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Editorial: Bipartisan bills will ease transfer of college credits

College students who have ever transferred from one university to another know the nightmare of having credits earned by passing a class at your former school not being accepted at your new university – even though the class content was nearly identical. And the closer you are to earning that coveted degree, the more difficult it can be to find and schedule the course you need.

That’s why bills like House Bill 108 and its companion, Senate Bill 103, are so important to New Mexico students working toward their degrees.

The bipartisan bills, introduced by two teachers, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, and Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, make the transferring of college credits between state universities easier without compromising on what students are expected to learn. The bills direct the New Mexico Higher Education Department to establish a common course naming and numbering system so students can more readily identify courses as “substantially equivalent” and more easily transfer credits from one college to another.

The bills also charge the department with verifying that the content of each course is comparable across institutions offering that course, developing a statewide general education core curriculum, maintaining and updating the core curriculum, and reviewing and approving future proposed requirements.

Acting University of New Mexico President Chaouki Abdallah, who recently updated UNM regents on the bills, said the New Mexico Council of University Presidents, of which he is a member, supports the bills.

By removing obstacles for students transferring, say, from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales to UNM, legislators are encouraging them to keep moving forward with their education.

The sentiment behind these bills deserves an “A,” and they should get a “P” in their chambers – for pass.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.