Transferring schools might get easier

Posted on January 28, 2010

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Originally published Arizona Daily Wildcat 1/28/10

If passed, a bill presented Wednesday at the Arizona Senate would require state community colleges and universities to standardize the names and course numbers of 100- and 200-level classes to ease registration for students who transfer within the state.

Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler, state senate education chairman and chairman of the Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee introduced SB 1186.

He explained the purpose was to make transferring credits for approved equivalent courses easier between community and university campuses.

“You have thousands of courses and some of them are pretty straightforward,” Huppenthal said. He added that the idea that calculus at UA is different than calculus at ASU is ridiculous.

Huppenthal credited the Arizona Students Association for helping draft the legislation.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a decade and a half,” he said. “(But the Arizona Students Association) had a lot of the work done in advance.”

Ben Henderson, member of the ASA Board of Directors, hopes the bill will pass through to the Senate without problems.

“We noticed that students have had a lot of trouble transferring their credits. I think we’re expecting a smooth ride the whole way through,” said Henderson. “Whenever they need a student opinion we’ll be right there to give it.”

Henderson was at the capitol in Phoenix for the Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee’s decision. “We’re all really excited about how smoothly it went. The vote was 7-0,” he said.

The bill still has the journey through the caucus and then back to committee before it goes to the floor of the Senate, but Huppenthal said he expects it to do well. “It’s just a phenomenal idea, the question is nothing is ever simple,” he added.

Henderson, an ASU student, said the only questions raised by the senators were about how to implement the specifics.

Huppenthal is running for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.  If elected to the position, he will also sit as an ex-officio member on the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs education policy and cost.

“Taking unnecessary classes that don’t help to get your degree is an incredible waste. I think establishing this will be healthy. It may need some follow-up legislation,” he said.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona South President Andres Gabaldon said that SB 1186 will greatly help students on the non-traditional college path.

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