State Update

Maine Files Bill to Increase College Affordability and the Rate of Degree Completion

Education | Permanent link

Senate President Justin L. Alfond (D-ME) has sponsored LD 1703 (SP 668), along with more than 50 co-sponsors. Although no formal bill text has been released, the concept draft summary states that the bill would implement a comprehensive strategy to keep the cost of public postsecondary education in the state affordable, thereby increasing the graduation rate from state public institutions of higher education. 

New Mexico Pre-Files a Bill to Increase the Number of Dental Students

Education | Permanent link

On December 17, Sen. Michael Padilla (D-NM) pre-filed S.B. 15. The bill appropriates $400,000 from the general fund to the Higher Education Department for expenditure in FY15 to increase the number of dental students who may participate in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) program.

Panel Develops Education Standards for Dental Therapists

Education | Permanent link

On October 30, a panel of academic leaders in dental and medical education released a report titled Recommended Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs in the United States. The document provides a set of national standards for education programs that train dental therapists in the United States. 

Higher Education Discusses E-Cigarettes

Education | Permanent link

As state legislatures around the country continue their focus on regulating tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, universities are also engaging in the discussion. Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. E-cigarettes turn nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. These products are often made to resemble cigarettes, cigars, and pipes; however, they may also look like everyday items, such as pens and USB memory sticks, for people who wish to use the product without others noticing. The University of Iowa became a smoke-free campus after a 2008 state law prohibited smoking in public places. At the time, e-cigarettes—battery-powered devices not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—were not on the university’s radar. Now, university groups, including the Faculty Council, are discussing whether e-cigarettes should be included in the ban. The Ohio State University is banning e-cigarettes as part of its tobacco-free policy, which launches in January 2014. The Ohio State University policy prohibits all tobacco products, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, pipes, oral tobacco and nasal tobacco, as well as any product “intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring or deliver nicotine other than for the purpose of cessation,” according to the policy. The federal government is also interested in e-cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes that are not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the FDA. However, according to the FDA, the agency intends to issue proposed regulations for e-cigarettes.

National Governors Association Releases Report on Effectiveness of Post-Secondary Institutions

Education | Permanent link

On September 19, the National Governors Association (NGA) released a report that governors can use as a tool to help them evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the colleges and universities in their state.