More than 100 community college students, staff and supporters of Oregon’s 17 community
colleges rallied at the state Capitol on Thursday to advocate for community colleges to state legislators.
The event was created as part of the Oregon Community College Association’s Legislative Days—a designated time during the current session for college students and leaders to meet with local legislators to raise awareness of the value that community colleges have in Oregon and to the thousands who attend each year.
LBCC Student Body President Shelby Pick, college staff and LBCC board members met with state legislators throughout the day, including Representatives Mike Nearman, Sherrie Sprenger, Dan Rayfield, Shelly Boshart Davis, and Senators Sara Gelser, Brian Boquist and Fred Girod.
“This year is critical for community college funding,” said OCCA’s Executive Director Cam Preus. “To keep tuition increases to roughly 3.5 percent statewide in each year of the upcoming biennium, and to maintain current programs and services, Oregon’s 17 community colleges need $647 million in funding. We are also asking lawmakers for an additional $70 million for Career-Technical Education programs and $70 million for student success programs to support first-generation college students and those from underrepresented populations.”
Currently the Community College Support Fund Receives $570 million from the state. Colleges will need at least an additional $77 million ($647 million total) to balance their budgets without further program cuts or steep tuition hikes.
In addition, Oregon’s 17 community colleges are seeking an additional $140 million, $70 million for CTE programs and $70 million for wrap-around services, which would allow colleges to double the number of graduates in career technical education programs and make dramatic progress in completion rates, especially for first-generation and under-represented students.
Community colleges serve students with the greatest academic, financial and social challenges as well as the most first-generation and underrepresented students of any sector of higher education in Oregon.
Community colleges also serve as a critical bridge between K-12 and universities, and provide services for students across the continuum. Investing in community colleges build student success across the education spectrum.
About Linn-Benton Community College: More than 18,000 students rely on Linn-Benton Community College each year for higher
education including career technical education, transfer degree programs, professional
development, corporate training, small business development, community education classes
and more. Serving the mid-Willamette Valley with six locations including its main
campus in Albany, LBCC partners with multiple business and industries to enrich the
community and support economic growth. LBCC students choose from more than 80 programs
and go on to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, skilled workers and community builders.
LBCC Student Body President Shelby Pick met with State Representative Shelley Boshart Davis for Community College Day at the Capitol on Thursday. Attending the meeting with Pick were LBCC Director of Government Relations John McArdle, on left, and LBCC Board of Education member Dick Running.
Left to right; LBCC Board of Education members Linda Modrell and Dick Running, State Rep. Dan Rayfield, LBCC board members Jim Merryman and Randy Camp, and LBCC Director of Government Relations John McArdle met to rally support of Community Colleges at CC Day at the Capitol Thursday.
LBCC Board of Education members Dick Running, center, and Randy Camp, right, met with State Senator Sara Gelser to advocate for community colleges during Community College Day at the Capitol Thursday.
Group photo at top:
Community Colleges from across Oregon gathered at the State Capitol Thursday to advocate for support of Oregon's 17 community colleges. The Oregon Legislature is in the process of making decisions that will impact student tuition, program offerings, and staffing at LBCC and all Oregon Community Colleges.