Policy Analyst Report February 2015–Colorado (Sue Doe)
HB 14-1319, a performance-based funding model for higher education, was signed into law in May 2014. It includes provisions for addressing the role and mission of the state’s public institutions of higher ed . A key outcome indicator for the evaluation is “timely graduation.” This law connects to statewide goals for higher ed as established by a large master plan called Colorado Competes, A Completion Agenda for Higher Education. That plan includes the goals of 1)increasing the type and number of postsecondary graduates in order to meet workforce needs, 2) demonstrating improved student success throughreduced average time to graduation, and better graduationrates for underserved populations.
P20 Common Core Inquiry/Working Groups
From July 2013-February 2014 the Colorado Department of Higher Education convened regional groups of higher education writing and math faculty along with high school teachers to discuss implementation of the Common Core and its relationship to college readiness. The regional groups were asked to develop both vertical alignment between high schools and colleges/universities as well as horizontal alignment across college campuses.RegionalComposition groupsused the WPA Outcomes Statement, the Framework for Success, and the recent WPA document on standards for achieving college credit during high schoolto determine outcomes that could be shared across campuses and to assist secondary educators about college objectives.The Colorado Department of Higher Education disbanded the P20 initiative and redirected efforttoward General Education objectivesaimed atreducing remediation needs.
Legislation on the Two-Tier Faculty System in Colorado Community Colleges
2014 sawproposed legislation(HB14-1154) calling for the end of the two-tier system of faculty employment in the Colorado community college system by foregroundingsalary inequities.Thatlegislationfailed in committee.A new bill attempting similar objectives, SB15-094, was proposed for the 2015 legislative session. It also failed in committee.
The 2014 billcalled attentiontodisparities in pay between “full-time” and “part-time”facultyin the community college system, calling for a single salary schedule for all faculty.
The 2015 bill provided for a lagged phase in, treated the “seniority as the key criteria for course assignments” provision as a potentially temporary rule, required the “meaningful participation” of faculty in non-teaching activities and college governance with provisions for compensating faculty for their involvement.It required the Boardto develop a multiyear plan to compensate employees along the same lines as the 2014 legislation.It addresseddue process protections more fully, andstipulated that all faculty would have an opportunity to participate in faculty governance.
HB 15-1027 In-State Tuition for American Indian Students from Colorado.
This proposed bill would extend in-state tuition rates to all students whose Native American ancestry originates in Colorado, thus addressing the historic fact of relocation, which results inmany Colorado native students live in other states. The legislation points out that low college admission, low retention, and low out-of-state college attendance among Native American students have together worked against Native American students attendance at Colorado colleges.