obamaIf you’ve been flip flopping about whether it’s a good idea to head back to school or not, you might feel better having the president’s endorsement. President Barack Obama today announced a 10-year,  $12 billion plan to help more Americans graduate from community college, and in turn, secure a better career future. Here’s what he said:

…in the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience. We will not fill those jobs – or keep those jobs on our shores – without the training offered by community colleges.

Today, I am announcing the most significant down payment yet on reaching this goal in the next 10 years. It’s called the American Graduation Initiative. It will reform and strengthen community colleges from coast to coast so that they get the resources students and schools need – and the results workers and businesses demand. Through this plan, we seek to help an additional five million Americans earn degrees and certificates in the next decade.

We’ve been touting the benefits of education for a while ourselves (if you missed our “25 Things About Career Education,” click in now). The fact is, community colleges and career schools are the perfect way to get ahead, with a shorter-term and lower-cost commitment than a four-year degree. And isn’t that what career changers and working adults with families need — programs that take less time and cost less money?!

So what exactly will the American Graduation Initiative do for you? If you plan on enrolling in a community college program sometime during the next decade, you may see the following:

  • More and more scholarship and grant opportunities will start sprouting up to make college affordable for students
  • Money will help struggling community colleges form partnerships with local businesses
  • Funds will be provided to help schools create degree programs that are aimed at nontraditional students — that means online instruction as well as various part-time options will become available where they otherwise weren’t
  • Community colleges will get a makeover, too! Renovations mean better equipped classrooms, plus they will help create jobs.

Sounds like a plan, right? It must be tough to decide which programs to cut and which ones to throw money at in a tough economy. But I think President Obama definitely made the right decision in the educational arena Way to go, O!

What do you think of the new American Graduation Initiative? Sound off below…

-Dawn Papandrea

File Under: Education


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