Success from the session: Law aims to improve college completion, strengthen Colorado's workforce
Ensuring that more students complete post-secondary education credentials is a key policy goal that not only helps students but also strengthens our state's workforce and economic competitiveness. House Bill 12-1155, "Improvements in College Completion," signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper today, contains several key provisions that will help Colorado make progress toward these important outcomes.
- Aligning our state's basic-skills education (also referred to as remedial or developmental education) and admissions policies to better support student success.
- Creating new ways for qualified students to improve their college-level skills through supplemental instruction while continuing to make progress toward credential completion.
- Requiring data on students' post-secondary enrollment and completion outcomes to be shared with the school districts from which the students graduated in order to assist the districts' with their post-secondary alignment efforts.
While the Bell Policy Center strongly supported each of the proposed practices noted above, we were concerned with two other provisions contained in the original version of the bill that would have reduced students' lifetime eligibility for College Opportunity Fund stipends and state need-based financial aid. We were able to change our position on the bill from amend to full support after these provisions were removed prior to its passage in the House.
We are very pleased that HB 12-1155 has become law and believe that it will play a key role in improving college completion in our state. We thank the bill's sponsors, Rep. Tom Massey and Sen. Bob Bacon, for carrying this important legislation and the Governor for signing it.
Note: In an interesting twist at the end of the legislative session, HB 12-1155 was amended to also include the full text of Senate Bill 12-164, "Operations of Private Post-secondary Institutions." Had this amendment not been made, the legislature would have run out of time to pass SB 164 as a standalone bill. That bill modified and clarified the way in which the state regulates private institutions of higher education in Colorado (including private for-profit colleges), and contained a number of provisions to safeguard the interests of students attending such institutions. It became law as part of HB 12-1155.