[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on August 12th of this year, was our #9 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2019 countdown!]
Technical college and community college leaders from 12 college systems across the country sent a letter to Senate HELP Committee and House Education and Labor Committee leadership, calling for the adoption of a job-driven “Community College Compact.”
The Community College Compact represents a set of four postsecondary policy proposals developed by National Skills Coalition, vetted by a range of stakeholders–including academic institutions, employers, community-based organizations and workforce development boards–and supported by voters and business leaders.
In the letter, community college leaders urge Congress to adopt four policy solutions to modernize the Higher Education Act.
1. Eliminate the bias against working students in need of federal financial aid
In today’s economy, approximately 80 percent of all jobs require some form of education or training, and more than 50 percent of jobs can be classified as “middle-skill”–meaning they require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree. Technical and community college leaders urge lawmakers to consider the Jumpstarting our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (S. 839; H.R. 3497) led by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), Andy Levin (D-MI-09), Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA-03) and John Katko (R-NY-24). This legislation would expand Pell grant eligibility to students enrolled in high-quality education and training programs that are at least 150 clock hours of instruction over 8 weeks.