FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) enthusiastically welcomes President Obama’s bold proposal to eliminate tuition for students in certain community college programs. Like the state and local initiatives it builds upon, the president’s proposal dramatically underscores the importance of obtaining a postsecondary education in today’s economy. The proposal would help the full range of students at community colleges, including adult students, while seeking to ensure that states maintain or increase their investments in higher education.
“AACC has been hard at work identifying the promising practices that our member institutions have implemented to increase student access and success. The president’s proposal certainly fits into that category,” said AACC President and CEO Dr. Walter G. Bumphus. “This is an exciting day for the nation’s community colleges.”
“College costs are a major concern for community college students. Though our sector provides the most affordable entry into higher education, our institutions also serve the neediest students. As they anticipated in Tennessee and Chicago, more students would see college as a viable option as a result of this initiative,” added Bumphus.
The president’s proposal appropriately recognizes that states, institutions, and students all have roles to play in increasing student success in higher education. AACC looks forward to working with the administration as it further develops the specifics of its proposal, particularly around issues involving state, institutional and program eligibility for the proposed grants.
President Obama also today proposed the American Technical Training Fund, which would fund up to 100 centers at community colleges and other institutions to work closely with industry and provide training to low-wage workers to give them the skills they need to progress into middle-class wage jobs.
“This initiative will build upon the tremendous support for the community college workforce development mission provided through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants,” noted Bumphus.
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for 13 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.