BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 386
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 386 (Levine)
          As Amended  September 3, 2013
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |77-0 |(May 30, 2013)  |SENATE: |38-0 |(September 9,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    HIGHER ED. 
           
           SUMMARY  :  Expresses the intent of the Legislature that by the  
          beginning of the 2015-16 academic year, students enrolled at the  
          California State University (CSU) be provided an opportunity to  
          enroll in online courses available at other CSU campuses, and  
          that on or before January 1, 2015, for purposes of measuring the  
          effectiveness of online education, the Trustees of the CSU shall  
          establish a series of uniform definitions for online education;  
          authorizes any CSU student enrolled at a CSU campus to enroll in  
          an online course provided by another CSU campus; requires the  
          CSU Trustees, on or before January 1, 2015, to establish an  
          easily accessible online database of online courses available at  
          the CSU; states that the CSU Trustees, on or before January 1,  
          2017, report to the Legislature on performance data on online  
          courses as specified; and, states that on or before October 1,  
          2017, the Legislative Analyst submit a status update to the  
          Legislature regarding CSU's implementation of the measure as  
          specified.

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Specify that the CSU shall use moneys appropriated in Item  
            6610-001-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2013 (AB  
            110 (Blumenfield), Chapter 20, Statutes of 2013) for one-time  
            startup costs related to specified sections of the bill.

          2)Make clarifying and technical changes.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Establishes the California Distance Learning Policy, which  
            sets forth the guiding goals and principles for the  
            utilization of technology in California postsecondary  
            education (Education Code (EC) Section 66940).








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          2)Establishes, until January 1, 2014, the California Virtual  
            Campus, under the stewardship of the California Community  
            Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors and pursuant to annual  
            Budget Act funding to, among other things, enhance the  
            awareness of, and access to, highly engaging online courses of  
            study, increase access to next generation Internet services,  
            21st century workforce development programs, and e-government  
            services for students and staff served or employed by  
            education entities and students served primarily online  
            through partnerships with public libraries and community-based  
            organizations (EC Section 78910.10).

          3)Allows any student enrolled in any campus of the three public  
            segments (University of California, CSU or CCC) who meet  
            certain criteria, to enroll without formal admission to any of  
            the segments, with certain specified conditions (EC Section  
            66750 et seq.).

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, the fiscal impact associated with this measure  
          entails the following:  1)  Cross-enrollment system:  The CSU  
          estimates that establishing a cross-enrollment system that meets  
          the requirements of this bill will cost $1,090,000 over two  
          years.  Annual operational costs would be approximately  
          $250,000, primarily to maintain the course database, enrollment  
          system, and transcript integration (for grading); 2) Authority  
          to cross-enroll:  Once the system is established, the authority  
          for students to cross-enroll is unlikely to result in  
          significant costs to the CSU.  Individual campuses will have the  
          authority to charge registration fees to students who  
          cross-enroll which should mitigate any administrative costs;  
          and, 3) Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) report:  Potentially  
          significant workload to produce two required reports.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, the CSU is a leading  
          institution in online education; currently offering more than  
          13,300 fully online or hybrid courses.  Within the CSU there is  
          tremendous potential for increased access through  
          cross-enrollment in online courses.  This bill will provide  
          students matriculated at any CSU campus with a streamlined point  
          of access to online courses provided by any of the 23 CSU  
          campuses.

          According to the LAO 2013-14 Analysis of the Higher Education  








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          Budget, distance learning offers numerous benefits.  These  
          include providing greater access to educational and training  
          opportunities due to increased scheduling flexibility, as well  
          as allowing campuses to serve more students without needing  
          additional physical infrastructure.  According to the, LAO there  
          is no common definition of distance learning among California's  
          public postsecondary institutions, making it impossible for the  
          Legislature and segments to measure workload and track  
          enrollment trends.  

          Online education at the CSU.  Launched in January 2013, CSU  
          Online is the newest platform of services that supports students  
          and faculty in teaching and learning through online programs.   
          CSU Online will host both graduate and undergraduate programs,  
          but has an initial focus on former students who have had to drop  
          out of the CSU and are looking to complete their degrees.

          Previous legislation.  Several online education related measures  
          have been introduced in the last couple of years; most of them  
          were held on the Suspense Files in the Assembly and Senate  
          Appropriations Committees.

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960 


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