Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) submitted written testimony to the Senate Higher Education Committee May 1 in support of House Bill 5248, Amendment 2.
The legislation, approved 7-0, would require public and private colleges and universities to publish annual “College Choice Reports” with key student and institutional data.
The College Choice Reports could contain information such as degree and certificate completion rates, net costs, debt loads and job placement outcomes. Much of the suggested data is already collected by the Illinois Community College Board and Illinois Board of Higher Education, but H.B. 5248 will ensure it is published in an easy-to-find and digestible format.
“Future undergraduates will be able to access College Choice Reports online to comparison shop among institutions,” said Simon, who helped draft the legislation following her Complete College Tour of the state’s 48 community colleges. “Think of this new tool as a consumer report, guiding parents and students toward high-quality, affordable higher education investments.”
Upon passage of H.B. 5248, Amendment 2, higher education stakeholders will convene a committee to determine the style and content of the reports by Jan. 1, 2014. Public and private degree-granting institutions will publish their first College Choice Report by Jan. 1, 2015. Simon, as chairman of the Joint Education Leadership Committee of the P-20 Council, will monitor the committee’s progress.
The General Assembly, with guidance from the P-20 Council, recently revamped the elementary and high school report cards, which have been required for more than a decade. The College Choice Reports will build on these resources, Simon said.
H.B. 5248, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, now moves to the Senate for a vote.
Posted May 3, 2012