Friday, July 10, 2009

Further Details on Obama Announcement

AACC has learned of some tentative new details of the upcoming community college proposal from the Obama administration. The program, as has been reported before, would provide $9 billion over 10 years to help community colleges develop and improve programs related to training and retraining. The additional details indicate that these funds would break down as follows:

- $500 mill. a year would be provided over the first 5 years for a community college training program, with grants awarded competitively to community colleges.

- In the second five years, $1.3 billion would be alloted to states, with 50% awarded by formula, 25 % to states showing high performance programs, and 25 % to community colleges, awarded competitively.

- Eligibility: community colleges would have to agree to track and report on student outcomes, set targets for graduation rates and employment-related outcomes, and serve high need populations.

- Funds could be used to create programs that blend basic skills and occupational training, to provide comprehensive, personalized services to help students plan their coursework and careers and support services that will keep them in school, and to create programs in partnerships with employers.

As we have already shared, there would be a $10 billion loan fund (at low or no interest) for community college facilities. The new details indicate that this loan fund would be available over 10 years for repairs and renovations and 25 years for construction at low interest rates in exchange for a pledge that they not supplant state funds. The emphasis of these loans would be on expanding capacity in programs that meet employer needs in the areas of health care, green jobs, science, engineering and technology.

Also as we have already heard, there would be $50 mill. for free online courses (paid for by the federal government) mostly available through community colleges.