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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 33
Site-determined baccalaureate degree access.
F.S. 1007.33
1007.33 Site-determined baccalaureate degree access.
(1)(a) The Legislature recognizes that public and private postsecondary educational institutions play an essential role in improving the quality of life and economic well-being of the state and its residents. The Legislature also recognizes that economic development needs and the educational needs of place-bound, nontraditional students have increased the demand for local access to baccalaureate degree programs. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to further expand access to baccalaureate degree programs through the use of Florida College System institutions.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term “district” refers to the county or counties served by a Florida College System institution pursuant to s. 1000.21(3).
(2) Any Florida College System institution that offers one or more baccalaureate degree programs must:
(a) Maintain as its primary mission:
1. Responsibility for responding to community needs for postsecondary academic education and career degree education as prescribed in s. 1004.65(5).
2. The provision of associate degrees that provide access to a university.
(b) Maintain an open-door admission policy for associate-level degree programs and workforce education programs.
(c) Continue to provide outreach to underserved populations.
(d) Continue to provide remedial education.
(e) Comply with all provisions of the statewide articulation agreement which relate to 2-year and 4-year public degree-granting institutions as adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to s. 1007.23.
(f) Not award graduate credit.
(g) Not participate in intercollegiate athletics beyond the 2-year level.
(3) A Florida College System institution may not terminate its associate in arts or associate in science degree programs as a result of being authorized to offer one or more baccalaureate degree programs. The Legislature intends that the primary responsibility of a Florida College System institution, including a Florida College System institution that offers baccalaureate degree programs, continues to be the provision of associate degrees that provide access to a university.
(4) A Florida College System institution may:
(a) Offer specified baccalaureate degree programs through formal agreements between the Florida College System institution and other regionally accredited postsecondary educational institutions pursuant to s. 1007.22.
(b) Offer baccalaureate degree programs that were authorized by law prior to July 1, 2009.
(c) Beginning July 1, 2009, establish a first or subsequent baccalaureate degree program for purposes of meeting district, regional, or statewide workforce needs if approved by the State Board of Education under this section.

Beginning July 1, 2009, the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College is authorized to establish one or more bachelor of applied science degree programs based on an analysis of workforce needs in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando Counties and other counties approved by the Department of Education. For each program selected, St. Petersburg College must offer a related associate in science or associate in applied science degree program, and the baccalaureate degree level program must be designed to articulate fully with at least one associate in science degree program. The college is encouraged to develop articulation agreements for enrollment of graduates of related associate in applied science degree programs. The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College is authorized to establish additional baccalaureate degree programs if it determines a program is warranted and feasible based on each of the factors in paragraph (5)(d). However, the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College may not establish any new baccalaureate degree programs from March 31, 2014, through May 31, 2015. Prior to developing or proposing a new baccalaureate degree program, St. Petersburg College shall engage in need, demand, and impact discussions with the state university in its service district and other local and regional, accredited postsecondary providers in its region. Documentation, data, and other information from inter-institutional discussions regarding program need, demand, and impact shall be provided to the college’s board of trustees to inform the program approval process. Employment at St. Petersburg College is governed by the same laws that govern Florida College System institutions, except that upper-division faculty are eligible for continuing contracts upon the completion of the fifth year of teaching. Employee records for all personnel shall be maintained as required by s. 1012.81.

(5) The approval process for baccalaureate degree programs shall require:
(a) Each Florida College System institution to submit a notice of its intent to propose a baccalaureate degree program to the Division of Florida Colleges at least 100 days before the submission of its proposal under paragraph (d). The notice must include a brief description of the program, the workforce demand and unmet need for graduates of the program to include evidence from entities independent of the institution, the geographic region to be served, and an estimated timeframe for implementation. Notices of intent may be submitted by a Florida College System institution at any time throughout the year. The notice must also include evidence that the Florida College System institution engaged in need, demand, and impact discussions with the state university and other regionally accredited postsecondary education providers in its service district.
(b) The Division of Florida Colleges to forward the notice of intent within 10 business days after receiving such notice to the Chancellor of the State University System, the President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, and the Executive Director of the Commission for Independent Education. State universities shall have 60 days following receipt of the notice by the Chancellor of the State University System to submit objections to the proposed new program or submit an alternative proposal to offer the baccalaureate degree program. If a proposal from a state university is not received within the 60-day period, the State Board of Education shall provide regionally accredited private colleges and universities 30 days to submit objections to the proposed new program or submit an alternative proposal. Objections or alternative proposals shall be submitted to the Division of Florida Colleges and must be considered by the State Board of Education in making its decision to approve or deny a Florida College System institution’s proposal.
(c) An alternative proposal submitted by a state university or private college or university to adequately address:
1. The extent to which the workforce demand and unmet need described in the notice of intent will be met.
2. The extent to which students will be able to complete the degree in the geographic region proposed to be served by the Florida College System institution.
3. The level of financial commitment of the college or university to the development, implementation, and maintenance of the specified degree program, including timelines.
4. The extent to which faculty at both the Florida College System institution and the college or university will collaborate in the development and offering of the curriculum.
5. The ability of the Florida College System institution and the college or university to develop and approve the curriculum for the specified degree program within 6 months after an agreement between the Florida College System institution and the college or university is signed.
6. The extent to which the student may incur additional costs above what the student would expect to incur if the program were offered by the Florida College System institution.
(d) Each proposal submitted by a Florida College System institution to, at a minimum, include:
1. A description of the planning process and timeline for implementation.
2. An analysis of workforce demand and unmet need for graduates of the program on a district, regional, or statewide basis, as appropriate, including evidence from entities independent of the institution.
3. Identification of the facilities, equipment, and library and academic resources that will be used to deliver the program.
4. The program cost analysis of creating a new baccalaureate degree when compared to alternative proposals and other program delivery options.
5. The program’s admission requirements, academic content, curriculum, faculty credentials, student-to-teacher ratios, and accreditation plan.
6. The program’s enrollment projections and funding requirements.
7. A plan of action if the program is terminated.
(e) The Division of Florida Colleges to review the proposal, notify the Florida College System institution of any deficiencies in writing within 30 days following receipt of the proposal, and provide the Florida College System institution with an opportunity to correct the deficiencies. Within 45 days following receipt of a completed proposal by the Division of Florida Colleges, the Commissioner of Education shall recommend approval or disapproval of the proposal to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall consider such recommendation, the proposal, and any objections or alternative proposals at its next meeting. If the State Board of Education disapproves the Florida College System institution’s proposal, it shall provide the Florida College System institution with written reasons for that determination.
(f) The Florida College System institution to obtain from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation as a baccalaureate-degree-granting institution if approved by the State Board of Education to offer its first baccalaureate degree program.
(g) The Florida College System institution to notify the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools of subsequent degree programs that are approved by the State Board of Education and to comply with the association’s required substantive change protocols for accreditation purposes.
(h) The Florida College System institution to annually, and upon request of the State Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Chancellor of the Florida College System, or the Legislature, report its status using the following performance and compliance indicators:
1. Obtaining and maintaining appropriate Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation;
2. Maintaining qualified faculty and institutional resources;
3. Maintaining enrollment in previously approved programs;
4. Managing fiscal resources appropriately;
5. Complying with the primary mission and responsibility requirements in subsections (2) and (3); and
6. Other indicators of success, including program completions, placements, and surveys of graduates and employers.

The State Board of Education, upon review of the performance and compliance indicators, may require a Florida College System institution’s board of trustees to modify or terminate a baccalaureate degree program authorized under this section.

(6) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to prescribe format and content requirements and submission procedures for notices of intent, proposals, alternative proposals, and compliance reviews under subsection (5).
History.s. 363, ch. 2002-387; s. 122, ch. 2007-217; s. 7, ch. 2007-246; s. 7, ch. 2009-228; s. 103, ch. 2011-5; s. 19, ch. 2012-134; s. 11, ch. 2012-195; s. 22, ch. 2014-56.