Every year, we can expect the President of the United States to address the nation during the annual State of the Union address. However, we think this year’s address may be the biggest to date.
In a promo video for the speech, President Obama announced that he will be proposing that 2 years of community college be free “to anyone who’s willing to work for it.” Recording the “preview” onboard Air Force One on his way to Phoenix, the President speaks about the importance of an education, and how it’s the key to success in the 21st century. Education goes hand in hand with jobs and the economy as a whole.
According to the White House website, here are the numbers:
If all 50 states choose to implement the President’s new community college proposal, it could:
- Save a full-time community college student $3,800 in tuition per year on average
- Benefit roughly 9 million students each year
Under President Obama’s new proposal, students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforce — all at no cost to them.
So what constitutes as a responsible student? Students must be attending at least half-time, and maintain a 2.5 GPA or above. The community college must offer fully transferable credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or occupational training programs with high graduation rates.
- What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program.
- What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.
- What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.
Expanding technical training programs:
President Obama also proposed the new American Technical Training Fund, which will expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs across the country. Specifically, the fund will award programs that:
- Have strong employer partnerships and include work-based learning opportunities
- Provide accelerated training
- Accommodate part-time work
President Obama is expected to speak more at length about this proposal in Tennessee.
BMWK family, what do you think about the proposal? Is this a game changer? Share your thoughts in the comment section.