Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bye-bye HEC, hello SAC

Photo credit:  University of Washington
In an effort to turn out more college grads in Washington state and bring about other improvements in higher education, the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board will give way at the end of the month to a new oversight organization, the Student Achievement Council.
The council was created in the 2012 legislative session by House Bill 2483, sponsored by House Higher Education Committee Chair Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor. That bill followed up on Senate Bill 5182, passed in 2011, which abolished the HECB. The “HEC Board” has been around since 1985.
Critics of the board said it was too passive and its mission too vague. The new council is expected to focus more intently on increasing student success, including the earning of more college degrees or postsecondary certificates. To do that, it will recommend goals to the Legislature and governor, identify potential resources to tap and encourage promising innovations.
The council will be made up of nine members appointed by the governor, including one nominated by the presidents of the four-year public universities, one from the community and technical college system, one from the state K-12 superintendent’s office, one from the state’s private colleges, a student and four from the general citizenry.
The 2012 bill also sets up a joint legislative committee on higher education to review the council’s work and suggest legislation.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.