Bill S3485-2011

Permits persons 60 years of age to take state university courses for credit without tuition

Authorizes the trustees of the state university to permit persons sixty years of age or over to take courses on a space available basis given therein for credit or without examination, without tuition; such eligible persons may take up to nine hours of courses for credit without tuition.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Feb 23, 2011: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3485

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing the state university trustees to make courses available for certain persons sixty years of age or over

PURPOSE:

This bill will permit the trustees of the State University to allow senior citizens to take courses for credit, on a space-available basis, without charge, at State-operated campuses.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Amends §355 of the Education Law to add for-credit courses (to a maximum of nine credit hours per semester) to the existing provisions which authorize senior citizens to audit courses, on a space available basis, at no charge.

JUSTIFICATION:

In 1974, New York State took a giant step forward by adopting Chapter 1002 of the Laws of 1974 permitting senior citizens to audit courses at the State University without tuition, examination or credit, on a space available basis. On approving that legislation, the Governor noted that, "Education can be a major factor in helping older people maintain their mental alertness, [and] continue active participation in the affairs of their communities. In many instances, however, financial and formal educational barriers have rendered such education opportunity inaccessible."

Although the 1974 law began an important step forward, senior citizens have so far been denied the opportunity to further their education on a for-credit basis. This bill would extend to persons age 60 and over the ability to attend courses at no charge at the State University, on a space-available basis, while receiving credit for their course work. This is a logical continuation of our efforts to integrate our elderly collegians fully into the mainstream of academic life. It is now time to make our students age 60 and over first-class citizens of the University, entitled not only to the privileges of an auditor, but also to the opportunities of full participation in their course work.

HISTORY OF BILL:

See S.1388/A.3951 of 2009-2010, S.2510/A.4820 of 2007-08, S.2481/A.5079 of 2005-06, S.1532/A.3267 of 2003-04, S.2841/A.5383 of 2001-02,

S.1836/A.3165 of 1999-2000, S.2338/A.3768 of 1997-98, S.1631/A.11268 of 1995-96 S.2191/A.3788 of 1993-94, S.2751/A.4204 of 1991-1992 and S.2052/A.3101 of 1989-1990. Has passed the Senate in varying versions from 1980 through 2008.

FISCAL IMPACT:

There is no direct fiscal impact, since all attendance would be on a space-available basis.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

April 1st next.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3485 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 23, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. FARLEY, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, FUSCHIL- LO, GOLDEN, GRIFFO, GRISANTI, HANNON, JOHNSON, KRUGER, LARKIN, LAVALLE, LIBOUS, MARTINS, MAZIARZ, MONTGOMERY, O'MARA, PARKER, RANZEN- HOFER, SALAND, SAMPSON, SERRANO, SEWARD, STAVISKY, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing the state university trustees to make courses available for certain persons sixty years of age or over THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph h of subdivision 2 of section 355 of the education law, as separately amended by chapters 552 and 616 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general, special or local law, rule or regulation, such regulations may permit persons sixty years of age or over to [audit] TAKE courses given therein without tuition, EITHER FOR CREDIT, OR WITHOUT examination, grading or credit therefor upon a space available basis, as determined by the president of each such institution, provided that such [audit] attendance does not deny course attendance at a state-operated institution by an individual who is otherwise qualified under the regulations promulgated pursuant to this section. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, PERSONS SIXTY YEARS OF AGE OR OVER WHO ARE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO TAKE NOT MORE THAN NINE CREDIT HOURS OF COURSES FOR CREDIT PER SEMESTER WITHOUT TUITION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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