This from H-L:
Great. Just what we need - legislators like Jim Gooch telling professors how many hours of course work are necessary for students to become competent in a field. It is certainly true that students take longer to graduate these days but I must confess I don't recall that so many students had to work full time to get themselves through school - back in the day.
House panel OKs college transfer bill
A bill that would make it easier for community college students to transfer to a public, four-year university is headed to the full House for a vote, possibly as soon as Friday.
The House Education Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved House Bill 160, which would develop a clear pathway for students in the state's junior college system to obtain a four-year degree.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Carl Rollins of Midway, said too many students are not getting credit for classes they took at the junior college level when they transfer to four-year colleges.
"I wanted to see a system where they don't have to run up big debts just to get a four-year degree," said Rollins, who chairs the House Education Committee.
Under the bill, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which has 16 colleges and 67 campuses, would have to streamline its general education requirements and align them with bachelor's degree programs at the state's universities.
In turn, universities must accept the general education course work — basic English, arts, math and science classes — that students complete at community colleges.
In addition, all public bachelor's degrees would be limited to 120 credit hours and associate degrees would be limited to 60 credit hours, starting in the 2012-2013 academic year...
Also, unless I'm mistaken, 120 hours is the mininum allowable under the Southern Association's standards for schools it accredits. Under HB 160, that number would become the maximum. Way to go Kentucky. It that sense the bill, potentially, lowers the bar on quality. Where's the rigor amid the economy?
Has it occurred to anyone doubling the number of graduates who are less well-trained might not be the right approach?
But that may not be the worst of it.
Rollin's bill also requires that universities "Guarantee that upon admission to a public university, graduates of an associate of arts or an associate of science degree program approved by the council shall be deemed to have met all general education and program specific course prerequisites and be granted admission to related upper division degree programs of a public university on the same criteria as those students earning lower division credits at the university to which the student transferred.
This means a student could get an associate’s degree at a KCTCS school without taking any education courses; transfer to a university; and be automatically admitted to the teacher education program, without...
- Introductory Educational Foundations coursework and the attendant 20 hours of field work
- meeting ACT requirements for program admission
- meeting GPA requirements
- meeting requirements for a criminal background check, ethics declaration, judicial review
meeting the requirement for a establishment of a portfolio
- receiving feedback from a portfolio review
- recommendations/disposition review
- and possibly, Math, Writing and Computer prerequisites.
This is a good idea gone wrong. It needs a little tweaking.
But perhaps some of that tweaking has been going on behind the scenes. CPE President Robert King told H-L,
CPE, however, would have final say on how many hours would be required for a degree if there are concerns — particularly in areas where there are standardized board tests, such as for nursing and engineering.The language of the bill doesn't say so - unless it was amended very recently - but let's hope King is correct and CPE has that authority. Otherwise, good intentions will once again harm K-12 education in the state.