COLUMN: Looking at the future of community colleges | New

The Aspen Institute, a national leader in the student success program, postulates that community colleges play a critical role in workforce development.

Their general mission is to provide academic programs and vocational training to prepare students for jobs or to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. In order to access and use community college training resources effectively, many workers – especially those with low incomes and family responsibilities – need services and supports that go beyond what is available. usually college.

Over the past few weeks, North Central Texas College has conducted our 10-year reaffirmation visit through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Within the thousands of pages of these reports, we are required to verify our continued commitment to our mission. The mission of the NCTC is that we are dedicated to the success of students through institutional excellence.

This mission – compared to Texas’ 50 community colleges – may sound simple, but it’s hard work to accomplish. I know that the majority of entities that depend on state funds to support their mission never seem to believe they have enough; however, there is a major concern that state support in appropriations for community colleges continues to decline as a percentage of the total budget required to serve our students and as part of the higher education funds allocated by the State.

So what’s on the horizon for community colleges? A commission.

The Texas Commission on Community College Funding will make recommendations to the 88th Texas Legislature regarding the state funding formula and funding levels for Texas public colleges that would be sufficient to maintain viable offerings education and training at junior colleges statewide and improve students. results consistent with state post-secondary goals. The commission will review trends and forecast data, solicit feedback from stakeholders, and consider equity in student outcomes.

The commission will make recommendations on the basis of its findings to:

• Components of state funding for public junior colleges, including contact hour funding formulas;

• The feasibility of establishing shared service agreements or inter-institutional collaborations where higher education institutions can provide administrative services, other than direct education and student support services, for other educational institutions. higher for a fee or other consideration.

The commission is made up of four people appointed by the Governor, three by the Lieutenant Governor, three by the Speaker of the House, one by the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and one by the Board of Directors of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees.

The current funding model for community colleges is over 50 years old. I have to admit that as chair of the Texas Community Technical Colleges Joint Formula Funding Advisory Board, I work with other members to make recommendations to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Council on means of better financing the mission, but always according to the 50 years method. .

North Central Texas College will be celebrating our 100th anniversary as a community college in 2024.

Perhaps by then we will see a new funding model that emphasizes the importance of workforce education, academic transfer, and development education.

Perhaps by 2024 we will see a concentrated effort to support the mission of comprehensive community colleges.

Maybe we’ll finally see the value that community colleges play in education in Texas.

May be.

Dr G. Brent Wallace joined North Central Texas College in the fall of 2011 as Vice President of Education / Academic Director, he has served as Chancellor and CEO since 2014.

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