Gov. Jay Nixon today signed a bill containing several provisions to help more Missourians attain a post-secondary degree. The Governor said House Bill 1042 fits with his goal of increasing the percentage of working-age adults in Missouri with those degrees from the current level of 35 percent to 60 percent by 2020. He signed copies of the legislation during a ceremony at a higher education forum in Columbia that was attended by higher education and university officials from across the state.
"House Bill 1042 will remove many of the obstacles that block the route to degree attainment for hundreds of thousands of Missourians," Gov. Nixon said. "It will improve remediation, align curriculum from high school to college, improve course transfer across higher education institutions, and help additional students who have received enough credits for an associate's degree get that credential."
House Bill 1042 was sponsored by Rep. Mike Thomson, of Maryville, and handled in the Senate by Sen. David Pearce, of Warrensburg. Among its provisions to help with degree attainment, the bill authorizes the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to:
- Require all two- and four-year public institutions to create a core of at least 25 undergraduate courses by July 1, 2014, that are transferable among all public institutions; and
- Develop a reverse transfer policy among two- and four-year public institutions that will enable students who have accumulated sufficient credit (in combination from those institutions) to earn an associate degree from a two-year college. The Governor said the legislation could help some 750,000 Missourians with some college credits continue in school, complete their coursework, and earn their degrees.
"This important legislation comes at a critical time," Gov. Nixon said. "By 2018, nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the United States will require some kind of post-secondary education. Higher education is the key to Missouri's sustained economic progress and quality of life, and essential to our nation's ability to compete and win in a global economy. Any Missouri student who works hard and wants to attend college should have that opportunity."