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During the 84th session of the Texas Legislature in 2015, the Dallas County Community College District will urge legislators to support five primary priorities: aligning skills with the workforce; measuring and funding success; collaborating on college readiness; creating pathways for transfer and articulation; and providing Texas students with the tools and resources for Adult Basic Education and financial aid enhancements.
The Dallas County Community College District can count almost 100,000 reasons each semester – more than 79,000 full time and 17,000 continuing education students in fall 2014 – that compel us to work with legislators and ensure that community colleges must be a statewide priority.
DCCCD’s seven individually accredited colleges plus Dallas Colleges Online enroll more undergraduate students (including dual credit) than any other college, university or community college system in the state. Our students believe that this district can help them build a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities. We, in turn, help them. We are are proud of their success and our contributions to the state’s economic vitality and workforce education needs.
The 50 community colleges/systems in Texas represent the largest sector of higher education in the state, enrolling more than 75 percent of Texas freshmen and sophomores – and more than 75 percent of all minority freshmen and sophomores, too, which reflects the ethnic diversity we see every day across the state. Community colleges serve as a gateway that provides access to higher education for people from every walk of life and from every community in Texas. We are the key to success in achieving the state’s goals for “Closing the Gaps,” and DCCCD – along with all other community colleges in Texas – attracts those students who are needed in the higher education system. Today, everyone needs some college to succeed and build careers.
With this fact in mind, DCCCD and the other two-year institutions in Texas believe that the focus on community colleges and the contributions they make to individual success, community needs and economic growth is earned and must be funded.
Our legislative priorities reflect those of the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Texas Success five-point campaign; they also support the strategic priorities adopted by the DCCCD Board of Trustees.
In addition to those five priorities, the Dallas County Community College District, with the approval of its trustees, also asks members of the 84th Texas Legislature to support two other priorities:
During this session of the legislature – which brings new leadership and new challenges to the floor, in addition to budget issues – we believe that funding cuts to community colleges must be curtailed so that we have the resources and supported necessary to continue educating our students, provide workforce training and offer stability in employment for our communities and our state.
For more information, contact Justin Lonon, vice chancellor for public and governmental affairs, at 214-378-1824.