SALT LAKE CITY – The House approved a bill Wednesday afternoon that would incentivize colleges to streamline their programs and get students into careers faster.
SB232 by Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, would provide $2 million annually to split among colleges and universities that meet performance standards outlined in the bill.
“Time is the enemy of completion when it comes to graduating from college,” said House sponsor Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo. “There’s a new American majority on campus, and that’s the part-time student… we want those students’ lives to not get in the way of completing their degree,” he continued.
Criteria in the bill for evaluating schools include the number of degrees and certificates granted, presence of services to traditionally underserved populations, and efficiency of programs that provide graduates to take Utah’s most in-demand jobs.
Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George, expressed his support for the bill, saying lawmakers and university representatives have done an outstanding job in making this a fair process for all parties.
Grover said the bill aims to provide a total of $6 million the first year, and $2 million ongoing. The potential incentive represents just a small fraction of Utah’s $1.4 billion higher education budget.
SB232 passed with a vote of 71 to 1.