COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 109
(Extensions of Remarks - June 27, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E862]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. GRACE MENG

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 27, 2019

  Ms. MENG. Madam Speaker, community colleges play a critical role in 
American higher education. There are over 1,000 community colleges 
across the United States. Nearly 40 percent of undergraduates are 
enrolled in community colleges. Of these students a large portion are 
first-generation, low-income college students, and half are students of 
color. Community colleges indeed play a crucial role in closing our 
nation's skills gap through education and workforce training. 
Unfortunately, many of these institutions are often under-resourced. 
This leaves students without the necessary support to complete their 
degrees.
  Access to college means little without degree completion. Studies 
show that only 20 percent of full-time community college students 
graduate after three years and just 35 percent graduate after five 
years. Research is also clear that students who do not complete a 
degree are at greater risk of defaulting on their loans.
  That is why, today, I am introducing the Community College Student 
Success Act of 2019, a bill that will help community colleges around 
the country by giving under-resourced colleges with high percentages of 
low-income and minority students the necessary funding to develop and 
implement comprehensive student support services.
  First, the Community College Student Success Act would provide 
academic advising, wherein, advisors will provide ongoing, academic, 
and personal advising to students including helping to clearly lay out 
a three-year graduation plan and creating strong transfer pathways for 
students interested in continuing their education.
  Second, this bill would provide academic and career support, wherein, 
students on academic probation or who have been referred to 
developmental courses will be required to meet weekly with a tutor. 
These students will also meet with an on-campus career counselor or 
participate in career services events at least once a semester to 
promote career planning and success.
  Third, this bill would provide financial support, wherein, students 
will receive a tuition waiver to cover the gap between the tuition and 
fees and financial aid. Additionally, students satisfying all the 
meeting requirements will receive a financial incentive, such as a 
transportation pass or gas card, at least once per month.
  Additionally, the goal of this legislation is to replicate the 
remarkable and proven success of the Accelerated Study in Associate 
Programs (ASAP)--a program that was created and instituted by the City 
University of New York (CUNY) in 2007. This program has been found to 
consistently double the graduation rates of participating students.
  Madam Speaker, the Community College Student Success Act of 2019 
ultimately seeks to help achieve student success through holistic and 
student-centered services.
  I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and join me in 
helping community college students across the nation by providing 
pathways to upward economic mobility and more opportunities. If 
Congress truly values the importance of educating our next generation, 
we must increase our investment in these institutions and the students 
they serve. Each person deserves a quality education--no matter their 
background--because education is a civil right.

                          ____________________