Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2928
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HB2928  102nd General Assembly




HB2928 EngrossedLRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Relieve College Costs Pilot Program Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly makes all of the
7following findings:
8        (1) A college degree involving a substantive and
9    rigorous curriculum that is designed to challenge the
10    mind, enhance knowledge and skills, provide a core,
11    canonical knowledge base, expose students to great
12    literature and writing, and prepare a student for success
13    as a future citizen can be a valuable asset to residents of
14    this State.
15        (2) Public community colleges and universities offer
16    multiple existing courses of study pertaining to
17    fundamental topics that have historically served as the
18    foundation for degrees in the humanities, including art,
19    philosophy, logic and rhetoric, history, literature, world
20    religions, world languages, and studies of civilizations
21    from antiquity, that, in turn, have served as the basis
22    for intellectual thought and development for generations.
23    These may be classified as high impact courses.



HB2928 Engrossed- 2 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1        (3) In view of COVID-19, many institutions of higher
2    learning have cultivated courses that can be delivered
3    through online instruction.
4        (4) Many State residents will experience disruptions
5    or economic hardships when seeking a college degree.
6        (5) It is in the interests of State residents to
7    identify affordable pathways to secure a college degree.
8        (6) It is in the interests of State residents to have
9    an accredited 4-year college degree pathway based on
10    high-impact courses that costs less than $20,000 for the
11    entirety of the degree pathway.
12        (7) It is also in the interests of State residents to
13    employ, if possible, a degree pathway based on educational
14    resources that reside in the public domain or which have
15    been released under an intellectual property license that
16    allows for free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with
17    others, including full courses, course materials, modules,
18    textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any
19    other tools, materials, or techniques used to support
20    access to knowledge. Many foundational materials and
21    original sources used in high impact courses are
22    particularly likely to fall into these categories.
23    Section 10. Creation of a 4-year degree pathway. A pilot
24program is created for a 4-year degree pathway, which shall
25comply with the standards of the Higher Learning Commission,



HB2928 Engrossed- 3 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1based on texts that served as the core foundational basis for
2western civilization and the Enlightenment. The degree pathway
3may not exceed $20,000 for the full degree program. This
4pathway may be referred to as the Fundamental Issues and Texts
5Humanities Degree.
6    Section 15. Relieve College Costs Pilot Program.
7    (a) Subject to appropriation, beginning with the 2021-2022
8academic year or, if funds are not appropriated for the
9program that academic year, beginning with the academic year
10in which funds are appropriated for the program, the State
11Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, and
12Board of Higher Education shall coordinate with each other to
13assign a qualified individual to serve as a program director
14to develop the curriculum for the 4-year degree pathway
15created in Section 10.
16    If a source of outside funding for the program director is
17secured to support the development of the program, the State
18Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, and
19Board of Higher Education shall facilitate the approval of the
20Fundamental Issues and Texts Humanities Degree curriculum
21pathway for the public institutions agreeing to participate in
22the pilot program.
23    (b) Under the program, one public high school, one public
24community college, and one public university in this State
25shall be chosen to develop a competency-based baccalaureate



HB2928 Engrossed- 4 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1degree program for the Fundamental Issues and Texts Humanities
2Degree. The goals of the program must include all of the
4        (1) To prepare students who complete the program with
5    the requisite skills relating to critical thinking,
6    problem solving, rational inquiry, and oral and written
7    communication needed for employment or further graduate
8    study.
9        (2) To use open educational resources if available.
10        (3) To use online course options if available to
11    reduce costs.
12        (4) To identify pathway courses that can be used to
13    promote dual credit course enrollment in the participating
14    high school.
15        (5) To have a $20,000 maximum tuition rate for the
16    entirety of the degree pathway.
17    (c) The curriculum of the pilot program must include
18course instruction on the canonical texts that served as the
19foundations for western civilization and the Enlightenment in
20areas that shall include, but are not limited to, philosophy,
21literature, history, religion, government and politics, art,
22and architecture. The program must allow for 2 courses of
23instruction on global areas outside of western civilization in
24areas that include, but are not limited to, philosophy,
25literature, history, religion, government and politics, art,
26and architecture.



HB2928 Engrossed- 5 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1    (d) The program director shall prioritize for the pilot
2program community colleges and public universities that have
3existing articulation agreements. The program director shall
4attempt to craft a degree pathway that can be satisfied by
5existing core courses that are commonly offered at multiple
6institutions of higher education in this State.
7    Section 20. Open educational resources adoption
9    (a) The State Board of Education, Illinois Community
10College Board, and Board of Higher Education shall create a
11panel comprised of all of the following members, who shall
12serve without compensation:
13        (1) Eight persons from institutions of higher
14    education located in this State appointed by the Executive
15    Director of the Board of Higher Education, including at
16    least 2 representatives from a university, one
17    representative from a community college in Cook County,
18    one representative from a community college with a
19    district boundary that includes some portion of DuPage,
20    Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County, one representative
21    from a community college in downstate Illinois, and one
22    representative from a nonpublic university that has
23    participated in articulation agreements with a community
24    college.
25        (2) Two persons each from a high school located in



HB2928 Engrossed- 6 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1    this State that offers dual credit programs, preferably
2    from geographically diverse regions, appointed by the
3    State Superintendent Education.
4        (3) A person from the State Board of Education
5    appointed by the State Board of Education, a person from
6    the Illinois Community College Board appointed by the
7    Illinois Community College Board, and a person from the
8    Board of Higher Education appointed by the Board of Higher
9    Education.
10        (4) Two members appointed by the Governor.
11        (5) One member of the House of Representative
12    appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
13    one member of the House of Representatives appointed by
14    the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, one
15    member of the Senate appointed by the President of the
16    Senate, and one member of the Senate appointed by the
17    Minority Leader of the Senate.
18    Appointments under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this
19subsection (a) shall include at least 4 faculty members, a
20library professional, an instructional design expert, and 2
21academic administrators.
22    The Board of Higher Education shall provide administrative
23and other support to the panel.
24    The Executive Director of the Board of Higher Education
25shall convene the first meeting of the panel no later than
26September 1, 2021.



HB2928 Engrossed- 7 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1    The panel shall seek to identify initiatives to support
2the use of foundational materials and original sources that
3reside in the public domain or open educational resource
4materials in support of the degree program set forth in
5Section 10 and to make recommendations to the General Assembly
6no later than December 31, 2022. The panel is dissolved on
7January 31, 2023.
8    (b) Each campus of a public university or public community
9college district shall, upon request of its board of trustees,
10do both of the following:
11        (1) Clearly highlight, by means that may include a
12    symbol or logo in a conspicuous place on the online campus
13    course schedule, the courses that exclusively use digital
14    course materials that are free of charge to students or
15    low-cost digital or print options for students.
16        (2) Ensure that the materials comply with the federal
17    Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the federal
18    Copyright Act of 1976.
19    (c) Subject to appropriation or third-party funding, the
20Illinois Community College Board shall establish and
21administer a grant program to encourage faculty at
22institutions of higher education to adopt, modify, redesign,
23or develop courses that use only open educational resources in
24support of the degree program set forth in Section 10.
25    Any individual who receives a grant under this subsection
26(c) shall ensure that any open educational resources used in a



HB2928 Engrossed- 8 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1course is provided to a student enrolled in the course at no
2cost other than the cost of printing.
3    A faculty member who receives a grant under this
4subsection (c) must submit to the Illinois Community College
5Board for each of the 4 semesters immediately following the
6implementation of the course a report that includes:
7        (1) the number of students who have completed the
8    course;
9        (2) an estimate of the amount of money saved by a
10    student due to the use of open educational resources in
11    the course;
12        (3) the number of faculty members, if any, who adopted
13    the course curriculum; and
14        (4) any other information required as a condition of
15    the grant.
16    Section 25. Reporting.
17    (a) After the first cohort of students complete the pilot
18program under Section 10, the State Board of Education,
19Illinois Community College Board, and Board of Higher
20Education must submit a report to the Governor and General
21Assembly detailing the impact of the pilot program on all of
22the following:
23        (1) Reducing the costs of attending an institution of
24    higher learning and overall student loan debt.
25        (2) Elevating the importance of coursework in the



HB2928 Engrossed- 9 -LRB102 14505 CMG 19858 b

1    classical liberal arts.
2        (3) Creating a model curriculum that can be replicated
3    through partnerships between other institutions of higher
4    learning and school districts across this State.
5    (b) This Act is inoperative on and after the State Board of
6Education, Illinois Community College Board, and Board of
7Higher Education submit the report required under subsection
9    Section 90. Rules. The Illinois Community College Board,
10in consultation with the State Board of Education and the
11Board of Higher Education, must adopt rules to implement this
13    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
14becoming law.