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  • NJ A4689
  • Requires four-year institutions of higher education to offer accelerated three-year baccalaureate degree programs.
Introduced
(3/16/2017)
In Committee
(3/16/2017)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill requires four-year institutions of higher education to offer accelerated baccalaureate degree programs that students can complete in three years. The bill directs each four-year institution to offer a three-year degree option in designated majors that the institution determines are well-suited for an accelerated three-year program. Under the bill, a three-year baccalaureate degree program must: (1) establish eligibility criteria for students who wish to participate; (2) require a student to complete the same number of credits and other academic requirements as are required for the four-year program in that major; (3) require a student to take courses during the summer for two consecutive summers, except that a student will be permitted to opt out of this requirement if he can demonstrate that he is able to meet the degree requirements without taking courses in one or both of the summer sessions; (4) guarantee a student the availability of courses needed to complete the degree in three years; and (5) ensure that any internship requirements for the degree program are incorporated into the accelerated three-year framework. In addition, a four-year institution of higher education will offer support resources, such as advising and academic supports, to assist students in the successful completion of an accelerated three-year baccalaureate degree program. The bill provides an exemption from the requirement to offer a three-year degree program for: (1) four-year institutions of higher education that offer three or fewer undergraduate degree programs; and (2) four-year institutions of higher education that do not operate a summer session. The Secretary of Higher Education, however, will take appropriate action to encourage these institutions to implement three-year degree programs. The bill specifies that a student who participates in a three-year baccalaureate degree program may utilize financial aid from any State-funded financial aid programs for which the student is eligible, including the Tuition Aid Grant Program and the Educational Opportunity Fund, toward the costs of tuition and housing for the summer sessions. Under the bill, a four-year institution of higher education is required to submit a report to the Secretary of Higher Education by January 1, 2018. The report must identify the majors for which the institution has determined to offer an accelerated three-year baccalaureate degree program and include information regarding the anticipated financial impact of the three-year programs on the institution. The bill requires four-year institutions of higher education to offer three-year degree programs by the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. However, if an institution, based on financial concerns, is not prepared to offer a three-year program by that date, the institution's report to the secretary may contain a petition for an extension. An extension petition must include information demonstrating that launching a three-year program by the 2020-2021 academic year would have a significant and cost-prohibitive financial impact on the institution, and that the institution has made a good faith effort to identify majors that are well-suited for a three-year degree program. The extension petition will also include an implementation plan that comports with the petition for an extension. Based on the submitted information, the secretary within 90 days will determine, on a case by case basis, whether it is reasonable for the institution to offer a three-year degree program by the 2020-2021 academic year. If the secretary determines that the institution needs more time, the secretary will provide an extension in one-year increments with a maximum extension of three years.
Not specified
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee  (on 3/16/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
3/16/2017 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified