PA 17-156—sHB 5116

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT DATA

SUMMARY: This act requires the Higher Education Coordinating Council to use existing data networks when producing periodic reports and affordability indices with the Department of Labor (DOL) about Connecticut public higher education institutions that are required under existing law. By law, these reports must address the employment status, job retention, and earnings of students enrolled in academic and noncredit vocational courses and programs, both prior to enrollment and after course and program completion, who leave UConn and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) upon graduation or otherwise. The council must produce the affordability indices for public higher education annually and base them on statewide median family income.

Under the act, the council must make the reports accessible on a website in aggregate form with guidance from the Planning Commission for Higher Education. (Presumably, the “aggregate form” requirement concerns personally identifiable student information contained in the reports.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Higher Education Coordinating Council

This council consists of the two Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) vice-presidents (i.e., the Connecticut State University System vice-president and the regional community-technical college system vice-president), Office of Policy and Management secretary, education commissioner, UConn president, UConn chief academic officer, UConn Board of Trustees chairperson, BOR chairperson, and CSCU president.

The council meets annually. By law, it must (1) identify, examine, and implement savings in administrative functions carried out by the higher education system, including methods to simplify and reduce duplication in each constituent unit's administrative functions and (2) develop accountability measures for each constituent unit and each public higher education institution (CGS 10a-6a).

Planning Commission for Higher Education

The commission develops and ensures the implementation of a strategic master plan for higher education. The plan must address degree attainment, the number of people entering the workforce, and the achievement gap. The plan must provide specific strategies for meeting its goals and consider the impact of education trends on higher education in Connecticut (CGS 10a-11b).