[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 375

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† ROBERT AUTH

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblywoman† HOLLY SCHEPISI

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman† TIM EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman† CHRIS A. BROWN

District 2 (Atlantic)

Assemblywoman† BETTYLOU DECROCE

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen DeAngelo, Lagana, Assemblywoman Jimenez, Assemblyman Johnson, Assemblywoman Caride, Assemblymen Conaway, Ciattarelli, DiMaio, Assemblywoman Pinkin, Assemblymen Benson, Rumana, McGuckin, O'Scanlon, Space, Dancer, A.M.Bucco, Assemblywoman N.Munoz, Assemblymen Schaer, Coughlin, Danielsen and Rooney

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

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

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee on June 6, 2016, with amendments.

††


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 1[unable to complete a course because the student is called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as] on a full-time duty status in the active uniformed services of the United States or is1 a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States 1who is unable to complete a course because the student is deployed or called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty1, 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 1on full-time duty status in the active uniformed services of the United States or is1 serving as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, to meet the studentís military obligations without loss of academic status or opportunity.† The policies and procedures shall provide that:

††††† a.†† the student shall receive from the institution at which the student is enrolled notification each semester of his higher education rights and benefits as 1a member on full-time duty status in the active uniformed services of the United States or as1 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 .† These rights and benefits shall be prominently displayed on the website of the institution; and

††††† b.†† accommodations are provided to the student for each class missed by the student due to military obligation, including where appropriate the provision of lecture notes from the professor or instructor, access to a tutor, and at least 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 1on full-time duty status in the active uniformed services of the United States or is1 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 or as soon as is reasonably possible once those obligations become known to the student.

†††† b.††† In the event that a professor or instructor receives notification from a student of the studentís military obligations pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the professor or instructor shall initiate communications with the student about each partyís academic obligations when the studentís military obligations interrupt coursework.† The professor or instructor and the student shall enter into a contract that details each partyís academic obligations. Each institution of higher education shall develop a standard template for the contract through a negotiated process involving representatives of the administration, faculty unions, and veterans groups.† The template shall require the signature of the professor or instructor, the student, and the direct supervisor of the faculty member.

†††† c.†††† The professor or instructor shall, to the extent feasible, offer the student options to complete coursework remotely through a modified curriculum that utilizes the Internet and other means, in the event that the studentís military obligations prevent attendance at class.

†††† d.††† In the event that the professor or instructor refuses to abide by the terms of the contract established pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the professor or instructor shall be subject to the regular disciplinary process established for the institution by its governing board.

 

†††† 4.††† (New section)† a.† Each public and independent institution of higher education shall accept and apply towards 1[a] an undergraduate1 degree program the credit recommendation of the American Council on Education for a studentís military experience, up to a maximum of 30 credits for a student enrolled in the institution 1, following an evaluation and determination by the institution that the credits are in alignment with appropriate courses and correspond to the degree being pursued at the institution.† Each public and independent institution of higher education shall accept and apply towards a graduate degree program the credit recommendation of the American Council on Education for a studentís military experience, up to a maximum of 12 credits for a student enrolled in the institution, following an evaluation and determination by the institution that the credits are in alignment with appropriate courses and correspond to the degree being pursued at the institution1.† 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.

†††† c.†††† Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a public or independent institution from accepting and applying towards a degree program more than 30 credits for a studentís military experience should the institution choose to take such action.

 

†††† 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 2016-2017 academic year.