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HF 4210

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/17/2022 05:33pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to higher education; establishing the Inclusive Higher Education Technical
Assistance Center and inclusive higher education grant; requiring reports;
appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter
135A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [135A.161] INCLUSIVE HIGHER EDUCATION TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE CENTER.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this section and section 135A.162, the
following terms have the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Center" means the Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance Center.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual
disabilities" means a degree, certificate, or nondegree program that is offered by an institute
of higher education for students with intellectual disabilities and approved by the United
States Department of Education.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Director" means the director of the Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance
Center.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Inclusive higher education" means institution-approved access to higher education
for students with an intellectual disability that allows for the same rights, privileges,
experiences, benefits, and outcomes that result from a college experience the same as a
matriculating student, resulting in a meaningful credential conferred by the institution of
higher education. Inclusive higher education includes:
new text end

new text begin (1) academic access and inclusive instruction;
new text end

new text begin (2) person-centered planning;
new text end

new text begin (3) career development;
new text end

new text begin (4) campus engagement;
new text end

new text begin (5) self-determination;
new text end

new text begin (6) paid internships and employment;
new text end

new text begin (7) on- or off-campus living, when available to other students;
new text end

new text begin (8) campus community clubs, events, and activity participation;
new text end

new text begin (9) peer mentors and support; and
new text end

new text begin (10) a degree, certificate, or nondegree credential.
new text end

new text begin (g) "National Coordinating Center" means the federally funded National Coordinating
Center providing support, coordination, training, and evaluation services for Transition and
Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities and other
inclusive higher education initiatives for students with intellectual disability nationwide.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Office" means the Office of Higher Education.
new text end

new text begin (i) "Student with an intellectual disability" means a student with an intellectual disability
as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 34, section 668.231.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must contract with the Institute on
Community Integration at the University of Minnesota to establish the Inclusive Higher
Education Technical Assistance Center. The purpose of the center is to increase access to
self-sustaining postsecondary education options across Minnesota for students with an
intellectual disability to earn meaningful credentials through degree, certificate, and
nondegree initiatives leading to competitive integrated employment, genuine community
membership, and more independent living. The center must:
new text end

new text begin (1) coordinate and facilitate the statewide initiative to expand and enhance inclusive
higher education opportunities;
new text end

new text begin (2) provide expertise in inclusive higher education for students with an intellectual
disability;
new text end

new text begin (3) provide technical assistance:
new text end

new text begin (i) to Minnesota institutions of higher education;
new text end

new text begin (ii) to local education agencies; and
new text end

new text begin (iii) as requested by the commissioner; and
new text end

new text begin (4) provide information to students with intellectual disabilities and their families.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Director; advisory committee. new text end

new text begin (a) The center must name a director.
new text end

new text begin (b) The director must appoint an advisory committee and seek the committee's review
and recommendations on broad programmatic direction. The advisory committee must be
composed of 50 percent students with an intellectual disability. The remaining positions
must be filled by family members, key stakeholders, and allies. The director must convene
the advisory committee at least quarterly. The advisory committee shall:
new text end

new text begin (1) review and recommend inclusive higher education offerings;
new text end

new text begin (2) review and recommend updates to state policy and practice;
new text end

new text begin (3) document existing and potential funding sources; and
new text end

new text begin (4) identify obstacles and barriers to students with an intellectual disability to access
inclusive higher education opportunities.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Responsibilities. new text end

new text begin (a) The center must monitor that all Minnesota institutions
of higher education with an inclusive higher education initiative are following and
maintaining the accreditation standards and guiding principles for inclusive higher education
as established by the National Coordinating Center, as identified in the United States Code,
title 20, section 1140q. When monitoring Minnesota inclusive higher education initiatives,
the center must advise institutions of higher education to remain in or achieve alignment
with federal requirements and with the standards, quality indicators, and benchmarks
identified by the National Coordinating Center.
new text end

new text begin (b) The center must monitor federal and state law related to inclusive higher education
and notify the governor, the legislature, and the Office of Higher Education of any change
in law which may impact inclusive higher education.
new text end

new text begin (c) The center must provide technical assistance to institutions of higher education,
administrators, faculty, and staff by:
new text end

new text begin (1) offering institution faculty and staff training and professional development to start,
operate, or enhance their inclusive higher education initiative;
new text end

new text begin (2) providing faculty and staff with information, training and consultation on the
comprehensive transition and postsecondary program requirements, accreditation standards,
and guiding principles;
new text end

new text begin (3) organizing and offering learning community events, an annual inclusive higher
education conference and community of practice events to share best practices, provide
access to national experts, and address challenges and concerns;
new text end

new text begin (4) assisting institutions of higher education with identifying existing or potential funding
sources for the institution of higher education, student financial aid, and funding for students
with an intellectual disability; and
new text end

new text begin (5) advising faculty and staff with an inclusive higher education option of specific grant
applications and funding opportunities.
new text end

new text begin (d) The center must disseminate information to students with an intellectual disability,
their parents, and local education agencies, including but not limited to information about:
new text end

new text begin (1) postsecondary education options, services, and resources that are available at inclusive
institutions of higher education;
new text end

new text begin (2) technical assistance and training provided by the center, the National Coordinating
Center, and key stakeholder organizations and agencies; and
new text end

new text begin (3) mentoring, networking, and employment opportunities.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [135A.162] INCLUSIVE HIGHER EDUCATION GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of the Office of Higher Education
in collaboration with the director of the Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance
Center must establish a competitive grant program for Minnesota institutions of higher
education to develop new or enhance existing inclusive higher education initiatives to enroll
or increase enrollment of students with an intellectual disability. The commissioner and
director must collaborate to establish the grant program framework, including:
new text end

new text begin (1) minimum grant requirements;
new text end

new text begin (2) application format;
new text end

new text begin (3) criteria for evaluating applications;
new text end

new text begin (4) grant selection process;
new text end

new text begin (5) milestones and accountability; and
new text end

new text begin (6) reporting.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must send a description of the competitive grants, including
materials describing the grant purpose and goals, an application, compliance requirements,
and available funding to each institution of higher education that meets the requirements
of subdivision 2, clauses (1) and (2).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Eligible grantees. new text end

new text begin A public postsecondary two-year or four-year institution is
eligible to apply for a grant under this section if the institution:
new text end

new text begin (1) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; and
new text end

new text begin (2) meets the eligibility requirements under section 136A.103.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin (a) Applications must be made to the commissioner on a form
developed and provided by the commissioner. The commissioner must, to the greatest extent
possible, make the application form as short and simple to complete as is reasonably possible.
The commissioner must establish a schedule for applications and grants. The application
must include without limitation a written plan to develop or enhance a sustainable inclusive
higher education initiative that:
new text end

new text begin (1) offers the necessary supports to students with an intellectual disability to access the
same rights, privileges, experiences, benefits, and outcomes of a typically matriculating
student;
new text end

new text begin (2) includes the development of a meaningful credential for students with an intellectual
disability to attain upon successful completion of the student's postsecondary education;
new text end

new text begin (3) adopts admission standards that do not require a student with an intellectual disability
to complete a curriculum-based, achievement college entrance exam that is administered
nationwide;
new text end

new text begin (4) ensures that students with an intellectual disability:
new text end

new text begin (i) have access and choice in a wide array of academic courses to enroll in for credit or
audit that align with the student's interest areas and are attended by students without
disabilities;
new text end

new text begin (ii) have the option to live on or off campus in housing that is available to typically
matriculating students;
new text end

new text begin (iii) have access and support for genuine membership in campus life, including events,
social activities and organizations, institution facilities, and technology; and
new text end

new text begin (iv) are able to access and utilize campus resources available to typical matriculating
students;
new text end

new text begin (5) provides students with an intellectual disability with the supports and experiences
necessary to seek and sustain competitive integrated employment;
new text end

new text begin (6) develops and promotes the self-determination skills of students with an intellectual
disability;
new text end

new text begin (7) utilizes peer mentors who support enrolled students with an intellectual disability in
academic, campus engagement, residence life, employment, and campus clubs and
organizations;
new text end

new text begin (8) provides professional development and resources for university professors and
instructors to utilize universal design for learning and differentiated instruction that supports
and benefits all students; and
new text end

new text begin (9) presents a ten-year plan including student enrollment projections for sustainability
of an initiative that is financially accessible and equitable for all interested students with an
intellectual disability.
new text end

new text begin (b) Eligible institutions of higher education may apply for funding in subsequent years
for up to a total of ten years of funding.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Grant account. new text end

new text begin A inclusive higher education grant account is created in the
special revenue fund for depositing money appropriated to or received by the commissioner
for the program. Money deposited in the account is appropriated to the commissioner, does
not cancel, and is continuously available for grants under this section. The commissioner
may use up to five percent of the amount deposited into the account for the administration
of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Grant awards. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner must award grants to eligible institutions
of higher education on a competitive basis using criteria established in collaboration with
the center. The commissioner must consider whether the applicant has submitted for or
received a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program designation and, if not, the
institution's progress toward submitting for federal approval. An eligible institution of higher
education may apply for and receive up to $200,000 per year for four years and $100,000
in subsequent years pending performance and the funding limitation in subdivision 3,
paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (b) A grant recipient must:
new text end

new text begin (1) adopt the inclusive higher education national accreditation standards and guiding
principles as established by the National Coordinating Center;
new text end

new text begin (2) provide a 25 percent match for the grant funds, either monetary or in-kind; and
new text end

new text begin (3) collaborate with the Office of Higher Education, the center, and key stakeholders in
the development of the inclusive higher education initiative.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Grantee reporting. new text end

new text begin By August 1 and January 1 following a fiscal year in which
a grant was received and for five years thereafter, the grantee must submit a report to the
director that includes the status and outcomes of the initiative funded. The report must
include performance indicators and information deemed relevant by the director and
commissioner. The report must include the following performance indicators:
new text end

new text begin (1) student recruitment and number of students enrolled;
new text end

new text begin (2) student retainment effort and retention rate;
new text end

new text begin (3) initiative goals and outcomes;
new text end

new text begin (4) student attainment rate;
new text end

new text begin (5) graduated student employment rates and salary levels at year one and year five after
completion; and
new text end

new text begin (6) additional performance indicators or information established under subdivision 1,
paragraph (a), clauses (5) and (6).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Reporting. new text end

new text begin The director must evaluate the development and implementation
of the Minnesota inclusive higher education initiatives receiving a grant under this section.
The director must submit an annual report by October 1 on the progress to expand Minnesota
inclusive higher education options for students with intellectual disabilities to the
commissioner and chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with
jurisdiction over higher education policy and finance. The report must include statutory and
budget recommendations.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2022, except that the reporting
requirements under subdivision 7 are effective July 1, 2023.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginSHORT TITLE.
new text end

new text begin This act may be cited as the "Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Act."
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance Center. new text end

new text begin $250,000
in fiscal year 2023 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of the Office
of Higher Education to enter into a contract establishing the Inclusive Higher Education
Technical Assistance Center under Minnesota Statutes, section 135A.161. The base for this
appropriation in fiscal year 2024 and later is $250,000.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Inclusive higher education grants. new text end

new text begin $750,000 in fiscal year 2023 is transferred
from the general fund to the inclusive higher education grant account under Minnesota
Statutes, section 135A.162, subdivision 4. The base for this appropriation in fiscal year
2024 and later is $750,000.
new text end