President Barack Obama greets college students after a town hall meeting in 2010. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
Are you willing to work for your two-year degree? If you can maintain a 2.5 GPA and make steady progress toward completion of your program, President Barack Obama wants to help you get an education. He unveiled plans Thursday for America’s College Promise, a program that likely will be welcomed by college students who would otherwise join America’s $1.2 trillion student debt problem — or not pursue higher education at all — without this kind of assistance.
According to the White House, the program would expect community colleges to create academic programs that either offer occupational training programs with high graduation rates and “lead to in-demand degrees,” or that transfer credits to public four-year universities and colleges.
Community colleges also would have to show they are working to improve student outcomes via “promising and evidence-based reforms.”
Of course, this isn’t a done deal. Congress has to approve the plan first. Federal funding would cover 75 percent of the program cost; state funding would pick up the rest.
We’ll see how it shakes out. It certainly wouldn’t hurt as a method to help close the skills gaps many industries are currently suffering. Nor would it be a bad thing for employees looking to skill up to qualify for higher paying positions that require credentials out of their range because of economic hardship.