NEWS RELEASE from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2011
Contact: Will Krueger
(512) 463-0121

Texas Senate Passes Zaffirini's Bill Improving Academic Advising at Texas Colleges and Universities

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Senate on Thursday (March 31) unanimously voted to develop an objective system that can fairly assess and evaluate academic advising at Texas colleges and universities.

Senate Bill (SB) 36 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and relevant experts to develop an instrument to assess student advising no later than September 1, 2012.

"Currently, there is no formal assessment system for academic advisors," Senator Zaffirini said. "Without one, the state is allowing a key predictor of undergraduate success to go underutilized. This bill would provide the first step in developing a system that can assess and evaluate academic advising fairly."

SB 36 would require the THECB to develop the new assessment instrument in consultation with colleges and universities and academic advisors. What's more, the bill would require the method of assessment to include both quantitative and qualitative measures.

"To improve graduation rates, student success and the quality of education at our colleges and universities, we must ensure that students are receiving effective, appropriate academic advising from qualified academic advisors," Senator Zaffirini said. "A system to evaluate academic advising would not only help achieve these goals, but also enhance accountability in higher education."

SB 36 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.legis.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.

Senator Zaffirini
SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-LAREDO, is Chair of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee. She champions legislation and funding that promote accountability and excellence for all Texas institutions of higher education.

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