1-1     By:  Rangel (Senate Sponsor - Barrientos)              H.B. No. 588

 1-2           (In the Senate - Received from the House April 17, 1997;

 1-3     April 18, 1997, read first time and referred to Committee on

 1-4     Education; May 2, 1997, reported favorably by the following vote:

 1-5     Yeas 8, Nays 0; May 2, 1997, sent to printer.)

 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-7                                   AN ACT

 1-8     relating to uniform admission and reporting procedures for

 1-9     institutions of higher education.


1-11           SECTION 1.  Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended by adding

1-12     Subchapter S to read as follows:


1-14           Sec. 51.801.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter, "general

1-15     academic teaching institution," "governing board," "medical and

1-16     dental unit," and "university system" have the meanings assigned by

1-17     Section 61.003.

1-18           Sec. 51.802.  UNIFORM ADMISSION SYSTEM.  A general academic

1-19     teaching institution shall admit first-time freshman students for

1-20     each semester under the provisions of this subchapter.

1-21           Sec. 51.803.  AUTOMATIC ADMISSION:  ALL INSTITUTIONS.

1-22     (a)  Each general academic teaching institution shall admit an

1-23     applicant for admission to the institution as an undergraduate

1-24     student if the applicant graduated in one of the two school years

1-25     preceding the academic year for which the applicant is applying for

1-26     admission from a public or private high school in this state

1-27     accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization with

1-28     a grade point average in the top 10 percent of the student's high

1-29     school graduating class.  To qualify for admission under this

1-30     section, an applicant must submit an application before the

1-31     expiration of any application filing deadline established by the

1-32     institution.

1-33           (b)  After admitting an applicant under this section, the

1-34     institution shall review the applicant's record and any other

1-35     factor the institution considers appropriate to determine whether

1-36     the applicant may require additional preparation for college-level

1-37     work or would benefit from inclusion in a retention program.  The

1-38     institution may require a student so identified to enroll during

1-39     the summer immediately after the student is admitted under this

1-40     section to participate in appropriate enrichment courses and

1-41     orientation programs.  This section does not prohibit a student who

1-42     is not determined to need additional preparation for college-level

1-43     work from enrolling, if the student chooses, during the summer

1-44     immediately after the student is admitted under this section.


1-46     INSTITUTIONS.  For each academic year, the governing board of  each

1-47     general academic teaching institution shall determine whether to

1-48     adopt an admissions policy under which an applicant to the

1-49     institution as a first-time freshman student, other than an

1-50     applicant eligible for admission under Section 51.803, shall be

1-51     admitted to the institution if the applicant graduated from a

1-52     public or private high school in this state accredited by a

1-53     generally recognized accrediting organization with a grade point

1-54     average in the top 25 percent of the applicant's high school

1-55     graduating class.

1-56           Sec. 51.805.  OTHER ADMISSIONS.  (a)  A graduating student

1-57     who does not qualify for admission under Section 51.803 or 51.804

1-58     may apply to any general academic teaching institution.

1-59           (b)  The general academic teaching institution, after

1-60     admitting students under Sections 51.803 and 51.804, shall admit

1-61     other applicants for admission as undergraduate students.  It is

1-62     the intent of the legislature that all institutions of higher

1-63     education pursue academic excellence by considering students'

1-64     academic achievements in decisions related to admissions.  Because

 2-1     of changing demographic trends, diversity, and population increases

 2-2     in the state, each general academic teaching institution shall also

 2-3     consider all of, any of, or a combination of the following

 2-4     socioeconomic indicators or factors in making first-time freshman

 2-5     admissions decisions:

 2-6                 (1)  the applicant's academic record;

 2-7                 (2)  the socioeconomic background of the applicant,

 2-8     including the percentage by which the applicant's  family is above

 2-9     or below any recognized measure of poverty, the applicant's

2-10     household income, and the applicant's parents' level of education;

2-11                 (3)  whether the applicant would be the first

2-12     generation of the applicant's  family to attend or graduate from an

2-13     institution of higher education;

2-14                 (4)  whether the applicant has bilingual proficiency;

2-15                 (5)  the financial status of the applicant's school

2-16     district;

2-17                 (6)  the performance level of the applicant's school as

2-18     determined by the school accountability criteria used by the Texas

2-19     Education Agency;

2-20                 (7)  the applicant's responsibilities while attending

2-21     school, including whether the applicant has been employed, whether

2-22     the applicant has  helped to raise children, or other similar

2-23     factors;

2-24                 (8)  the applicant's region of residence;

2-25                 (9)  whether the applicant is a resident of a rural or

2-26     urban area or a resident of a central city or suburban area in the

2-27     state;

2-28                 (10)  the applicant's performance on standardized

2-29     tests;

2-30                 (11)  the applicant's performance on standardized tests

2-31     in comparison with that of other students from similar

2-32     socioeconomic backgrounds;

2-33                 (12)  whether the applicant attended any school while

2-34     the school was under a court-ordered desegregation plan;

2-35                 (13)  the applicant's involvement in community

2-36     activities;

2-37                 (14)  the applicant's extracurricular activities;

2-38                 (15)  the applicant's commitment to a particular field

2-39     of study;

2-40                 (16)  the applicant's personal interview;

2-41                 (17)  the applicant's admission to a comparable

2-42     accredited out-of-state institution; and

2-43                 (18)  any other consideration the institution considers

2-44     necessary to accomplish the institution's stated mission.

2-45           (c)  A general academic teaching institution may review other

2-46     factors in making an admissions decision.

2-47           (d)  Not later than one year before the date that

2-48     applications for admission are first considered under this section,

2-49     each general academic teaching institution shall publish in the

2-50     institution's catalog a description of the factors considered by

2-51     the institution in making admission decisions and shall make the

2-52     information available to the public.

2-53           (e)  This section does not apply to an institution that has

2-54     an open enrollment policy.

2-55           Sec. 51.806.  REPORT TO COORDINATING BOARD.  Each general

2-56     academic teaching institution shall provide a report annually to

2-57     the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board describing the

2-58     composition of the entering class of students admitted under this

2-59     subchapter.  The report shall include a demographic breakdown,

2-60     including a breakdown by race, ethnicity, and economic status, of

2-61     the students admitted under Sections 51.803, 51.804, and 51.805.

2-62           Sec. 51.807.  RULEMAKING.  The Texas Higher Education

2-63     Coordinating Board may adopt rules relating to the operation of

2-64     admissions programs under this subchapter, including rules relating

2-65     to the identification of eligible students and the reporting

2-66     requirements of Section 51.806.


2-68     PROGRAMS.  (a)  Each general academic  teaching institution or

2-69     medical and dental unit that offers admissions to undergraduate

 3-1     transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or

 3-2     professional program shall also adopt a written admission policy

 3-3     applicable to those programs.

 3-4           (b)  The policy shall be published in the institution's or

 3-5     unit's catalog and made available to the public.

 3-6           Sec. 51.809.  SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS.  (a)  A

 3-7     general academic teaching institution or a medical and dental unit

 3-8     that offers competitive scholarship or fellowship awards shall

 3-9     adopt a written policy describing the factors to be used by the

3-10     institution or unit in making an award.

3-11           (b)  A policy adopted under this section shall be published

3-12     in the institution's or unit's catalog and shall be made available

3-13     to the public in advance of any deadline for the submission of an

3-14     application for a competitive scholarship or fellowship to which

3-15     the policy applies.

3-16           SECTION 2.  (a)  The change in law made by this Act applies

3-17     beginning with admissions and scholarships for the fall term or

3-18     semester in 1998.

3-19           (b)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, each

3-20     general academic teaching institution, and each medical and dental

3-21     unit shall adopt rules or policies relating to the admission of

3-22     students under Subchapter S, Chapter 51, Education Code, as added

3-23     by this Act, not later than January 1, 1998.

3-24           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the

3-25     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

3-26     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

3-27     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

3-28     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

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