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RACC Students and PA Community College Leaders Advocate for Increased Funding at Capitol

by Reading Area Community College

Apr 12, 2019

HARRISBURG, PA — At the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges’ Annual Lobby Day at the Capitol today, RACC students, staff and President Dr. Susan Looney joined Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to advocate for an increased funding level in the 2019-20 fiscal year budget.

Pennsylvania Community Colleges are the largest provider of public postsecondary education in the Commonwealth and a sector that plays a significant role in the Commonwealth’s education and workforce development systems.

In the 2017-18 academic year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges enrolled more than 300,000 students from all 67 counties in the state. They also provided a foundation for nearly 35,000 students who sought transfer to four-year institutions, saving these students up to $20,000 on the cost of higher education.

RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney says “Community colleges offer our communities access, opportunity, excellence and hope. When a student walks through our doors, we offer them the opportunity to change their lives for the better.”

Pennsylvania community colleges offer high-quality education and workforce programs aligned with areas of critical workforce needs across the Commonwealth. The 14 colleges regularly consult with business partners to develop programs to meet state and local workforce needs, while fueling Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.

In his budget address, Gov. Wolf indicated that Pennsylvania needs to address the skills gap to ensure that Pennsylvania has a well-trained workforce. He established a goal of 60 percent of Pennsylvania residents having some form of postsecondary education by 2025.

“Pennsylvania community colleges are ready to assist individuals who want to improve their lives by earning a certificate, enrolling in technical training, attaining an associate degree or preparing for further education,” said Elizabeth Bolden, president & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “The colleges are committed to increasing access to quality, affordable higher education in the Commonwealth. We hope the General Assembly will support us in this mission by increasing funding for community colleges.”

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