BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Carol Liu, Chair 2013-2014 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 1025 AUTHOR: Garcia AMENDED: March 21, 2013 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: June 5, 2013 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Kathleen Chavira SUBJECT : Credit by examination. SUMMARY This bill requires the California Community Colleges (CCC) and the California State University (CSU) to provide information about credit by examination opportunities wherever course and class information is available and requests the University of California (UC) comply with these same requirements. BACKGROUND Current law authorizes the UC Regents as the governing body of the UC and grants authority to the Regents to determine final policies and procedures on behalf of the UC. (Education Code § 92020 and § 92430) Current law establishes the CSU Board of Trustees (BOT) as the governing body of the CSU and specifies the BOT's power, duties and functions with respect to the management, administration, and control of the CSU. (EC § 66600 and § 66606). Current law authorizes the governing board of each CCC district to adopt policies and procedures pertaining to credit by examination and allows for the governing board of the CCC district to grant credit to any student who satisfactorily passes an examination approved or conducted by proper authorities of the college. (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, 55050) ANALYSIS This bill : 1) Requires the CCC and the CSU to provide information about AB 1025 Page 2 credit by examination opportunities wherever course and class information is available 2) Request the UC to provide information about credit by examination opportunities wherever course and class information is available 3) Identifies mandated costs. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Need for the bill . According to the author, many students are not aware that credit by examination is an option or how to utilize it. The author contends that, with budget cuts, it is difficult to see a counselor (who might otherwise be the source of such information) in a timely manner. The author also contends that the amount and level of detail of information on credit by examination posted and made available by the institutions varies from school to school. 2) Credit by examination . A variety of credit by examination tests are used and accepted by the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC). Credit by examination tests are comprised of campus-originated challenge examinations (differentiated from placement examinations) and the standardized external examinations, such as Advance Placement (AP) tests, International Baccalaureate (IB) and College Level Entrance Program (CLEP). AP and IB exams are taken by high school pupils who were enrolled in AP and IB classes in high school. A recent research brief by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), found that underserved students who earn credit through prior learning assessments have higher degree to completion rates and shorter time-to-degree. CAEL also found that there is a financial savings benefit for low-income students who take and successfully pass credit by examination tests, since the cost of having prior learning evaluated for credit is typically less than the cost of the tuition for the same number of credit hours. 3) Current status . The UC, CSU, and CCC already appear to have policies and procedures in place to ensure students AB 1025 Page 3 have multiple ways of receiving all the information they need regarding credit by examination. a) University of California: The UC admissions website lists all of the UC accepted credit by examination options. Additionally, according to the UC Office of the President, UC confers regularly with high school guidance counselors regarding the UC admissions policies, including credit by examination. The UC admissions directors and staff at each campus regularly attend college fairs on high school and CCC campuses and speak at a variety of other venues to address questions from prospective students including credit by examination. b) California State University: In 2010, the Academic Senate of the CSU unanimously endorsed a policy providing guidelines for the use of CLEP examinations as the basis for awarding general education credit. This policy applies to CSU students and to those planning to transfer to a CSU campus. The CSU provided their guidelines to the CCC whose students transfer to the CSU; the guidelines inform the CCC students how to apply CLEP examinations toward certifications of general education requirements prior to transfer. Additionally, the CSU partnered with the College Board (administers of the CLEP examinations) to ensure students are made aware of their CLEP options. According to the California State University (CSU) and the College Board, students are made aware of their College Level Entrance Program (CLEP) examination options in a number of ways, including, via faculty and advisers, admissions office, adult and/or veterans office, registrar's office and campus testing centers. Additionally, the CSU has posted their CLEP policies on their website and have included their credit by exam policies in their catalogs and other publications for students and parents. c) California Community Colleges: The Academic Senate for the CCC endorsed their newest policy providing guidelines for the use of CLEP examinations as the basis for awarding general education credit in June of 2011. The Academic AB 1025 Page 4 Senate's policy is very similar to that of the CSU. Additionally, according to a January 2013 credit by examination survey performed by the CCC Chancellor's Office and completed by 74 CCC campuses, every college expressed they have credit by examination policies and procedures clearly defined and relayed to their students. The respondents also stated that their college credit by examination policies and procedures are listed in all course catalogs and on their websites. 4) Mandated costs . Legislative counsel has identified mandated costs, likely as a result of the provisions requiring that community colleges provide information about credit by examination opportunities, as specified. To the extent that community colleges already do this, these provisions could result in the state subsidizing costs for activities that are already being undertaken. SUPPORT None received. OPPOSITION None received.