Higher Education Transparency Act

Higher Education Transparency Act

Summary

This act details information required of institutions of higher education to publish on their public website.

Model Legislation

AN ACT relating to requiring a public institution of higher education to establish uniform standards to make certain information available on the Internet.

Be it enacted by the legislature of [STATE]:

Section 1. {Internet Access to Course Information.}

(A) Each institution of higher education, other than a medical and dental unit, as defined by [STATE], shall make available to the public on the institution’s Internet website the following information for each undergraduate classroom course offered for credit by the institution:

(1) A syllabus that:

(a) Satisfies all relevant academic standards adopted by the institution;

(b) Provides a brief description of each major course requirement, including each major assignment and examination;

(c) Lists all required or recommended reading;

(d) Provides a general description of the subject matter of each lecture or discussion; and

(e) Lists all guest lecturers, special presentations, and any assigned out-of-class activities.

(2) A curriculum vitae of each regular instructor that lists the instructor’s:

(a) Postsecondary education;

(b) Teaching experience; and

(c) Significant professional publications;

(d) Professional experience relevant to the course

(3) If available, a departmental budget report for the department under which the course is offered, from the most recent semester or other academic term during which the institution offered the course, showing operational expenses. In addition, the institution will make available the total cost of the course to the student, including, but not limited to, the cost of books, equipment, and required out of class activities.

(4) The distribution of final grades in the course for the most recent semester in which it was offered. To protect student privacy, in cases of classes with an enrollment of less than 10 students, grade distribution shall not be made available on this website.

(5) A curriculum vitae made available on the institution’s Internet website under Section (1) may not include any personal information, including the instructor’s home address or home telephone number.

(6) The information required by must be:

(a) accessible from the institution’s Internet website home page by use of not more than three links;

(b) searchable by keywords and phrases; and

(c) accessible to the public without requiring registration or use of a user name, a password, or another user identification.

(7) The institution shall make the information required by Subsection (a) available not later than the seventh day after the first day of classes for the semester or other academic term during which the course is offered. The institution shall continue to make the information available on the institution’s Internet website until at least the second anniversary of the date on which the institution initially posted the information.

(8) The institution shall update the information required by Section 1 as soon as practicable after the information changes.

(9) The governing body of the institution shall designate an administrator to be responsible for ensuring implementation of this section. The administrator may assign duties under this section to one or more administrative employees.

(10) Not later than January 1 of each odd-numbered year, each institution of higher education shall submit a written report regarding the institution’s compliance with this section to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the presiding officer of each legislative standing committee with primary jurisdiction over higher education.

(11) [As applicable, the [state] Coordinating Board may adopt rules necessary to administer this section].

Section 2. [Insert appropriate reference]Education Code, as added by this Act, applies beginning with the [year] fall semester.

Section 3. {Severability clause.}

Section 4. {Repealer clause.}

Section 5. {Effective Date.} This Act takes effect immediately.

Endnotes:

A bill containing these provisions and more, H.B. No. 2504, was passed by the Texas House on May 8, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 138, Nays 0, 2 present, not voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B. No. 2504 on May 29, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 143, Nays 0, 1 present, not voting. H.B. No. 2504 was passed by the Senate, with amendments, on May 27, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

Approved by the ALEC Legislative Board of Directors, June 6, 2011.

Keyword Tags: Higher Education