Expanding Access and Encouraging Health Care: H.R. 5529
This is the third installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016. The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted on June 24, 2016.
The Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act (H.R. 5529), introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA), aims to help students who attend Hispanic-serving institutions access graduate-level and doctoral degree programs in health care. Colleges and universities classified as Hispanic-serving institutions must have a Hispanic undergraduate full-time-equivalent student enrollment of at least twenty-five percent, among other requirements.
More specifically, H.R. 5529:
- Offers students in secondary schools the opportunity to participate in dual enrollment programs at Hispanic-serving institutions, with the goal of boosting college acceptance of Hispanic students while providing the opportunity to begin earning academic credits earlier.
- Supports student support programs – such as advising, counseling, and mentoring – by allowing Hispanic-serving institutions to use federal funds to encourage the successful advancement of students from four-year institutions to doctoral degree programs in the health care field.
- Authorizes nearly $108 million to carry out the provisions of the bill in Fiscal Year 2016.
H.R. 5529 is supported by the National Education Association.
With an increasingly tight legislative calendar for the remainder of 2016, H.R. 5529 could be taken up by the full House this Congress, but it is unlikely to be considered by the Senate. If the bill does not become law this year, it will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress.
Part 5 - Choice is Knowledge: H.R. 3178