MMA C.S.H.B. 588 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS HIGHER EDUCATION C.S.H.B. 588 By: Rangel 3-29-97 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND By the year 2000, the population of Texas is projected to grow more than any other state in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1995 the population of Texas was 18,724,000. By the year 2000, the projected figure is 20,119,000, a growth of approximately 1,395,000. These projections have created a great concern about how the state will accommodate this tremendous growth. One area that needs to be addressed is the education of Texas' future leaders and workforce. In order to maximize the potential for human capital and give all students across the state an opportunity to obtain a higher education, Texas colleges and universities need to target students from every region of the state, in rural and inner city areas, as well as students from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. PURPOSE C.S.H.B. 588 grants automatic admission at general academic teaching institutions to students who graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class, provides for an optional automatic admission for students graduating in the top twenty five percent of their high school class and outlines factors as part of their admissions process. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does expressly grant additional rulemaking authority to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in SECTION 1 (Sec. 51.807) and to general academic teaching institutions (institutions), medical and dental units (units) and the THECB in SECTION 2(b). SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 51, Education Code, by adding Subchapter S to read as follows: SUBCHAPTER S. UNIFORM ADMISSION POLICY Sec. 51.801. DEFINITIONS. Defines "general academic teaching institution," "governing board," "medical dental unit," and "university system." Sec. 51.802. UNIFORM ADMISSION SYSTEM. Mandates the admission of students under the provisions of this subchapter. Sec. 51.803. AUTOMATIC ADMISSION: ALL INSTITUTIONS. (a) Mandates that institutions automatically admit each student who graduated two years prior to the academic year they are applying for with a grade point average (GPA) in the top ten percent of the student's class. Requires that in order to qualify, a student's application must be timely filed. (b) Requires institutions to review the automatic admissions applicants in order to determine if further college-level preparation is needed or if the student would benefit from a retention program. Allows the institutions to require a student described previously to enroll in summer orientation programs or enrichment courses without prohibiting those who wish to attend voluntarily. Sec. 51.804. ADDITIONAL AUTOMATIC ADMISSIONS: SELECTED INSTITUTIONS. Allows institutions, who so desire, to automatically admit students who graduated within the top twenty-five percent of their high school graduating class not inclusive of those already admitted under Sec. 51.803. Sec. 51.805. OTHER ADMISSIONS. (a) Allows students not qualifying for automatic admission to apply to any institution. (b) Mandates institutions to admit other applicants who are not eligible for automatic admission. States that the legislature's intent is that all institutions pursue academic excellence by considering students' academic achievement and that institutions consider any of the following factors in making admissions decisions: (1) academic record; (2) socioeconomic background including the family's poverty level status, household income and parents' level of education. (3) whether the applicant would be the first generation in their family to attend or graduate from an institution of higher education; (4) bilingual proficiency; (5) financial status of the applicant's school district; (6) Texas Education Agency performance rating of the applicant's school; (7) responsibilities while attending school, including whether the applicant has been employed, helped raise children or others; (8) region of residence; (9) applicant's residence is rural, urban, central city or suburban; (10) standardized test performance; (11) standardized test performance in comparison with others with similar socioeconomic backgrounds; (12) applicant's attendance of a school under court-ordered desegregation plan; (13) community involvement; (14) extracurricular activities; (15) commitment to a particular field of study; (16) personal interview; (17) admission to a comparable accredited out-of-state institution; (18) other criteria the institutions deem necessary. (c) Permits the institutions to review other factors not included above. (d) Mandates that each institution publish in their catalog a description of the factors considered by the institution and make the information available to the public. (e) States that this section is not applicable to open enrollment institutions. Section 51.806. REPORT TO COORDINATING BOARD. Mandates that each institution provide an annual report to the THECB describing the composition of the entering class of students admitted under this subchapter. The report must include demographic breakdown, including race, ethnicity, and economic status of the students admitted under Sections 51.803, 51.804 and 51.805. Section 51.807. RULEMAKING. Authorizes the THECB to adopt rules relating to the operation of admissions programs under this subchapter, including certain specific items. Section 51.808. APPLICATION OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO OTHER PROGRAMS. (a) Mandates that each institution or unit offering admissions to undergraduate transfer students or admissions to graduate, postgraduate or professional program adopt a written policy applicable to the above mentioned. (b) Requires that the policy be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and made available to the public. Section 51.809. SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS. (a) Mandates that an institution or unit offering scholarship or fellowship awards adopt a written policy describing the factors used. (b) Requires that the policy be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and made available to the public in advance. SECTION 2. (a) States that the change in law applies beginning with admissions and scholarships for the fall term or semester in 1998. (b) Mandates that THECB, each institution, and each unit adopt rules or policies relating to the admission of students as added by this Act, not later than January 1, 1998. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 588 adds to Sec. 51.801 "university system" and "governing board." C.S.H.B. 588 adds to Sec. 51.802 by specifying "first-time freshman" students. C.S.H.B. 588 adds "ALL INSTITUTIONS" to the heading of Sec. 51.803 and clarifies that changes apply to all institutions. Also, limits consideration of the top ten percent graduating status to no more than two years preceding the academic year for which a student applies for admission. Inserts language to clarify that a high school must be accredited. Adds language that requires the application to be timely filed in order to be considered for automatic admission. C.S.H.B. 588 deletes from Section 51.803 the entire subsection (b) from the original bill which outlined actions to be taken if the number of graduating students seeking admissions exceeded the available spaces and inserts a new subsection (b) which states that institutions review the applicant's record to determine if they need additional preparation for college-level work. C.S.H.B. 588 replaces Sec. 51.804 from the original bill with language that allows for an optional automatic admission for top 25 percent of the applicant's high school graduating class. C.S.H.B. 588 makes sequence changes by moving Sec. 51.804 (original bill) to Sec. 51.805 (substitute bill) and adds language stating the legislature's intent. Also, changes the factors to be considered by adding new ones not included in H.B. 588 while changing the language of other factors. Adds that an institution may review other factors in admissions decisions. C.S.H.B. 588, Sec. 51.805, also deletes language requiring institutions to publish the weight given and role of admissions factors. Adds that admission factors be made available to the public, and states that the section is not applicable to open enrollment institutions. C.S.H.B. 588 makes sequence changes by moving Sec. 51.805 (original bill) to Sec. 51.806 (substitute bill) and makes conforming changes to the language to match previous sequence changes. C.S.H.B. 588 makes sequence changes by moving Sec. 51.806 (original bill) to Sec. 51.807 (substitute bill) and makes non-substantive language changes. C.S.H.B. 588 makes sequence changes by moving Sec. 51.807 (original bill) to Sec. 51.808 (substitute bill) and replaces the "APPLICATION OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO SCHOLARSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS" with "APPLICATION OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO OTHER PROGRAMS." Replaces the original section text with language that requires institutions and units to adopt a written admission policy for undergraduate transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or professional program. States that the policy be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and be made available to the public. C.S.H.B. 588 adds Sec. 51.809 "SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS" which states that institutions and units must adopt a written policy for scholarship or fellowship awards describing the factors to be used by the institution or unit in making an award. States that the policy be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and be made available to the public in advance.