‘The elimination of the MAP award for fifth-year students is an extremely pressing problem and is detrimental to the education of many Illinois students. Students in teacher education, pre-professional, and other programs are enrolled in curriculum that takes over eight semesters to efficiently complete. A current study completed by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission shows that 21 percent of all students major in programs that require more than 120 credit hours for graduation. The study further concluded that underrepresented students and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to benefit from MAP awards and have been negatively affected by the fifth-year MAP elimination. Since the elimination of fifth-year MAP, 20 percent of all fifth-year students eligible for MAP were forced to take fewer credit hours. At the same time, 15 percent of all fifth-year students eligible for MAP were forced to leave school because of a lack of financial aid. Students eligible for fifth-year MAP also accrue an exorbitant amount of debt. Because of the detrimental effect of the elimination of fifth-year MAP, this Committee recommends that fifth-year MAP funds be reinstated as soon as possible. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that financial aid alternatives be found so that students eligible for fifth-year MAP can obtain an affordable education.’ That concludes my report.”
Chairman Lesnik thanked the Chairs of the Advisory Committees for their reports. Mr. Walker asked about the percentage breakdown between four-year and five- and six-year students. Dr. LaVista said, “We are funding about 128,000 students this year with MAP awards. It was previously 140,000. It is about a 12,000-student effect with the elimination of the fifth-year award. Larry will include data like that in his presentation later in the meeting.”
5. Quality Assurance and Accountability
Chairman Lesnik said that Diane Gilleland would present the item. Dr. Gilleland accompanied her remarks with a power point presentation. She said: “Taken together, Goals 5 and 6 of The Illinois Commitment establish the policy framework for quality assurance and accountability in Illinois postsecondary education. Goal 5 of The Illinois Commitment states that Illinois colleges and universities will ‘hold students to even higher expectations and will be accountable for the quality of academic programs and the assessment of learning.’ In addition, as stipulated in Goal 6, these institutions will ‘continually improve productivity, cost-effectiveness, and accountability.’
“This item requests that the Board take two actions focused on quality programs and student learning. First, you are asked to approve a key component of the Board’s quality assurance and accountability program – the key requirements governing its policy for assessment of student learning. Second, you are asked to endorse Illinois’ participation in a pilot project for developing a state-level model for assessing student learning with the National Forum on College-Level Learning. This pilot is sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
“In 1998, the Board approved the redesign of its quality and accountability responsibilities into an integrated framework designed to ensure the quality and accountability of instructional programs at Illinois colleges and universities. Assessment of student learning is, of course, required of all public colleges and universities, as well as those independent institutions required to seek program approval from the Board. Three of the five components have already received Board approval: redesigned academic program approval was approved in 1999 and again in 2002, when assessment of student learning was incorporated; redesigned academic program review and improvement was approved in 2002; and institutional results reports were approved by the Board in 1999.
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