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Metro’s upgrade almost done

The House Tuesday gave 56-6 final approval to the bill that will authorize Metro State College to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Because Senate Bill 12-048 wasn’t amended in the House it goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who’s expected to sign it. The name change is to go into effect July 1.Smooth passage of the bill through the legislature ends two years of struggle for Metro, which had to abandon a name change effort during the 2011 legislative session because the private University of Denver objected to the name proposed then, Denver State University.

Metro and DU negotiated between the legislative sessions and came up with an agreement under which DU officials agreed not to oppose the name Metro State University, and the two institutions signed an agreement governing branding and marketing of their two names.

Metro leaders have pushed for the university designation arguing that it better distinguishes the school (and makes it clear that it’s not a community college) and creates more value in the job market for alumni and future graduates.

Metro isn’t alone in its quest. The House Tuesday also voted 57-5 for final passage of House Bill 12-1080, which would convert Adams State College in Alamosa into a university. That measure now goes to the Senate.

The 2011 legislature approved turning Mesa State College into Colorado Mesa University. All three institutions offer limited numbers of graduate programs.

The House Tuesday also gave final 62-0 approval to a bill designed to increase the number of associate’s degrees issued in Colorado. Senate Bill 12-045 would allow students to combine credits earned at community and four-year colleges in order to earn associate’s degrees. (The bill is aimed at students who transfer from community colleges without earning degrees but later drop out of four-year schools without getting bachelor’s degrees.) The bill returns to the Senate for consideration of House amendments.

In other action

The House voted 62-0 to pass Senate Bill 12-061, which sets minimum requirements for the contents of charter school applications, clarifies deadlines in the application approval process and also creates some standards for charter authorizers. The amended bill returns to the Senate.

The Senate voted 22-12 for final passage of House Bill 12-1144, which would allow state colleges and universities to sign multi-year contracts (up to three years) with non-tenure track instructors. The measure goes to the governor.

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information.