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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 12, 2020 03:13 PM
From: Representative Peter Schweyer
To: All House members
Subject: Community Colleges

As we continue to navigate the continuously changing tides of COVID-19 and the diverse challenges accompanied with this pandemic, it is now more important than ever that we focus on workforce development and educational opportunities for employers, displaced workers, and students.

According to a national survey, individuals impacted by COVID-19 are more interested in the type of education and training offered by community colleges than any other sector of higher education. Pennsylvania community colleges enroll 300,000 credit and noncredit students annually which is 42% of the student population at degree granting institutions in the Commonwealth.  Additionally, community colleges serve as an important gateway for students who want to attain a baccalaureate degree at one of Pennsylvania’s public 4-year institutions.  In Fall of 2018, community colleges transferred 25,000 students to Pennsylvania institutions of higher education, including 6,620 students to a PASSHE institution and 7,998 students to a state-related institution.   

In addition, Pennsylvania's community colleges educate 44% of the most needy students enrolled in higher education as measured by Pell status, yet they are continuously shortchanged when it comes to funding.

We must do more as legislators to support these institutions of higher education that invest so much in the economic health and wellbeing of our communities. My legislation would appropriate $92M to Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges, funding that will aid in COVID-19 safety precautions, the changing landscape of virtual education, emerging job training opportunities, and so much more.

Please join me in support of our exceptional network of community colleges providing opportunities to our students and working families.

Introduced as HB2944