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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1006
SUPPORT FOR LEARNING
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F.S. 1006.73
1006.73 Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network.
(1) PURPOSE.The Board of Governors and the Department of Education will jointly oversee the host entity in accordance with subsection (5) that will deliver the following services to public postsecondary education institutions in this state, which, for the purposes of this section, means all Florida College System and State University System institutions:
(a) Provide information regarding and access to distance learning courses and degree programs offered by public postsecondary education institutions within the state.
(b) Coordinate with the Florida College System and the State University System to identify and provide online academic support services and resources when the multi-institutional provision of such services and resources is more cost-effective or operationally effective.
(c) Administer a single library automation system and associated resources and services that all public postsecondary institutions shall use to support learning, teaching, and research needs and develop automated library management tools that shall include, but are not limited to, the following services and functions:
1. A shared Internet-based catalog and discovery tool that allows a user to search and, if authorized, access the aggregate library holdings of the state’s public postsecondary education institutions. The catalog and discovery tool shall allow a user to search the library holdings of one institution, selected institutions, or all institutions and, to the extent feasible, shall include an interlibrary loan function that ensures an authorized user can access the required library holding.
2. An Internet-based searchable collection of electronic resources which shall include, but not be limited to, full-text journals, articles, databases, and electronic books licensed pursuant to paragraph (d).
3. An integrated library management system and its associated services that all public postsecondary education institution academic libraries shall use for purposes of acquiring, cataloging, circulating, and tracking library material.
4. A statewide searchable database that includes an inventory of digital archives and collections held by public postsecondary education institutions.
(d) In collaboration with library staff from Florida College System institutions and state universities, coordinate the negotiation of statewide licensing of electronic library resources and preferred pricing agreements, issue purchase orders, and enter into contracts for the acquisition of library support services, electronic resources, and other goods and services necessary to carry out its duties under this section.
(e) Promote and provide recommendations concerning the use and distribution of low-cost, no-cost, or open-access textbooks and education resources and innovative pricing techniques that comply with all applicable laws, in regards to copyrighted material and statewide accessibility measures, as a method for reducing costs.
(f) Provide appropriate help desk support, training, and consultation services to institutions and students.
(2) STATEWIDE INTERNET-BASED CATALOG OF DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES.There is established a statewide Internet-based catalog of distance learning courses, degree programs, and resources offered by public postsecondary education institutions which is intended to assist in the coordination and collaboration of articulation and access pursuant to parts II and III of chapter 1007. The host entity is responsible for developing and disseminating operational procedures and technical guidelines for the catalog, to be followed by all participating institutions. Operating procedures and technical guidelines will address the following:
(a) Specific information concerning the distance learning course or degree program, including, but not limited to, course number, classification of instructional programs number, and information on the availability of the course or degree program; any prerequisite course or technology competency or skill; the availability of academic support services and financial aid resources; and course costs, fees, and payment policies.
(b) Define and describe the catalog’s search and retrieval options that, at a minimum, will allow users to search by academic term or course start date; institution, multiple institutions, or all institutions; and course or program delivery methods, course type, course availability, subject or discipline, and course number or classification of instructional programs number.
(c) An Internet-based analytic tool that allows for the collection and analysis of data as to usage of resources accessed or interaction with constituent institutions whose courses and programs are listed in the catalog.
(d) Frequent review and updates to institution catalogs to ensure that distance learning courses and degree programs comply with operational procedures.
(3) STATEWIDE ONLINE STUDENT ADVISING SERVICES AND SUPPORT.The following online services and support shall be made available on a statewide basis:
(a) A streamlined online admissions application process, which shall be used by all public postsecondary institutions, for undergraduate transient students currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a public postsecondary education institution who enroll in a course offered by a public postsecondary education institution that is not the student’s degree-granting institution, which shall:
1. Use the transient student admissions application available through the statewide computer-assisted student advising system established pursuant to paragraph (b). This admissions application is the only application required for enrollment of a transient student as described in this paragraph.
2. Implement the financial aid procedures required by the transient student admissions application process.
3. Transfer credit awarded by the institution offering the course to the transient student’s degree-granting institution.
4. Provide an interface between the institutional advising system and the statewide computer-assisted student advising system established pursuant to paragraph (b) in order to electronically send, receive, and process the transient student admissions application.
(b) A statewide computer-assisted student advising system which shall support the process of advising, registering, and capturing student progression toward a degree and career and which shall include a degree audit and an articulation component. Florida College System institutions and state universities shall interface institutional advising systems with the statewide computer-assisted student advising system. At a minimum, the statewide computer-assisted student advising system shall:
1. Allow a student to access the system at any time.
2. Allow a student to search public postsecondary education institutions and identify course options that will meet the requirements of a selected path toward a degree.
3. Audit transcripts of students enrolled in a public postsecondary education institution to assess current academic standing, the requirements for a student to transfer to another institution, and all requirements necessary for graduation.
4. Serve as the official statewide repository for the common prerequisite manual, admissions information for transferring programs, foreign language requirements, residency requirements, and statewide articulation agreements.
5. Provide information relating to career descriptions and corresponding educational requirements, admissions requirements, and available sources of student financial assistance.
6. Provide the admissions application for transient students pursuant to paragraph (a) which must include the electronic transfer and receipt of information and records for:
a. Admissions and readmissions.
b. Financial aid.
c. Transfer of credit awarded by the institution offering the course to the transient student’s degree-granting institution using the Florida Automated System for Transferring Educational Records (the “FASTER System”).
(c) A method for identifying and evaluating new technologies and instructional methods for improving distance learning instruction and development for faculty, student learning outcomes, student access, the efficient delivery of student support services, and the overall quality of postsecondary distance learning courses and degree programs.
(d) Negotiation of statewide licensing resources and preferred pricing agreements, issuing purchase orders, and entering into contracts for the acquisition of distance learning resources, student and support services, electronic resources, and other goods and services necessary to carry out duties under this section.
(4) REPORTING.Beginning December 31, 2021, and each year thereafter, the host entity shall submit a report to the Chancellors of the State University System and the Florida College System regarding the implementation and operation of all components described in this section, including, but not limited to, usage information collected under paragraph (2)(c), information and associated costs relating to the services and functions of the program, and the implementation and operation of the automated library services. The Chancellors will provide an annual report on the performance of the host entity in delivering the services and any recommendations for changes needed to this section to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Board of Governors, and the State Board of Education.
(5) GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION.The Office of the Board of Governors and the Department of Education shall have joint responsibility for determining the host entity for the services described in this section and shall share in the receipt and administration of an associated appropriation as described in the General Appropriations Act. The Chancellors of the Florida College System and the Board of Governors shall provide oversight for successful delivery by the host entity of the services described in this section.
(6) RECOMMENDATION ON OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO BE INCLUDED WITHIN THE FLORIDA POSTSECONDARY ACADEMIC LIBRARY NETWORK.By June 1, 2022, the Commissioner of Education and the Chancellor of the Board of Governors shall provide a joint recommendation for a process by which school district career centers operated under s. 1001.44 and charter technical career centers under s. 1002.34 would access appropriate postsecondary distance learning, student support services and library assets described in this section. The recommendation must include an analysis of the resources necessary to expand access and assets to centers and their students.
History.s. 14, ch. 2012-134; s. 12, ch. 2013-45; s. 184, ch. 2014-17; s. 15, ch. 2014-56; s. 4, ch. 2021-85.