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Improve College Graduation Rates

MOLINE – August 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today furthered his goal of making education accessible and affordable for all Illinois students by signing legislation to reform how Illinois funds colleges and universities. House Bill 1503 will create performance standards for higher education institutions to increase accountability and improve student outcomes.

            “When it comes to the education and graduation of our students in college, we must demand excellence,” Governor Quinn said. “This new law raises the bar for our universities to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students so they have a better opportunity to graduate and find meaningful employment.”

Sponsored by Sen. Edward Maloney (D-Chicago) and Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), House Bill 1503 requires Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) budget recommendations to be based on performance metrics designed to promote and measure student success. The new law creates a commission dedicated to developing a system to allocate state funds and resources to public institutions of higher education based on performance.

“As a former teacher, I know enrolling is just one measure of an institution,” Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said. “Performance funding will be an incentive to not just get students in the door, but to improve the odds that students will succeed.”

The commission will develop a performance system that focuses on course completion, maintaining the quality of current degree offerings and rewarding the success of institutions that advance the success of students who are at-risk academically or financially, including: first generation college students, students from low-income households and traditionally underrepresented minorities.

 “As chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I think this is the most important piece of legislation we moved this session,” Sen. Maloney said. “Establishing metrics to start connecting state funding with performance will add accountability to our higher education institutions’ practices. This will ultimately result in better opportunities for students.”

The commission will include representatives from the Governor’s office, General Assembly, public institutions of higher education, state agencies, business and industry, and faculty and staff organizations.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1.

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