HB 1208: Concerning requiring statewide agreements for the transfer of two-year degrees among all state institutions of higher education in Colorado
Concerning requiring statewide agreements
for the transfer of two-year degrees among
all state institutions of higher education in Colorado
House Bill 10-1208
Testimony to the House Education Committee
Frank Waterous, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst
The Bell Policy Center
February 11, 2010
My name is Frank Waterous, and I am a senior policy analyst with The Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for all Coloradans.
The Bell Policy Center strongly supports House Bill 10-1208, "Higher Ed Statewide Transfer Agreements." By developing the clear, comprehensive curricular "roadmaps" identified in the bill, Colorado will increase post-secondary student success, take an important step toward creating a more seamless P-20 educational system, and further support the development of the skilled workforce necessary for our state's economic strength and competitiveness.
First, the bill will increase post-secondary student success. A significant barrier to student persistence and completion is the often-confusing, contradictory, or just down-right bureaucratic maze of varying requirements students must negotiate in order to transfer their credits among public institutions and complete their degrees in a timely and cost-effective manner. All too often, student discouragement and frustration over lost credits, repeated courses, and additional time to degree completion can keep them from attaining their academic goals. The statewide transfer agreements envisioned in House Bill 10-1208 will increase student success by providing, in key academic areas, clear curricular "roadmaps" to the public higher education highway that students can follow regardless of where they live, where they first enroll, or where they elect to complete their studies.
Second, the bill represents a significant and much-needed step in further creating a seamless P-20 system of public education in our state. To-date, the Governor's P-20 Education Council and the legislature have focused much of their hard work on addressing the critical transitions related to early childhood education and the bridge from secondary to post-secondary coursework. But the "13 through 16" part of P-20 has, comparatively, not received as much attention. This bill confronts head-on the important issue of student transitions within the post-secondary segment of our public education system. In doing so, it validates the notion that the seamless system we are trying to build must truly address the entire range of educational experience in our state, from preschool through post-secondary studies.
Third, by helping more post-secondary students succeed in completing their degrees, the bill will help strengthen the quality of Colorado's workforce, which is a key factor in our state's economic competitiveness. As a recent report from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation noted, "educational attainment is the single-most important element in job and income growth," and is one of the chief underpinnings of a strong economy.(1)
In summary, The Bell Policy Center believes that House Bill 10-1208 will benefit both post-secondary students and our state. We urge you to support the bill, and thank you for the opportunity to share this information with you today.
If you have any questions, or if I can provide further information, please call me at 303-297-0456 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Toward a More Competitive Colorado: Executive Summary on Competitiveness, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Nov 2009,