Assembly Bill No. 1559

Assembly Bill No. 1559

Chapter 712 (Berryhill)

​Approved October 14, 2007

Public postsecondary education: community colleges registered nursing programs

This new law requires a community college registered nursing program that elects to use a multicriteria screening process on or after January 1, 2008, to evaluate applicants for admission to a nursing program, to include specified criteria relating to the academic performance, work or volunteer experiences, foreign language skills, life experiences, and special circumstances of the applicant. The new law authorizes a community college registered nursing program using a multicriteria screening process to use an approved diagnostic assessment tool before, during, or after the multicriteria screening process. The law also requires a district that uses multicriteria screening measures to report its nursing program admissions policies to the Chancellor annually, in writing.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 78261.5 is added to the Education Code, to read: 78261.5.

(a) A community college registered nursing program that determines that the number of applicants to that program exceeds its capacity may admit students in accordance with the following procedure:

(1) Administration of a multicriteria screening process, as authorized by Section 78261.3, in a manner that is consistent with the standards set forth in subdivision (b).

(b) A community college registered nursing program that elects, on or after January 1, 2008, to use a multicriteria screening process to evaluate applicants pursuant to this article shall apply those measures in accordance with all of the following:

(1) The criteria applied in a multicriteria screening process under this article shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:

(A) Academic degrees or diplomas, or relevant certificates, held by an applicant.
(B) Grade-point average in relevant coursework.
(C) Any relevant work or volunteer experience.
(D) Life experiences or special circumstances of an applicant, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following experiences or circumstances:

(i) Disabilities.
(ii) Low family income.
(iii) First generation of family to attend college.
(iv) Need to work.
(v) Disadvantaged social or educational environment.
(vi) Difficult personal and family situations or circumstances.
(vii) Refugee or veteran status.

(E) Proficiency or advanced level coursework in languages other than English. Credit for languages other than English shall be received for languages that are identified by the chancellor as high-frequency languages, as based on census data. These languages may include, but are not necessarily limited to, any of the following:

(i) American Sign Language.
(ii) Arabic.
(iii) Chinese, including its various dialects.
(iv) Farsi.
(v) Russian.
(vi) Spanish.
(vii) Tagalog.
(viii) The various languages of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

(2) Additional criteria, such as a personal interview, a personal statement, letter of recommendation, or the number of repetitions of prerequisite classes, or other criteria, as approved by the chancellor, may be used, but are not required.

(3) A community college registered nursing program using a multicriteria screening process under this article may use an approved diagnostic assessment tool, in accordance with Section 78261.3, before, during, or after the multicriteria screening process.


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