Bill Text: NJ S2776 | 2012-2013 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires institutions of higher education to provide greater assistance to certain students with military obligations.

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2013-05-20 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Higher Education Committee [S2776 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2012-S2776-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2776

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 20, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  GERALD CARDINALE

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires institutions of higher education to provide greater assistance to certain students with military obligations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning students with military obligations attending institutions of higher education, amending P.L.1997, c.377, and supplementing chapter 62 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.377 (C.18A:62-4.2) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  A student at a New Jersey public institution of higher education who is unable to complete a course because the student is called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States , including calls for monthly drills, annual training, and any active duty whether voluntary or involuntary, shall be entitled to the options set forth in this section with respect to the student's grade for the course.

     b.    A student who has completed at least eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:

     (1)   receive a letter grade; or

     (2)   receive a grade of pass or fail; or

     (3)   receive a grade of incomplete; or

     (4)   withdraw from the course.

     c.     A student who has completed less than eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:

     (1)   receive a grade of incomplete; or

     (2)   withdraw from the course.

     d.    A letter grade or a grade of pass shall only be awarded if, in the opinion of the faculty member teaching the course, the student has completed sufficient work, and there is sufficient evidence of progress toward meeting the requirements of the course, to justify the grade.

     e.     A grade of incomplete shall remain valid for a period of one year after the student returns to the New Jersey public institution of higher education.

     f.     A student who chooses to accept a grade of pass or fail may, within one year after returning to the New Jersey public institution of higher education, receive a letter grade for the course by completing the work required for  the course, in which case the letter grade shall replace the pass or fail grade as the student's grade for the course.

     g.     A student who chooses to withdraw from a course shall receive a full refund of tuition and fees attributable to that course.

     h.     A student who has paid amounts for room, board or fees shall, except as provided in subsection g. of this section, receive a refund of that portion of those amounts attributable to the time period during which the student did not use the services for which payment was made.

     i.      Any refund payable to a student who is a financial aid recipient shall be subject to the applicable State and federal regulations regarding refunds.

(cf: P.L. 1997, c.377, s.1)

 

     2.    (New section)  Each public and independent institution of higher education shall adopt and implement policies and procedures to assist a student enrolled in the institution, who is serving as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, to meet the student's military obligations without loss of academic status or opportunity.  The policies and procedures shall provide for:

     a.     the student to receive notification each semester of his higher education rights and benefits as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States enrolled in the institution including, but not limited to, those established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1997, c.377 (18A:62-4.2), sections 3 and 4 of P.L.   , c.    (C.      )(pending before the Legislature as this bill),  and any other section of law; and

     b.    accommodations to the student for each class missed by the student due to military obligation, including the provision of lecture notes from the professor or instructor, access to a tutor, and five days per each missed class to enable the student to complete coursework.

 

     3.    (New section) a. Each public or independent institution of higher education shall direct a student who is serving as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States to notify each professor or instructor of his military obligations upon enrollment in the course.

     b.    In the event that a professor or instructor receives notification from a student of the student's military obligations pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the professor or instructor shall initiate communications with the student about each party's academic obligations when the student's military obligations interrupt coursework.  The professor or instructor and the student shall enter into a contract that details each party's academic obligations.

     c.     In the event that the professor or instructor violates the contract established pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the professor or instructor shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1000 for the first offense.  The civil penalty shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to the provisions of the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     In the event that the professor or instructor violates the same contract a second time, and notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the professor or instructor shall be terminated from employment at the institution.

 

     4.    (New section) a.  Each public and independent institution of higher education shall accept and apply towards a degree program the credit recommendation of the American Council on Education for a student's military experience, up to a maximum of 30 credits for a student enrolled in the institution.  The credit recommendation represents college-level equivalencies based on a review of workforce training, military training or occupations, and other sources of learning outside the college classroom.

     b.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any public or independent institution of higher education to admit a student or to waive its admission standards and application procedures.

 

     5.    (New section)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the provisions of P.L.1997, c.377 (C.18A:62-4.2) and P.L.   , c.    (C.      )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be enforced by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and complaints concerning violations shall be made to that department. 

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall first apply to the 2013-2014 academic year.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Current law provides a student at a New Jersey public institution of higher education who is unable to complete a course because the student is called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States with certain options regarding his grade for the course.  This bill amends the law to ensure that it applies to students who could not complete the coursework due to monthly drills, annual training, and any active duty whether it be voluntary or involuntary.

     The bill directs each public and independent institution of higher education to adopt and implement policies and procedures that will assist a student enrolled in the institution, who is serving as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, to meet the student's military obligations without loss of academic status or opportunity.  Under the bill, the policies and procedures must provide for:

     (1)   the student to receive notification each semester of his higher education rights and benefits as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States enrolled in the institution; and

     (2)   accommodations to the student for each class missed by the student due to military obligation, including the provision of lecture notes from the professor or instructor, access to a tutor, and five days per each missed class to enable the student to complete coursework.

     Under the bill, each public or independent institution of higher education must direct a student who is serving as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States to notify each professor or instructor of his military obligations upon enrollment in the course.   The professor or instructor must then initiate communications with the student about each party's academic obligations when the student's military obligations interrupt coursework.  The professor or instructor and the student must also enter into a contract that details each party's academic obligations.  In the event that the professor or instructor violates the contract, he will be subject to a civil penalty of $1000 for the first offense.  In the event that the professor or instructor violates the same contract a second time, and notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, he must be terminated from employment at the institution.

     The bill directs public and independent institutions of higher education to accept and apply towards a degree program the credit recommendation of the American Council on Education for a student's military experience, up to a maximum of 30 credits for a student enrolled in the institution.

     Finally, the bill provides that certain State laws pertaining to the higher education rights of students with military obligations will be enforced by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and complaints concerning violations can be made to that department.

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