BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:               AB 968             
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          |Author:     |Williams                                             |
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          |Version:    |February 26, 2015                      Hearing Date: |
          |            |     July 8, 2015                                    |
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          |Urgency:    |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes            |
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          |Consultant: |Kathleen Chavira                                     |
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          Subject:  Postsecondary education:  transcripts

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the governing boards of California's public  
          and private postsecondary education institutions to indicate  
          that a student has been suspended or expelled from the  
          institution on the student's transcript for the time period of  
          the student's ineligibility to enroll.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law requires the University of California (UC) Regents,  
          the California State University (CSU) Trustees, and the  
          governing board of every Community College District (CCD) to  
          adopt specific rules governing student behavior and applicable  
          penalties for violations of the rules; as well as the adoption  
          of procedures by which students are informed of such rules and  
          applicable penalties.  
          (Education Code  66300)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill:

       1)Requires the governing boards of each CCD, the CSU Trustees, the  
            UC Regents, and the governing board of each independent and  
            private postsecondary educational institution to indicate on a  
            student's transcript that the student is ineligible to enroll  
            due to suspension or expulsion for the time period of the  
            student's ineligibility.







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       2)Makes findings and declarations about the differences in policies  
            and practices relative to the notation of disciplinary  
            dismissals on student transcripts, the risk this may create  
            for the institution and student, and specific reference to  
            violations related to the commission of a sexual assault. 

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Need for the bill.  According to the author, ensuring  
            communication between campuses is a vital step to providing a  
            safe learning environment for students. This bill would create  
            a standard and ensure consistency between postsecondary  
            education segments so that a receiving institution can  
            determine whether a background check of a potential transfer  
            student is necessary prior to enrollment. 

       2)Current practice.  According to a recent survey by the American  
            Association of Collegiate Registrar's and Admissions Officers,  
            most institutions (84 percent) make transcript notations when  
            a student is ineligible to re-enroll for academic reasons, but  
            only a few (29 percent) note suspensions or dismissals for  
            disciplinary reasons. California's public postsecondary  
            education institutions do not currently follow a standard  
            notation method regarding suspensions and expulsions. The  
            University of California makes a general notation when a  
            student is expelled.  The California State University makes a  
            permanent general notation if the student is expelled, or  
            suspended for one academic year or more, withdraws in lieu of  
            suspension or expulsion, or withdraws pending misconduct  
            investigations or disciplinary proceedings.  The community  
            colleges report that they provide for a notation on the  
            transcript if a student was expelled for academic reasons, but  
            that there is no standard for notations for students expelled  
            for reasons other than academic deficiencies.  This bill would  
            require all California institutions, public and private, to  
            indicate when a student is ineligible to re-enroll due to  
            suspension or expulsion on the student's transcript for the  
            period of time the student is ineligible to re-enroll.  

       3)Community Colleges.  Current law provides that any community  
            college district (CCD) that receives an application for  
            admission from an individual who has been expelled from, or  
            who is undergoing expulsion proceedings in, another district  








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            for any of a number of specified offenses may deny, permit, or  
            permit conditionally, the enrollment of the student.  The  
            district must first hold a hearing, as specified, to determine  
            whether the individual poses a continuing danger to the  
            district's students and employees. Current law also requires a  
            formal appeal process be established for any student denied  
            enrollment under these provisions.  

            This bill would require notation of the student's suspension  
            or expulsion on the transcript regardless of the reason.  A  
            suspended student would only have such noted on their  
            transcript for the period of the suspension.  An expelled  
            student attempting to transfer to another community college  
            may already be required to disclose the expulsion, but would  
            be entitled to a hearing and appeal process if denied  
            enrollment.  It does not appear that the provisions of this  
            bill would require disclosure of the reason for  
            expulsion/suspension on the transcript. 

       4)National guidelines.  The Association for Student Conduct  
            Administration (ASCA), a national membership based  
            organization that provides education and resources to  
            facilitate best practices of student conduct administration  
            and conflict resolution on college campuses, recommends that  
            all institutions place an appropriate notation on an academic  
            transcript to indicate when a student is ineligible to  
            re-enroll at that institution as a consequence of disciplinary  
            action.  

            ASCA notes that transcript notations are important, but will  
            not be effective at reducing the risk of violence to a campus  
            absent a comprehensive approach to admissions, review of  
            information, and appropriate action based on that review.   
            ASCA also recommends that institutions:

             a)   Ask key questions to solicit information about a  
               potential student's conduct and/or criminal history prior  
               to being admitted to the institution;  

             b)   Have systemic ways to review and utilize this  
               information in relevant admission decisions, as well as to  
               promote individual student success and safer campus  
               communities; 









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             c)   Develop and communicate procedures explaining the  
               notation, duration of notation, and retention and release  
               of records; and, 

             d)   Communicate these practices to students through their  
               appropriate institutional privacy or other record policies,  
               including via website to current and prospective students.

            SUPPORT
          
          California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
          California Federation of Teachers
          California State Student Association
          California State University
          University of California

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received. 

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