The legislature finds that encouraging collaboration among the various educational sectors to meet statewide productivity and educational attainment needs as described in the system design plan developed by the *higher education coordinating board will strengthen the entire educational system, kindergarten through twelfth grade and higher education. The legislature also recognizes that the most effective way to develop innovative and collaborative programs is to encourage institutions to develop them voluntarily, in line with established state goals. Through a system of competitive grants, the legislature shall encourage the development of innovative and collaborative and cost-effective solutions to issues of critical statewide need, including:
(1) Raising educational attainment and planning and piloting innovative initiatives to reach new locations and populations;
(2) Recognizing needs of special populations of students, including access and completion efforts targeting underrepresented populations;
(3) Furthering the development of learner-centered, technology-assisted course delivery, including expansion of online and hybrid coursework, open courseware, and other uses of technology in order to effectively and efficiently share costs, improve the quality of instruction and student, faculty, and administrative services, increase undergraduate and graduate student access, retention, and graduation, and to enhance transfer capability;
(4) Furthering the development of competency-based measurements of student achievement to be used as the basis for awarding degrees and certificates;
(5) Increasing the collaboration among both public and private sector institutions of higher education; and
(6) Improving productivity through innovations such as accelerated programs and alternative scheduling.
*Reviser's note: The higher education coordinating board was abolished by 2011 1st sp.s. c 11 § 301, effective July 1, 2012.