SB335/HB688 sponsored by Senator Dolores Gresham and Rep. Mark White ensures that Tennessee’s state authorization statutes align with federal requirements while maintaining the independence of TICUA member campuses. Current law and rules provide for TICUA’s main campuses to be authorized yet exempt from regulatory oversight but failed to address satellite campus locations.
This fall the Tennessee Higher Education Commission staff drafted legislative language to link TICUA’s primary campuses with their satellite locations. Once passed, all primary and satellite TICUA campuses will be authorized and exempt from regulatory oversight.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate Education Commission this past Wednesday and is on the House Higher Education Subcommittee calendar for next Tuesday.
Lee’s GIVE Initiative Seeks to Expand Vocational Dual Enrollment
Governor Bill Lee’s office recently announced the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education or GIVE initiative. The goal of the initiative is to expand dual enrollment offerings to students taking courses in high-demand vocational training areas.
“I believe that expanding our vocational and technical offerings will be transformational for Tennesseans and the future of our state,” said Lee in a statement. “We have the opportunity to help students discover quality career paths and gain skills that are needed right now in the workforce by emphasizing career and technical education.”
The GIVE initiative will expand dual enrollment and utilize regional partnerships to develop work-based experiential learning in technical fields. GIVE Community Grants will be used to better equip local business to engage students and prepare the workforce.
The GIVE Initiative legislation is being carried by Senator Jack Johnson and Rep. William Lamberth. The bill numbers are SB805/HB949.
Lawmakers Eye Dual Enrollment
Members of the 111th General Assembly have filed several bills focused on expanding Dual Enrollment in Tennessee. Whereas, Governor Bill Lee has proposed dual enrollment expansion for technical courses through the GIVE Initiative, other members are proposing expanding it for all students. Some bills call for increased funding per course, but most however, call for funding more courses. Currently, the Dual Enrollment grants fund two courses at $500 each with $200 toward a third course for a total of $1,200. It is anticipated that the Senate and House Education Committees will begin working through these proposals in the coming weeks.
Housing Options Sought for STEP-UP Students
Several years ago, the General Assembly passed a bill creating the STEP-UP scholarship, which provides student aid for students with intellectual disabilities who have completed high school. The funding was provided to a select number of universities who are committed to serving this student population by teaching them fundamental life skills resulting in a non-degree certificate. TICUA has three member institutions participating in the program, Vanderbilt University, Lee University, and Lipscomb University.
Most of the course offerings are day-courses where students commute to campus to take advantage of the programs. Senator Becky Massey and Rep. Rick Staples are sponsoring a bill (SB516/HB586) which would require campuses to offer housing arrangements for students qualifying for STEP-UP. Senator Massey is wanting to ensure that students cannot be denied admission to the program if housing is needed to participate. It is unlikely that funding will be provided to assist with the additional cost.
Western Governors University Seeks Hope Scholarship Aid
Senator Mike Bell is sponsoring a bill which would allow students attending the Western Governor’s University (WGU) to be eligible for the lottery funded Hope Scholarship. Rep. Chris Hurt is sponsoring the measure in the House (SB441/HB497).
In 2013, Governor Bill Haslam provided a $5 million grant to create WGU-Tennessee and it was understood that students attending WGU will not be eligible for lottery funded student aid. The official memorandum between the State of Tennessee and WGU indicates that students attending the online competency-based university would only be eligible for Tennessee Student Assistance Award. There was no mention of gaining future eligibility for the Hope Scholarship Program.
TICUA 63rd Annual Meeting February 19 and 20
“New Leadership – New Opportunities” is the theme of the upcoming TICUA 63rd Annual Meeting to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 19 and 20, 2019. This year’s meeting provides member presidents with an opportunity to discuss key policy issues facing TICUA member institutions such as the impact of the recent elections, reauthorization of HEA, free public universities, the completion agenda, student aid, and other important topics. The meeting will be held in the law offices of Waller LLP located in Suite 2700 of the Nashville City Center, 511 Union Street.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
8:30 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 am Welcome and Introductions
9:15 am Legal Update – Waller, LLP
10:15 am Federal and State Policy Update
11:00 am House and Senate Ed. Chairs, Rep. Mark White and Sen. Dolores Gresham
12:00 pm Senate Finance Chair Bo Watson
12:30pm Lunch break
1:15 pm House Finance Chair Susan Lynn
1:45 pm Business meeting
2:45 pm House and Senate Speakers, Rep. Glen Casada and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally
3:15 pm THEC ED Mike Krause and TNDOE Comm. Penny Schwinn
4:15 pm Governor Bill Lee
5:15 pm TICUA Legislative Reception
6:45 pm Networking Dinner
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
8:00 amBreakfast and Conversation
9:00 amNetworking with Colleagues - *Presidents only.
The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) engages Tennessee’s private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens.
Tennessee Independent Colleges
and Universities Association
555 Marriott Dr.
Nashville, TN 37214