the community-technical colleges (CTC), beginning by the 2014 fall semester, from offering remedial support or courses not embedded with an entry level course or part of an intensive readiness program. However, it allows institutions to offer a student one semester of non-embedded remedial support if (1) it is intended to advance the student toward a degree and (2) the program is approved by the Board of Regents.
An Act Concerning Educational Reform
Senate Bill 458 (Public Act 12-116)
Six Principles of the Education Reform Package and the Final Legislation as Outlined by Commissioner Pryor
Sharing of Information
Senate Bill 237 (Public Act 12-192)
An Act Concerning the Sharing of Information Between the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education. By law, employers must keep accurate employment records. These records, which contain information that the unemployment compensation administrator (i.e., the labor commissioner) prescribes, must be open for his inspection. With two exceptions, the administrator cannot publish the information or open it to public inspection if it will reveal an employee's or employer's identity. This Act allows disclosure of this information with the identifiers to the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) for use in his official duties to the extent necessary to evaluate programs at higher education institutions governed by BOR.
Sexual Violence on College Campuses
House Bill 5031 (Public Act 12-78)
An Act Concerning Sexual Violence on College Campuses. This Act requires public and private higher education institutions to adopt and disclose one or more policies on sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The policies must include provisions for (1) providing information to students about their options for assistance if they are victims of such violence, (2) disciplinary procedures, and (3) possible sanctions. Institutions must include the policies in their uniform campus crime report, which is produced annually and made available to students, employees, and applicants for admission. The Act also requires such institutions, within existing budgetary resources, to offer (1) sexual assault and intimate partner violence primary prevention and awareness programming for all students and (2) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns.
The following is a summary of bills passed during the 2011 Regular Session that impact the Connecticut State College and Universities (ConnSCU).
Higher Education Reorganization
A new law reorganizes the state system of higher education by establishing a 19-member (including 15 voting members) Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to serve as the governing body for the Connecticut State Universities, the Connecticut Community Colleges, and Charter Oak State College. It allows the board to appoint and remove staff responsible for its own operation and the operation of these constituent units. BOR replaces the existing Connecticut State University System and Connecticut Community College boards of trustees and the Board of State Academic Awards (BSAA) (which governs Charter Oak). The act maintains UConn's board of trustees and makes changes to the budget process for UConn and the other constituent units.
In-State Tuition Benefits
A new law allows individuals (including those without lawful immigration status) who meet certain criteria to pay in-state tuition rates at Connecticut's public colleges and universities. Such criteria include completing four years of high school in the state and graduating (or the equivalent). Individuals without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have applied to legalize their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible. (PA 11-43, effective July 1, 2011).