Assembly Backs Revisions To Nursing School Admissions
The Assembly on Monday approved legislation (AB 1559) by Assembly member Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) that would require some California community colleges to overhaul their admissions protocols, the Stockton Record reports (Shaw, Stockton Record, 5/22).
Forty-two community colleges currently admit applicants based on a lottery system or a first-come, first-served basis (California Healthline, 5/15).
The bill would require community colleges that have more applications than available slots in their nursing programs to adopt a new selection system that is based at least partly on the merit of the applications. Terms of a recent settlement agreement with community colleges bar the lottery system from being dropped entirely from the admissions process, but AB 1559 would allow schools to toughen their admission standards.
Currently, schools that switch from lottery to merit-based selection systems are required to spend up to $20,000 to study how to remain fair to all qualified applicants, according to Berryhill.
AB 1559 largely would eliminate the cost of such studies (Stockton Record, 5/22).
Since California in the 1990s instituted the lottery system, many schools experienced dropout rates among nursing students up to 40%. Berryhill said he aims for the measure to reduce the rate to 15%, the level before the lottery system took effect.
The legislation leaves details of developing a merit-based system up to the discretion of the schools (California Healthline, 5/15).
Democratic lawmakers supported the bill but voiced concerns that a merit-based system could reduce the acceptance rate of minority applicants.
The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration (Stockton Record, 5/22).