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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

135A.61 HIGH SCHOOL-TO-COLLEGE DEVELOPMENTAL TRANSITION PROGRAM GRANTS.

Subdivision 1.High school-to-college developmental transition program grants.

(a) The commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education shall award competitive matching grants to Minnesota public and private postsecondary institutions offering research-based high school-to-college developmental transition programs to prepare students for college-level academic coursework. A program under this section must, at a minimum, include instruction to develop the skills and abilities necessary to be ready for college-level coursework when the student enrolls in a degree, diploma, or certificate program and must address the academic skills identified as needing improvement by a college readiness assessment completed by the student. Developmental courses offered under this section must not constitute more than the equivalent of one semester of full-time study occurring in the summer following high school graduation. The courses completed in a program under this section must be identified on the student's transcript with a unique identifier to distinguish them from other developmental education courses or programs. Courses attended will not count towards the limit on postsecondary education used for state financial aid programs under sections 136A.121, subdivision 9, and 136A.125, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (4).

Grants must be awarded to programs that provide instruction and services including, but not limited to:

(1) summer developmental courses in academic areas requiring remediation;

(2) academic advising, mentoring, and tutoring during the summer program and throughout the student's first year of enrollment;

(3) interaction with student support services, admissions and financial aid offices; and

(4) orientation to college life, such as study skills or time management.

(b) Grants shall be awarded to eligible postsecondary institutions as defined in section 136A.103.

(c) Grants shall be awarded for one year and may be renewed for a second year with documentation to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education of successful program outcomes.

Subd. 1a.Eligible students.

(a) Eligible students include students who earned a high school diploma or its equivalent during the academic year immediately preceding the summer program and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

(1) are counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (title I);

(2) are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Act;

(3) receive assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Law (title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996); or

(4) are a member of a group traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

(b) Eligible students include those who met the student eligibility criteria in the student's final year of high school and plan to enroll in college the academic year following high school graduation or its equivalency.

Subd. 1b.Application process.

(a) The commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education shall develop a grant application process. The commissioner shall attempt to support projects in a manner that ensures that eligible students throughout the state have access to program services.

(b) The grant application must include, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) a description of the characteristics of the students to be served reflective of the need for services listed in subdivision 1;

(2) a description of the services to be provided and a timeline for implementation of the activities;

(3) a description of how the services provided will improve postsecondary readiness and support postsecondary retention;

(4) a description of how the services will be evaluated to determine whether the program goals were met; and

(5) other information as identified by the commissioner.

Grant recipients must specify both program and student outcome goals, and performance measures for each goal.

Subd. 1c.Match required.

Applicants are required to match the grant amount dollar-for-dollar. The match may be in cash or an in-kind contribution.

Subd. 1d.Review committee.

The commissioner must establish and convene a grant selection committee to review applications and award grants. The members of the committee may include representatives of postsecondary institutions, school districts, organizations providing college outreach services, and others deemed appropriate by the commissioner.

Subd. 2.High school-to-college developmental transition programs evaluation report.

(a) Institutions that offer a high school-to-college developmental transition program must annually submit data and information about the services provided and program outcomes to the commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

(b) The commissioner must establish and convene a data working group to develop: (1) the data methodology to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of the programs implemented to improve the academic performance of participants, including the identification of appropriate comparison groups; and (2) a timeline for institutions to submit data and information to the commissioner. The data working group must develop procedures that ensure consistency in the data collected by each institution. Data group members must have expertise in data collection processes and the delivery of academic programs to students, and represent the types of institutions that offer a program under this section. The data group must assist the commissioner in analyzing and synthesizing institutional data and information to be included in the evaluation report submitted to the legislature under subdivision 3.

(c) Participating institutions must specify both program and student outcome goals and the activities implemented to achieve the goals. The goals must be clearly stated and measurable, and data collected must enable the commissioner to verify the program has met the outcome goals established for the program.

(d) The data and information submitted must include, at a minimum, the following:

(1) demographic information about program participants;

(2) names of the high schools from which the students graduated;

(3) the college readiness test used to determine the student was not ready for college-level academic coursework;

(4) the academic content areas assessed and the scores received by the students on the college readiness test;

(5) a description of the services, including any supplemental noncredit academic support services, provided to students;

(6) data on the registration load, courses completed, and grades received by students;

(7) the retention of students from the term they participated in the program to the fall term immediately following graduation from high school;

(8) information about the student's enrollment in subsequent terms; and

(9) other information specified by the commissioner or the data group that facilitates the evaluation process.

Subd. 3.Report to legislature.

By March 15 of each year, the commissioner shall submit a report to the committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over higher education finance and policy that evaluates the effectiveness of programs in improving the academic performance of students who participated in the transition programs.

NOTE: The amendments to this section by Laws 2013, chapter 99, article 2, section 4, are effective for programs offered in the summer of 2014 and thereafter. Laws 2013, chapter 99, article 2, section 4, the effective date.