Plans for Student Achievement Council (HECB Successor) Are Shaping Up
Last year, Senate Bill 5182 (introduced and signed in 2011) significantly changed the landscape of higher education policy coordination when it eliminated the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) and created the Office of Student Financial Aid. This bill created a steering committee, led by the Governor, to reconsider higher education governance. After meeting through last summer and autumn, they released a final report that made a number of policy suggestions.
The 2012 Legislature has entertained a number of higher education governance bills to replace the HECB and many of its policy functions. These bills would charge a new Student Achievement Council with some coordinating and planning functions, as well as the HECB’s financial aid management function.
At this stage, SSB 6232 is progressing through the legislative process and may serve as the vehicle for creating the Student Achievement Council and defining its role and responsibility in higher education policy and governance. A summary of the second substitute bill is included below.
- The Student Achievement Council is created
- Within the Council, the Office of Student Financial Assistance is created to administer financial aid
- The Council is comprised of four citizen members, one four-year college representative, one Community/Technical College member, one nonprofit independent higher education member, one K12 member, and one student (9 members total)
- The Council’s goals are to maximize educational attainment and monitor progress towards its goals
- Additionally, the Council would:
- Establish short and long term attainment goals
- Engage in strategic planning
- Conduct financing planning, study per student funding levels, and continue to make budget recommendations
- Recommend system design and coordination efforts
- Set minimum admissions standards
- Use data to make informed recommendations
- Arbitrate disputes between the two-year and four-year sectors