Reporter’s notebook

  • Final recommendations on funding community colleges in Texas
  • Strada awards $4M via community college initiative
  • In Arizona, DACA students eligible for in-state tuition

Final recommendations on funding community colleges in Texas

The Texas Commission on Community College Finance on Thursday issued its final report with recommendations on a new way to fund community colleges in the state.

The proposed model ties funding to measurable outcomes such as transfer rates, credentials of value, credentials in high-demand fields and dual credit, according to the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC).

“Most notably, it moves away from a funding model that is static and merely redivides the same pie, to one that is dynamic and provides colleges with predictable funding based on their own success. The recommendations also include additional funds for colleges to support low-income or academically unprepared students, and adult learners,” the association said in a release.

In addition, the recommendations include a guaranteed yield for smaller and rural colleges that typically face higher operating costs, TACC says. These institutions would be encouraged to participate in “shared services” with other institutions, such as shared online courses and joint workforce education programs.

Strada awards $4M via community college initiative

Strada Education Network on Thursday announced 11 public two-year colleges that will receive grants through its $4 million Employer and Community College Partnership Challenge.

The two-year grants of up to $400,000 each were awarded to innovative collaborations across the country between community colleges and employers in their region. Strada said it created the initiative as the first step in a strategy to partner with community colleges to support stronger regional economies and communities.

“This represents Strada’s first major investment in the community college sector and a recognition that community colleges have a unique capacity and proximity to support learners and to address changing regional workforce needs,” Strada said in a release. “The initiative aims to improve employment and socioeconomic outcomes after completion of a degree or credential for students who historically have faced significant barriers to economic mobility.”

In Arizona, DACA students eligible for in-state tuition

Arizona voters this month passed Proposition 308, providing in-state tuition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.

Proposition 308 ensures that any Arizonan, regardless of their immigration status, who has graduated from an Arizona high school and has lived in the state for two consecutive years is granted in-state tuition at its colleges and universities.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) said the passage of Proposition 308 will strengthen MCCCD’s growing dual-enrollment pipeline, which has been vital in the recovery of the system after the effects of the Covid pandemic.

“I believe that Proposition 308 is not only an investment and commitment to our DACA students but to the future of Arizona’s workforce development,” added MCCCD Chancellor Steven Gonzales. “Arizona has a serious current labor shortage; Proposition 308 will aid in jumpstarting our labor market by providing much-needed skilled employees to the current job market.”

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.