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​Contact: Ann Hatch
214-378-1819; ahatch@dcccd.edu

Dr. Joe May
​“Today's announcement has the potential to make postsecondary education accessible to everyone,” said Dr. Joe May, chancellor of DCCCD

For immediate release — Jan. 9, 2015

(DALLAS) — Dr. Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, discussed today a proposal from the White House that would provide a free education for students who are enrolled at the colleges of DCCCD and the nation’s other community colleges.

May said, “Today's announcement has the potential to make postsecondary education accessible to everyone, and it builds on the strong commitment that DCCCD and other community colleges across the country already have made to provide a low-cost, high-quality education. With this type of opportunity, the nation’s students can get the education and training they need to obtain employment with high salaries in high-demand fields, regardless of their financial situation.”

President Barack Obama, who discussed his plan today after an announcement on Thursday, outlined several requirements:

What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half time, maintain a 2.5 GPA and make steady progress toward completing their program.

What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either: 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates that lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.

What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate tuition for eligible students.

President Obama also proposed the new American Technical Training Fund, which will expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs across the country.

Specifically, the fund will award programs that:

  • Have strong employer partnerships and include work-based learning opportunities;
  • Provide accelerated training; and
  • Accommodate part-time work.

May stated that he, as DCCCD’s chancellor and president of the higher education organization Rebuilding America’s Middle Class, looks forward to working with Congress and the administration to explore and advance this proposal for DCCCD and other community colleges across the country.

DCCCD, which comprises seven individually accredited colleges (Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland, as well as its virtual campus, Dallas Colleges Online), is one of the largest community college systems in the U.S. Combined, unduplicated enrollment for the system totals more than 79,000 credit students and 17,000 continuing education students.

For more information, contact Ann Hatch, DCCCD director of media relations in the office of public and governmental affairs, by email at ahatch@dcccd.edu or by phone at either (214) 378-1819 or (940) 595-5552.

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