Late Thursday evening the state Senate approved Sen. Barbara Bailey’s legislation aimed at reducing the time Washington’s college students need to earn a degree. Senate Bill 6626 establishes a work group aimed at helping students earn their bachelor’s degree in three years. The measure was approved unanimously and now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
“I have spent my time as chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee ensuring that our state’s students have access to an affordable and quality education,” said Bailey. “The costs of tuition have grown so fast that working families and students are bearing the burden with more and more student debt. That is unacceptable. Exploring how our institutions can help students reach their college goals faster and with less debt is a step in the right direction.”
The work group is tasked with developing a comprehensive report to the Legislature due at the end of 2016. In the report, the group of higher-education stakeholders will look at the wider adoption of accelerated degree programs, how those programs work in other states and develop recommendations to increase the number of students earning a degree in three years.