Today, the U.S. Department of Education released the America's College Promise Playbook, a comprehensive and up-to-date resource guide that provides practitioners with relevant and actionable information about how they can offer more students access to an affordable, high-quality education through which students can go as far as their talents and work ethic can take them.
Inspired by the President’s America’s College Promise plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost, the playbook focuses on strategies that bring partners together to serve students across all stages of their college and career pathways. The America’s College Promise proposal influenced the design of the largest city-wide free community college program to date, the Los Angeles Promise.
“Last year, the President set forth a bold vision to make two years of college as universal as high school was a century ago, helping students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost,” said U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Community colleges are not just a distinctly American institution, but as the largest, most affordable segment of America’s higher education system, they are critical to reaching the President’s goal to have the highest share of college graduates in the world and to ensuring America’s economic prosperity in the future.”
On Tuesday, as part of the Department’s 2016 Opportunity Across America Bus Tour, Secretary King will visit Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee where President Obama originally announced the America’s College Promise proposal, which was inspired by Tennessee’s efforts, in January 2015.
As one of the clearest paths to the middle class, higher education has never been more important. Over the next decade, the number of jobs requiring some level of higher education is expected to grow more rapidly than those that do not, with 11 of the 15 fastest-growing occupations requiring postsecondary education. At a time when jobs can go anywhere in the world, skills and education will determine success for individuals and for nations.
Yet, far too many students either don’t go to college or never finish their degree. The President has proposed a new $61 billion investment over the next decade for America's College Promise to create a new partnership with states to help them waive tuition in high-quality programs for these students, while promoting key reforms to help more students complete at least two years of college and help meet the demands of a growing global economy.