Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6959

Special Act No. 15-9

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP A PILOT EARN AND LEARN PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to develop a pilot earn and learn program for implementation not later than July 1, 2016, at a regional community-technical college, a state university and an independent institution of higher education. The pilot earn and learn program shall (1) provide opportunities for students of institutions of higher education in the state to engage in applied, work-based learning while earning money to pay for higher education, (2) provide incentives for institutions of higher education in the state to develop the curricula, faculty incentives and support structures to implement work-based learning, (3) encourage employers in the state to foster existing work-based learning experiences and provide additional work-based learning opportunities, and (4) identify ways in which work-based learning is fiscally viable for institutions of higher education and employers in the state. In developing the pilot earn and learn program, the task force shall (A) examine the key characteristics of successful work-based learning programs implemented in other states, including, but not limited to, the financing and administrative structure of such programs and any incentives for students, institutions of higher education, faculty and employers to participate in such programs, (B) identify an entity to administer and oversee such program, and (C) develop criteria for selection of the institutions of higher education at which the pilot earn and learn program will be implemented. For purposes of this section, "earn and learn program" means an academic program that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting in the context of a program of supervised employment that compensates the student at a level sufficient to assist such student in financing his or her higher education, as determined by the task force, but in no case less than the minimum fair wage, as defined in section 31-58 of the general statutes.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be the chief academic officer of a state university under the jurisdiction of the Connecticut State University System;

(2) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall be the chief academic officer of a regional community-technical college;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be the chief academic officer of a regional community-technical college;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, who shall be a faculty member of an institution of higher education in the state with experience teaching in a work-based learning program;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a representative of an organization representing businesses in the state;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be a representative of an out-of-state institution of higher education that successfully implemented a work-based learning program;

(7) The chief academic officer of The University of Connecticut;

(8) The president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, or the president's designee; and

(9) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education.

(c) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(d) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select the chairpersons of the task force from among the members of the task force. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(e) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education shall serve as administrative staff of the task force.

(f) Not later than January 1, 2016, the task force shall submit a report on its recommendations regarding implementation of the pilot earn and learn program to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate upon implementation of such program at the three institutions of higher education selected for such program.

Approved June 24, 2015