Hands Across California is the latest organized effort by Ken Kragen, known for his work with Hands across America, NetAid and We are the World fundraisers. Kragen entered the picture to help community college advocates raise awareness of the financial needs of students across the state. According to the Huffington Post, this movement, which took place on April 17, served two purposes: to raise awareness of the critical needs of today's college students and to raise funding that will support those needy students through additional scholarships.
Community colleges are coping with major budget deficits, and this section covers how students are being impacted. From local fundraising efforts to federal grants, we’ll explore how community colleges are staying afloat despite funding cuts and cost increases.
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Cutting Programs at St. Charles
St. Charles Community College in Missouri is just one of the schools in this state that is scrutinizing programs to determine which ones can be cut without hurting student opportunities in popular fields. According to a recent report in the Suburban Journals, SCC is planning to delete five associate degree programs from their course catalogue next year: massage therapy, environmental science, electronics engineering technology, industrial maintenance technology and medical transcription. The programs were listed in a review of public and community college academic programs released by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
Governor Brown's Tuition Hike
Governor Brown just took the California Governor's office a few short months ago, but already he is the target of ire from community college students across his state. The reason? In an effort to balance the budget without cutting additional community college courses and services, Governor Brown has proposed a tuition hike at community colleges throughout California. While the rate increase may not seem insurmountable, at just $10 a credit hour, the total amount of the increase over a year's time is $300. That is a considerable increase for many community college students that are barely making ends meet now.
According to a report on WhiteHouse.gov, one of the first companies to reap the benefits of this fund is ABS Materials. The company has produced an absorbent material dubbed "Osorb," which soaks up organic contaminants like a sponge to help clean up oil spills and polluted waterways. The company has begun generating revenue from their idea in just two short years, providing economic stimulus and jobs to this Ohio community along the way.