Colorado Revised Statutes Title 23. Postsecondary Education § 23-1-108. Duties and powers of the commission with regard to systemwide planning--reporting--definitions

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(1) The commission, after consultation with the governing boards of institutions and as a part of the master planning process, shall have the authority to:

(a) Establish a policy-based and continuing systemwide planning, programming, and coordination process to effect the best use of available resources;

(b) Establish such academic and career and technical education planning as may be necessary to accomplish and sustain systemwide goals of high quality, access, diversity, efficiency, and accountability.  Such planning must include identification by each governing board of programs of excellence at institutions under their control and plans for enhancement and improvement for those programs.

(c) Determine the role and mission of each state-supported institution of higher education within statutory guidelines;

(d) Establish enrollment policies, consistent with roles and missions, at state-supported institutions of higher education as described in statute and further defined in paragraph (c) of this subsection (1);

(e) Establish state policies that differentiate admission and program standards and that are consistent with institutional roles and missions as described in statute and further defined in paragraph (c) of this subsection (1);

(f) Adopt statewide affirmative action policies for the commission, governing boards, and state-supported institutions of higher education.  Responsibility for implementation of such policies shall be reserved to the governing boards.

(h) Establish systemwide policies concerning administrative costs.

(1.5)(a) On or before September 1, 2012, the commission shall develop and submit to the governor and the general assembly a new master plan for Colorado postsecondary education.  The commission shall collaborate with the governing boards and chief executive officers of the state institutions of higher education in developing the master plan.  In addition, the commission shall take into account the final report of the higher education strategic planning steering committee appointed by the governor.  In drafting the master plan, addressing the issues specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1.5), and establishing the goals as described in paragraph (c) of this subsection (1.5) for the state system of higher education, the commission shall also take into consideration the data collected pursuant to subsection (1.7) of this section.

(b) At a minimum, the commission shall address the following issues in developing the master plan:

(I) The needs of the state with regard to the system of higher education and the top priorities for the state system of higher education in meeting those needs;

(II) Alignment of the state system of higher education with the system of elementary and secondary education and increasing the rate at which students who graduate from Colorado high schools enroll in and complete postsecondary and career and technical education;

(III) Accessibility and affordability of the state system of higher education, including consideration of methods to reduce the student debt load and increase need-based financial aid funding;

(IV) Funding for the state system of higher education and strategies for stabilizing and sustaining an adequate funding level;

(V) The role and mission of the state institutions of higher education and the governance structure of the state system of higher education;  

(VI) The role of two-year and four-year local district colleges and area technical colleges in helping to address the workforce and economic development needs of the state within the system of higher education;  and

(VII) The importance of private and proprietary institutions with regard to higher education in the state, although consideration of said institutions in the plan in no way implies control or state authority over their operations.

(c) The commission shall design the master plan to achieve, at a minimum, the following goals:

(I) Increasing the overall number of baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and career and technical education certificates issued by the public institutions of higher education in the state, while maintaining accessibility to the institutions, to provide support for economic development and a well-educated workforce for the business community in the state;

(II) Implementing systemic approaches, including coordinated and proven transitional programs, that strengthen the continuity of public education from elementary and secondary through postsecondary education for traditional and nontraditional students;

(III) Ensuring the long term fiscal stability and affordability of the state system of higher education and ensuring the efficient allocation of available state resources to support institutions of higher education while protecting the unique mission of each institution.  The allocation shall take into consideration, but need not be limited to, tuition capacity, tuition rates relative to competitive institutions, the state resources available to institutions, funding for high-cost programs, the student and family incomes of students enrolled at institutions, enrollment levels, geographic access to educational opportunities throughout the state, and other issues deemed relevant by the commission.

(IV) Reducing the educational attainment gap between majority and underrepresented populations throughout the state;

(V) Reducing the geographic disparities in access to and opportunity to complete a broad array of quality higher education and career and technical education programs;

(VI) Addressing opportunities for students with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, to participate in postsecondary education;

(VII) Implementing strategies that strengthen the link between higher education and economic development and innovation in the state;  and

(VIII) Improving and sustaining excellence in career and technical education and undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

(d)(I) The commission shall ensure that the master plan prepared pursuant to this subsection (1.5) specifically addresses providing coordinated and proven programs that support and help ensure the success of students who graduate from Colorado high schools and are enrolling as first-time freshmen students and meet one or more of the following criteria:

(A) The student's family is low-income and the student is likely to incur significant student debt in attending an institution of higher education;

(B) The student's parents did not attend postsecondary education and may not have graduated from high school;

(C) The student is a member of an underrepresented population;  or

(D) The student has limited access to technologies to support learning.

(II) Programs that may be addressed in the master plan include but need not be limited to:

(A) Providing student support services including counseling or tutoring;

(B) Implementing measures to reduce student debt by making effective use of financial assistance and assisting in fee payments and textbook costs;  and

(C) Providing assistance in obtaining access to technology.

(e) Prior to submitting the master plan to the governor and the general assembly, the commission shall distribute a draft of the plan to the governing boards for comment.  Each governing board shall submit to the commission its comments and any suggested revisions within thirty days after receiving the draft plan.  The commission shall discuss and consider any revisions suggested by the governing boards to the draft master plan.

(f)(I)(A) The commission, in collaboration with the public institutions of higher education, shall ensure that the master plan is implemented through the public institutions of higher education, including through funding allocated pursuant to part 3 of article 18 of this title 23 and section 23-41-104.6 .  The department shall submit a budget request pursuant to section 23-18-307 that supports master plan goals.

(B) The department and public institutions of higher education shall annually affirm the institutions' contribution toward meeting the goals of the commission's master plan created pursuant to this section.  An institution's contributions toward meeting the goals of the master plan must be outlined in accordance with the institution's role and mission and shall include, at a minimum, increasing credential completion, increasing annual completions by minority and low-income students, and improving persistence and retention rates.  The department shall measure an institution's contributions using data collected for state and federal reporting purposes and for populating the higher education funding model.

(II) Beginning December 1, 2017, and no later than December 1 of each year thereafter, the department shall report to the joint budget committee and to the education committees of the house of representatives and of the senate, or their successor committees, concerning the master plan goals and each institution's progress toward meeting those goals.  The department shall post the information contained in the report on the department's website.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 24-1-136(11)(a)(I) to the contrary, the department's report continues indefinitely.

(1.7) The commission, working with the department, the governing boards, and the institutions of higher education, shall collect data, including but not limited to research conducted by national policy organizations and agencies or institutions of higher education in other states, as necessary to support development and implementation of the master plan pursuant to subsection (1.5) of this section.

(2) The commission shall develop criteria for determining if an institution should be consolidated or closed and, after consultation with the appropriate governing board, shall make recommendations to the general assembly for closure or consolidation of campuses which meet such criteria.

(3) The commission, after consultation with the governing boards of institutions, may support the development of cooperative programs among state-supported institutions of higher education.

(4) The commission shall convene periodically the chief executive officers of the campuses for the purpose of evaluating and discussing statewide policy issues.

(5) The commission shall establish programs to develop and improve governing boards concerning statewide educational policy issues.

(6) The commission shall report annually to the governor and the general assembly on institutional and board performance and responsiveness to statewide objectives set by the commission in its master plan.

(7)(a) The commission shall establish, after consultation with the governing boards of institutions, and enforce statewide degree transfer agreements between two-year and four-year state institutions of higher education and among four-year state institutions of higher education.  Governing boards and state institutions of higher education shall implement the statewide degree transfer agreements and the commission policies relating to the statewide degree transfer agreements.  The statewide degree transfer agreements shall include provisions under which state institutions of higher education shall accept all credit hours of acceptable course work for automatic transfer from an associate of arts, associate of applied science, or associate of science degree program in another state institution of higher education in Colorado.  The commission shall have final authority in resolving transfer disputes.

(b)(I) A student who completes an associate of arts, associate of applied science, or associate of science degree that is the subject of a statewide degree transfer agreement and who transfers from the state institution of higher education that awarded the degree to a four-year state institution of higher education shall, if admitted, be enrolled with junior status.  Successful completion of an associate of arts, associate of applied science, or associate of science degree does not guarantee the degree holder admission to a four-year state institution of higher education.

(II)(A) A state institution of higher education that admits as a junior a student who holds an associate of arts degree, associate of applied science degree, or associate of science degree that is the subject of a statewide degree transfer agreement shall not require the student to complete any additional courses to fulfill general education requirements.  A student who transfers under a statewide degree transfer agreement may be required to complete lower-division courses that are part of the major, but are not part of the statewide degree transfer agreement, if taking the courses does not require the transfer student to take more total credit hours to receive the degree than a native student and does not extend the total time required to receive the degree beyond that required for a native student.  A state institution of higher education that requires a student who transfers under a statewide degree transfer agreement to take any courses beyond the courses authorized pursuant to this subsection (7)(b)(II) is responsible for the total cost of tuition, without participation by the student in the college opportunity fund program pursuant to part 2 of article 18 of this title 23, for any credit hours that exceed the total credit hours required for a native student or that extend the total time to receive the degree beyond that required for a native student.  All credit hours of acceptable course work completed by a student who holds an associate of applied science degree that is the subject of a statewide degree transfer agreement and who transfers from the state institution of higher education that awarded the associate degree to a state four-year institution of higher education shall be applicable only to a bachelor of applied science degree program, except for courses that are subject to transfer pursuant to other transfer agreements.

(B) Nothing in subsection (7)(b)(II)(A) of this section alters, amends, creates, or imposes new requirements for statewide degree transfer agreements in effect prior to August 8, 2018.

(c)(I) Beginning July 1, 2010, the commission, in collaboration with the governing boards and the council convened pursuant to section 23-1-108.5(3)(a) , shall negotiate statewide degree transfer agreements and shall ensure that there are at least four statewide degree transfer agreements in place no later than July 1, 2012, and that, by no later than July 1, 2016, there are a total of at least fourteen statewide degree transfer agreements.

(II) The governing boards shall recommend to the commission the degree programs that would be most appropriate for statewide degree transfer agreements based on student demand and the workforce needs of the state.

(d) The existence of statewide degree transfer agreements does not preclude or restrict a state institution of higher education from awarding nontransfer associate of arts or associate of science degrees, applied associate degrees, or general liberal arts associate of arts or associate of science degrees.

(e) Nothing in this subsection (7) shall be construed to:

(I) Prevent or otherwise interfere with the ability of a state institution of higher education to fulfill its statutory role and mission;

(II) Prohibit one or more state institutions of higher education from entering into memoranda of understanding for the transfer of degrees among the agreeing institutions;

(III) Impair any memoranda of understanding between or among institutions of higher education in effect prior to August 11, 2010;  or

(IV) Require the transfer of course credits earned during or applicable to a student's junior or senior year.

(f) On or before October 1, 1993, the commission shall establish and enforce student transfer agreements between degree programs offered on the same campus or within the same institutional system.  Governing boards and state institutions of higher education shall implement the agreements and commission policies relating to the agreements.  In accordance with the provisions of section 23-5-122 , the agreements shall provide that:

(I) If, not more than ten years prior to transferring into an undergraduate degree program, a student earns credit hours that are required for graduation from the undergraduate degree program, the credit hours shall apply to the completion of the student's graduation requirements from the undergraduate degree program following the transfer;

(II) A student who transfers into an undergraduate degree program shall not be required to complete a greater number of credit hours in those courses that are required for graduation from the undergraduate degree program than are required of students who began in the undergraduate degree program, nor shall there be any minimum number of credit hours required post-transfer other than the normal degree requirements for nontransferring students;  and

(III) The grade point average that is required for a student to apply for and be fully considered for transfer into an undergraduate degree program shall be no higher than that which is required for graduation from the undergraduate degree program.

(g) As used in this subsection (7), unless the context otherwise requires:

(I) “Native student” means a student who begins and completes an undergraduate degree program at a single state institution of higher education.

(II) “State institution of higher education” means a public postsecondary institution that is governed by:

(A) The board of governors of the Colorado state university system;

(B) The board of regents of the university of Colorado;

(C) The board of trustees of the Colorado school of mines;

(D) The board of trustees of the university of northern Colorado;

(E) The board of trustees of Adams state university;

(F) The board of trustees of Western state Colorado university;

(G) The board of trustees of Colorado Mesa university;

(H) The board of trustees for Fort Lewis college;

(I) The board of trustees for Metropolitan state university of Denver;

(J) The state board for community colleges and occupational education;  or

(K) The board of trustees of a local college district organized pursuant to article 71 of this title.

(III) “Statewide degree transfer agreement” means an agreement among all of the state institutions of higher education for the transfer of an associate of arts or an associate of science degree.  A statewide degree transfer agreement applies to common degree programs and specifies the common terms, conditions, and expectations for students enrolled in statewide degree transfer programs.

(8) The commission shall prescribe uniform academic reporting policies and procedures to which the governing boards and their institutions shall adhere.

(9) The state-supported institutions of higher education shall provide the commission with such data as the commission deems necessary upon its formal request, including but not limited to any data requested pursuant to subsection (1.7) of this section.  Data for individual students or personnel shall not be divulged or made known in any way by the director of the commission or by any commission employee, except in accordance with judicial order or as otherwise provided by law.  Any person who violates this subsection (9) commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S .  Such person shall, in addition thereto, be subject to removal or dismissal from public service on grounds of malfeasance in office.

(10) The commission may enter, on behalf of the state of Colorado, into agreements with another state or with the western interstate commission for higher education on behalf of another state for the granting of full or partial waivers of the nonresident tuition to residents of such other states who are postgraduate or professional students at or are eligible for admission as postgraduate students to any of the state-supported institutions of higher education in Colorado if the agreement provides that, under substantially the same circumstances, such other state will grant reciprocal waivers to residents of Colorado who are postgraduate or professional students of universities or colleges in such other states.  The commission, in consultation with the affected Colorado institutions, shall establish regulations governing the administration of agreements and the granting of waivers.  In 1996 and in each subsequent even-numbered year, the commission shall report to the governor and the general assembly on these programs.

(12)(a) The commission shall establish fee policies based on institutional role and mission, and the governing boards shall set fees consistent with such policies.

(b) For fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2016, the commission shall establish tuition policies based on institutional role and mission, and the governing boards shall set tuition consistent with said policies.

(13)(a) It is the intent of the general assembly that academic degree programs at state-supported institutions of higher education be designed and implemented to assure and emphasize that undergraduate students have the maximum range of opportunities and assistance to complete their course of study and obtain their degree in a reasonable amount of time.  The general assembly therefore directs the commission, within existing resources, to implement and revise appropriate policies, including financial incentives, to assure that students at state-supported institutions of higher education complete their academic degree programs in the most efficient, effective, and productive manner.  The policy implementation and review shall include:

(I) Academic advising and counseling at such institutions and consideration of methods for the improvement of early and continuous availability of such academic advising and counseling in order to assist students with the completion of degree programs;

(II) The frequency and availability of courses essential to completion of degree programs at such institutions and evaluation of what changes may be necessary to assure that the course scheduling for degree programs by such institutions maximizes the opportunities for students to complete their course of study efficiently, effectively, and productively;

(III) Measures for minimizing and eliminating the restrictions against automatic transfer of credit hours of acceptable course work between such institutions and whether the provisions of transfer agreements between two-year and four-year institutions and among four-year institutions entered into pursuant to subsection (7) of this section are directed at easing such transfer restrictions;

(IV) Methods for minimizing the loss of credit hours when a student changes degree programs at such institution and assurance that such credit hours are transferred or substituted for appropriate course work in the other degree program;

(V) The review of possible solutions for access of nontraditional and part-time students to complete programs within the student's time frame goals;

(VI) What effect, if any, the reduction of degree programs would have on the increased availability of classes within existing degree programs;

(VII) What effect increases in educational costs may have on the average length of time for a student to complete a degree program;  and

(VIII) The implementation of core curricula as a measure for assisting students to graduate.

(14) Pursuant to section 23-18-201(2) , the commission shall negotiate performance contracts with private institutions of higher education that participate in the college opportunity fund program.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 23. Postsecondary Education § 23-1-108. Duties and powers of the commission with regard to systemwide planning--reporting--definitions - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-23-postsecondary-education/co-rev-st-sect-23-1-108.html


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