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  S.B. No. 25
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress,
  and timely graduation of students in public higher education.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter H, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 51.400, 51.4033, and 51.4034 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 51.400.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (2)  "General academic teaching institution,"
  "institution of higher education," and "public junior college" have
  the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.
         Sec. 51.4033.  REPORT OF NONTRANSFERABLE CREDIT. (a)  Not
  later than March 1 of each year and in the form prescribed by the
  coordinating board, each general academic teaching institution
  shall provide to the coordinating board and the legislature a
  report describing any courses in the Lower-Division Academic Course
  Guide Manual or its successor adopted by the coordinating board for
  which a student who transfers to the institution from another
  institution of higher education is not granted:
               (1)  academic credit at the receiving institution; or
               (2)  if the student has declared a major and has not
  changed majors, academic credit toward the student's major at the
  receiving institution.
         (b)  A report required by this section must indicate:
               (1)  the course name and type;
               (2)  which institution of higher education provided
  academic credit for the course; and
               (3)  the reason why the receiving institution did not
  grant academic credit for the course as described by Subsection
  (a).
         Sec. 51.4034.  REPORT OF COURSES TAKEN AT JUNIOR COLLEGES.
  (a)  Not later than March 1 of each year and in the form prescribed
  by the coordinating board, each public junior college shall provide
  to the coordinating board and the legislature a report on courses
  taken by students who, during the preceding academic year,
  transferred to a general academic teaching institution or earned an
  associate degree at the college.
         (b)  A report required by this section must include the total
  number of:
               (1)  courses attempted and completed at the college,
  including the total number of semester credit hours for those
  courses, disaggregated by whether the course is in:
                     (A)  the Workforce Education Course Manual or its
  successor adopted by the coordinating board; or
                     (B)  the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide
  Manual or its successor adopted by the coordinating board;
               (2)  courses attempted and completed at the college
  that are not in the recommended core curriculum developed by the
  coordinating board under Section 61.822; and
               (3)  dual credit courses, including courses for joint
  high school and junior college credit under Section 130.008,
  attempted and completed at the college.
         SECTION 2.  Section 51.762, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (j) to read as follows:
         (j)  In adopting a form under this section, the board shall
  ensure that an applicant may indicate on the form the applicant's
  consent to an institution of higher education to which the
  applicant submits an application for admission to a particular
  degree program using the form to, if the institution denies the
  applicant admission to that degree program, provide the applicant's
  application to other institutions of higher education that offer
  the degree program.
         SECTION 3.  Section 51.9685(a)(2), Education Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (2)  "Institution of higher education" has [and "public
  junior college" have] the meaning [meanings] assigned by Section
  61.003.
         SECTION 4.  Section 51.9685, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (c), and (g) and adding Subsection (c-2)
  to read as follows:
         (b)  Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (c), each
  student enrolled in an associate or bachelor's degree program at an
  institution of higher education shall file a degree plan with the
  institution after the 12th class day but before [not later than] the
  end of the [second regular] semester or term immediately following
  the semester or term in which the student earned a cumulative total
  of 30 [45] or more semester credit hours for coursework
  successfully completed by the student, including transfer courses,
  international baccalaureate courses, dual credit courses, and any
  other course for which the institution the student attends has
  awarded the student college course credit, including course credit
  awarded by examination.
         (c)  A student to whom Subsection (b) [this section] applies
  who begins the student's first semester or term at an institution of
  higher education with 30 [45] or more semester credit hours of
  course credit for courses described by Subsection (b) shall file a
  degree plan with the institution after the 12th class day but before 
  [not later than] the end of that [the student's second regular]
  semester or term [at the institution].
         (c-2)  A student enrolled in a dual credit course at an
  institution of higher education and to whom Subsection (b) does not
  apply shall file a degree plan with the institution not later than:
               (1)  the end of the second regular semester or term
  immediately following the semester or term in which the student
  earned a cumulative total of 15 or more semester credit hours of
  course credit for dual credit courses successfully completed by the
  student; or
               (2)  if the student begins the student's first semester
  or term at the institution with 15 or more semester credit hours of
  course credit for dual credit courses successfully completed by the
  student, the end of the student's second regular semester or term at
  the institution.
         (g)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in
  consultation with institutions of higher education, shall [may]
  adopt rules as necessary for the administration of this section,
  including rules to ensure compliance with this section.  In
  adopting those rules, the coordinating board shall use the
  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government
  Code.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 51.96852 and 51.96853 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 51.96852.  RECOMMENDED COURSE SEQUENCES. (a)  In this
  section:
               (1)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (2)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 61.003.
         (b)  Each institution of higher education shall develop at
  least one recommended course sequence for each undergraduate
  certificate or degree program offered by the institution. Each
  recommended course sequence must:
               (1)  identify all required lower-division courses for
  the applicable certificate or degree program;
               (2)  include for each course, if applicable:
                     (A)  the course number or course equivalent under
  the common course numbering system approved by the coordinating
  board under Section 61.832; and
                     (B)  the course equivalent in the Lower-Division
  Academic Course Guide Manual or its successor adopted by the
  coordinating board;
               (3)  be designed to enable a full-time student to
  obtain a certificate or degree, as applicable, within:
                     (A)  for a 60-hour degree or certificate program,
  two years; or
                     (B)  for a 120-hour degree program, four years;
  and
               (4)  include a specific sequence in which courses
  should be completed to ensure completion of the applicable program
  within the time frame described by Subdivision (3).
         (c)  Each institution of higher education shall:
               (1)  include the recommended course sequences
  developed under this section in the institution's course catalog
  and on the institution's Internet website; and
               (2)  submit the recommended course sequences developed
  under this section to the coordinating board as provided by
  coordinating board rule.
         (d)  The coordinating board, in consultation with
  institutions of higher education, shall adopt rules as necessary
  for the administration of this section. In adopting those rules,
  the coordinating board shall use the negotiated rulemaking
  procedures under Chapter 2008, Government Code.
         Sec. 51.96853.  TRANSFER OF CREDIT FROM LOWER-DIVISION
  INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION; ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS.
  (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Articulation agreement" means a formal written
  agreement between a lower-division institution of higher education
  and a general academic teaching institution identifying courses
  offered by the lower-division institution that must be accepted for
  credit toward specific course requirements at the general academic
  teaching institution.
               (2)  "General academic teaching institution" has the
  meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
               (3)  "Lower-division institution of higher education"
  means a public junior college, public state college, or public
  technical institute, as those terms are defined by Section 61.003.
         (b)  Each general academic teaching institution may enter
  into an articulation agreement with a lower-division institution of
  higher education for a certificate or degree program for which
  students transferring from the lower-division institution to the
  general academic teaching institution receive transfer credit.
         (c)  An articulation agreement entered into under Subsection
  (b) on or after September 1, 2019, may use field of study curricula
  developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under
  Section 61.823.
         (d)  A general academic teaching institution may extend an
  existing articulation agreement entered into under Subsection (b)
  to another lower-division institution of higher education with
  respect to the transfer of courses from that lower-division
  institution of higher education to the general academic teaching
  institution, on request by that lower-division institution of
  higher education.
         (e)  An articulation agreement established under this
  section may enable a transfer student to receive up to 60 semester
  credit hours for courses completed at the lower-division
  institution of higher education.
         (f)  A general academic teaching institution's participation
  in an articulation agreement under this section does not affect the
  institution's admissions policies.
         SECTION 6.  Section 51.9715, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) and amending Subsection (b) to read as
  follows:
         (a-1)  An institution of higher education, or a school
  district that offers international baccalaureate courses, dual
  credit courses, or any other course for which an institution of
  higher education may award students enrolled at the district
  college course credit, including course credit awarded by
  examination, may release student information to an institution of
  higher education for purposes of transferring course credit to that
  institution or enabling the awarding of course credit by that
  institution, in accordance with federal law regarding the
  confidentiality of student information, including the Family
  Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section
  1232g), and any state law relating to the privacy of student
  information.
         (b)  An institution of higher education or school district
  may release student information in accordance with Subsection (a)
  or (a-1), as applicable, through:
               (1)  the National Student Clearinghouse; or
               (2)  a similar [national] electronic data sharing and
  exchange platform operated by an agent of the institution or
  district that meets nationally accepted standards, conventions,
  and practices.
         SECTION 7.  Section 61.059(p), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (p)  In its instruction and operations formula applicable to
  an institution of higher education, the board may not include any
  semester credit hours earned for dual course credit by a high school
  student for high school and college credit at the institution
  unless those credit hours are earned through any of the following:
               (1)  a course in the core curriculum of the institution
  providing course credit;
               (2)  a course offered by the institution providing
  course credit in:
                     (A)  a field of study curriculum developed by the
  board under Section 61.823; or
                     (B)  a program of study curriculum established by
  the board under Section 61.8235;
               (3)  a career and technical education course that
  applies to any certificate or associate's degree offered by the
  institution providing course credit; or
               (4) [(3)]  a foreign language course.
         SECTION 8.  Section 61.821, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subdivision (4) to read as follows:
               (4)  "Meta major" means a collection of programs of
  study or academic disciplines that share common foundational
  skills.
         SECTION 9.  Subchapter S, Chapter 61, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 61.8221 to read as follows:
         Sec. 61.8221.  STUDY AND REPORT ON CORE CURRICULUM.
  (a)  The board shall conduct a study and make recommendations to
  the legislature regarding the feasibility of implementing
  statewide meta majors for institutions of higher education.  The
  board shall consider meta majors in the following academic
  disciplines:
               (1)  arts, humanities, communications, and design;
               (2)  business;
               (3)  education;
               (4)  health sciences;
               (5)  industry, manufacturing, and construction;
               (6)  public safety;
               (7)  science, technology, engineering, and
  mathematics; and
               (8)  social and behavioral sciences and human services.
         (b)  The board shall establish an advisory committee to
  assist the board in completing the board's duties under this
  section and provide the board with subject matter expertise and
  analysis.  The advisory committee consists of the following members
  appointed by the board in equal numbers:
               (1)  representatives of public junior colleges
  designated by the applicable college to represent the college on
  the advisory committee; and
               (2)  representatives of general academic teaching
  institutions designated by the applicable institution to represent
  the institution on the advisory committee.
         (c)  A majority of members appointed to the advisory
  committee under Subsection (b)(2) must be representatives of a
  general academic teaching institution at which at least 25 percent
  of students enrolled at the institution for the 2018 fall semester
  were classified as transfer students.
         (d)  In appointing members to the advisory committee under
  Subsection (b), the board shall, to the greatest extent
  practicable, ensure that the membership of the advisory committee
  is balanced with respect to:
               (1)  institutional representation, including:
                     (A)  the regions of the state;
                     (B)  the mission type of the general academic
  teaching institution or public junior college;
                     (C)  university system affiliation, as
  applicable;
                     (D)  student enrollment; and
                     (E)  institutional groupings under the board's
  higher education accountability system;
               (2)  representation of faculty and administrators at
  general academic teaching institutions or public junior colleges;
               (3)  representation of academic disciplines; and
               (4)  any other factors the board determines relevant.
         (e)  The advisory committee shall study and make
  recommendations to the board regarding the effectiveness of the
  requirements regarding the transfer of course credit between
  institutions of higher education for courses in the core curriculum
  under Section 61.822 in supporting more efficient undergraduate
  transfer between institutions of higher education. The study and
  recommendations must include an analysis of:
               (1)  the efficacy of dividing the recommended core
  curriculum for each meta major into a general academic core
  curriculum and an academic discipline core curriculum and, if
  determined to be efficacious, the recommended number of semester
  credit hours for each component of the recommended core curriculum
  for each meta major;
               (2)  methods to ensure that courses completed in the
  general academic core curriculum and academic discipline core
  curriculum transfer between institutions of higher education for
  course credit applied toward a student's major at the receiving
  institution; and
               (3)  the potential inclusion of courses in the field of
  study curricula adopted by the board under Section 61.823 in the
  recommended core curriculum adopted by the board under Section
  61.822.
         (f)  Each quarter ending before November 1, 2020, the
  advisory committee shall submit to the chairs of the standing
  legislative committees with primary jurisdiction over higher
  education a report on the advisory committee's progress on the
  study and recommendations required under Subsection (e).
         (g)  Not later than November 1, 2020, the board shall submit
  to the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of
  representatives, and the standing legislative committees with
  primary jurisdiction over higher education a report on the results
  of the study conducted under Subsection (a) and any recommendations
  for legislative or other action.
         (h)  This section expires September 1, 2021.
         SECTION 10.  Section 61.827, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 61.827.  RULES.  (a)  The board is authorized to adopt
  rules implementing the provisions of this subchapter.
         (b)  In adopting rules regarding the recommended core
  curriculum developed under Section 61.822, the board shall use the
  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government
  Code.
         SECTION 11.  Section 130.0104(c), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  In complying with the requirements regarding the filing
  of a degree plan under [Notwithstanding] Section 51.9685, [before
  the beginning of the regular semester or term immediately following
  the semester or term in which] a student enrolled [successfully
  completes a cumulative total of 30 or more semester credit hours for
  coursework] in a multidisciplinary studies associate degree
  program established under this section[, the student] must meet
  with an academic advisor to complete a degree plan[, as defined by
  Section 51.9685(a)(1),] that:
               (1)  accounts for all remaining credit hours required
  for the completion of the degree program; and
               (2)  emphasizes:
                     (A)  the student's transition to a particular
  four-year college or university that the student chooses; and
                     (B)  preparations for the student's intended
  field of study or major at the four-year college or university.
         SECTION 12.  Section 51.9685(c-1), Education Code, is
  repealed.
         SECTION 13.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, this Act applies beginning with the 2019-2020
  academic year.
         (b)  Sections 51.96852 and 51.96853, Education Code, as
  added by this Act, apply beginning with the 2021-2022 academic
  year.
         SECTION 14.  Each public institution of higher education
  required to submit a report under Section 51.4033 or 51.4034,
  Education Code, as added by this Act, shall submit the first report
  not later than March 1, 2021.
         SECTION 15.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 25 passed the Senate on
  April 24, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 23, 2019, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 25 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 21, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 142,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor