Students’ needs ought to have been front and center in the March 19 editorial about Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (“Legislature shouldn’t meddle in MnSCU,” March 20). District superintendents asked me to help students get college credits they earned in high school recognized consistently and counted toward their degrees. I carried H.F. 1306 to help ensure this happens.

 

My bill helps make the transfer process more predictable and transparent. It helps clear a pathway to complete a degree. H.F. 1306 would enact into law MnSCU’s current procedure 3.37.1. I add language to make it clear that students who take college courses while in high school through Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), college courses in their high school classrooms (Concurrent Enrollment), and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma classes, will have their college courses transfer properly. We need to support students taking rigorous college courses in high school and ensure their classes are transferred properly.

MnSCU, which provides wonderful educational opportunities for Minnesotans, did not testify against my bill. They reviewed the proposed language and conveyed to me that it is their current procedure. However, it recently came to their attention that a few of their colleges and universities “may not be transcripting PSEO classes correctly.” They plan to ensure that they do so properly in the future.

It has been pointed out that schools have had several years of discussion with different MnSCU schools and have seen inconsistencies as they determine the credit transfers for PSEO, Concurrent Enrollment courses, and IB diploma classes. The school districts I represent are doing amazing work making rigorous college courses available to high school students, including those who might not have been planning to go to college. Research shows these courses increase students’ likelihood of completing a college or technical degree. Minnesota ought to be supporting its students as they pursue their degrees, not putting up unnecessary roadblocks.

 

Connie Bernardy, DFL-Fridley, is a member of the Minnesota House.