Congress Supports Community Colleges through American Graduation Initiative
Sep 29, 2009
On September 17, the U.S. House of Representatives delivered on President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative by passing H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, or SAFRA. Title V of SAFRA invests $630 million annually for ten years in matching grants to community colleges and states to strengthen and develop programs to ensure more students reach the president’s goal.
The American Graduation Initiative will support:
- Community colleges seeking to improve their access and graduation rates. Starting in 2010, community colleges and related institutions can choose from a menu of seven fundable options, such as building linkages between secondary or adult education programs and community colleges, integrating basic skills and occupational training, or creating programs in partnership with employers that provide job-skill training for skilled occupations in high-demand industries.
- States seeking to implement systematic reform of their community college systems. Starting in 2014, funding will shift to states, giving them the opportunity to leverage innovations proven successful at the institutional level.
- Creation of the Learning and Earning Research Center, a research organization tasked with analysis and evaluation of the nation’s community colleges.
Watch senior policy analyst Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield’s overview of H.R. 3221 and other federal opportunities for ensuring postsecondary success at the state level.