BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                           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  





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               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  





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               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  





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                    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.