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House | March 3, 2015 | Committee Room | House Transportation Committee

Full MP3 Audio File

Can I have everybody's attention? I think we'll get started. It looks like Finance is keeping most of our people busy, so we'll start out. I want to welcome everybody for the third attempt at the first meeting of the community college. And we will get through this one. We have two bills currently before us. I want to start out first of all by introducing our pages for the day. Emily Ann Marsh of Johnson County, sponsored by the Speaker, and Lauren Travette of Clayton County, sponsored by Representative Brisson. Our sergeant-at-arms are Bill Bass, Mark Pone, and Joe Crook. I want to thank everybody for coming. We're going to first start out. We have a brief presentation by Dr. Rawls. If he wouldn't mind stepping up? And you have the floor, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. I know you're busy today and your time's brief, so I thought I'd cover just a couple of quick things, and I appreciate being able to speak at this first meeting of the community college committee. What I thought I might do, rather than getting into a lot of detail, is talk about, from my perspective, what are the things that make North Carolina community colleges unique. Because I do think North Carolina community colleges are unique. When you go to other parts of the country everybody has community colleges, but they're not like our community colleges. So what I thought might be helpful is to talk about what are some of those things. First, we are unique in our beginnings as community colleges. We came out of the industrial education centers in the 1950s. What is unique about is in that regard is in most other states community colleges started as junior colleges off of a university-based academic model and have moved more towards a workforce development, adding comprehensiveness over time. We almost started exactly the opposite place. We started as industrial education centers focused on job training and grew to comprehensive community colleges, and it is for that reason, I believe, is that we're one of the most workforce-focused community colleges systems, one of the most job-focused forms of education that you will find. We're also for that reason, I believe, one of the most comprehensive forum of community colleges in the country. What that means is we do more things than other colleges, and mostly those areas are non-degree workforce-training roles that you do not see community colleges in other places playing. A second place that we're unique. We're unique, I think, in our position, and we've grown to get comfortable with this, but I often call us the middle child in education. But we play a very unique role. And I often say we are the seam in seamless education. So what that means is community colleges, we have a very strong relationship and engagement with our public schools. More than you see in other states, thanks to your support of dual enrollment programs. Programs where students can take college courses while in high school. Career technical, university transfer, we have more early colleges. A third of all the early college high schools in the United States are in our state, and most are on our campus. We also then have a very unique engagement with the universities. About 150,000 of our students come to us for university transfer, and we've been working very diligently on this for the last three years, on refining our articulation agreements to add more guarantees. And we're proud. Last week, we just introduced a new associate in engineering that allows seamless transfer to the five engineering schools and a new nursing articulation agreement. A third area I'd say we're unique. We're unique in our role. Our average age is 28. Two-thirds of the college students in the United States now are non-traditional students, meaning they didn't come straight out of high school. They have jobs. They have families. When two-thirds are call non-traditional, you think maybe it's time to come up with another name, but most of our students are even more non-traditional in that regard. Our average age is 28. We serve more and more, because of the rise in tuition as you know about, low-income but also working class families. For that reason, and I've over time developed this thought, is that we are

We're more pathway colleges than destination colleges, and here's what I mean by that is for 20 years, I've worked with community college students. I love community college students, but I often ask, was your dream to go to Pitt Community College, to go to South, never once has a student said I grew up wanting to be, to go to Pitt Community College. That's just not who we are. We're not, we're like going to go to Duke or Wake Forest or UNC or ECU, however, here's what we are is we're pathway colleges. We're pathways to jobs, and we're pathways to the universities particularly for those who would not have another way of starting were it not for our pathways. And that's why our innovations and what we've been working on is across 58 colleges whether it's in terms of college completion or workforce development is fundamentally about how do you clear pathways to those ultimate destinations. The last place, and then I'll conclude, is we are very unique in our scale, in our reach. The fact that we are the most accessible, I think, community college system in the country in both location and cost and we're very thankful to you for helping us maintain that, because we take great pride that we are the place where low income students and working class students can turn for higher education. So everybody within the state is within 30 miles of a community college campus, and last year, at the top of Mount Mitchell or Lake Mattamuskeet, I learned that in a difficult way, on a economic development trip at one time, but that's a whole other story. And in terms of cost, we have the fourth lowest cost tuition in the country, and that's been a North Carolina heritage and I think something that we would all hope that would be maintained. 40% of all the wage earners in our state, a little over 40% of wage earners in our state, these are department of commerce studies, have been students of our community college, at one of our 58 community colleges, sometime in the last 10 years. One in nine adults each year in North Carolina is enrolled in some sort of community college program, and because we're very jobs focused education, and we think we're very efficient education, our greatest impact is in terms of the wage impact for students who sometimes don't start at a high place but get to a better place, get to a middle class place. So 46% of all the alumni wage impact from higher ed in our state comes from our 58 community colleges. So I think the scale, the impact. I'm very proud of the role our community colleges play, and I'm very thankful for the support that the general assembly provides to our community college system, and I appreciate the attention you're giving to it now as part of a community college committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Dr. Rolls. Appreciate your time. All right, we have two bills on the calendar. We're gonna start with House bill 15. This is gonna be presented by Representative Pendleton, Stam, and Yarborough. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pendleton, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank. ?? Hold on, okay. How great of a system we have. I'm using old figures a long time ago, but we have the third largest system in the nation and Dr. Rolls has already talked about it. 58 community colleges in the state. But this bill looks like it's gonna cost money, and it will cost more money as far as community colleges are concerned, but you'll have about two and half times that much money in savings from the university system so the students don't have to, to go to that. So the bill's real simple. It allows them, the community colleges to be able to take the college transfer programs and be able to, to upfront the money so that students can go to community colleges instead of going to the university system. Whenever they're ready to go to the university system, then, then they'll transfer over there. So it just saves a lot of money to the, to the, to the university system. Anybody have any questions on it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions or discussions? Yes, Representative Insko. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So I just want to make sure I understand correctly that the universal general education transfer courses they're, they, that's that body of courses that the university and the community college system have agreed together on that a student can take at a community college and have credit at the university? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And that's just like a, the

Beginning courses? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, they could be more than beginning courses, but it's college,e it's courses that will transfer to, to one of the, one of the universities. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brown? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion when you're ready, mister chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion? Oh, Representative Dobson? [SPEAKER CHANGES] One quick comment if I may, or two quick comments on this bill if I may. One, I'd like to echo what Dr. Rolls was talking about. As a graduate of the community college, it's kind of personal for me, and these are the kind of bills we can have consensus on and bring together. So I just commend the bill sponsors for bringing this forward, and I look forward to supporting it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now, Representative Yarborough, did you have something you wanted to say? Or did you think I've covered it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You wanna use your microphone? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You gotta come up here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As a parent of two children in college at university, I understand and hear from people how expensive it's become and it's becoming in, in, unaffordable to send your children to university, and yet, there's a huge demand for it. What this should do is help to, help to lower the cost for some individual families, and yet make a university education available to more children. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stevens? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm sort of gonna follow up. Thank you mister chair. I was gonna sort of follow up with what Representative Josh Dobson was saying. I also went to community college and didn't have a problem with every credit I took transferring. I even had one class that transferred as a junior level course. But one thing that we do that treats the community colleges unfairly is I'm a drop out statistic because I went to community college for a year, then came back for a summer, and graduated in three years, but I'm still one of their dropout statistics, and I hope somehow we take some of that into account in rewarding the community college for the extra hard work they do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Chairman McNeill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Representative Pendleton. Is it not true that, that these classes are already paid for year round and this bill just actually allows them to be offered in the summertime to be paid? Isn't that, isn't that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right, it already is. It's just, it's just a, it's just repositioning the dollars so that they can get it up front. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further questions? Representative Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. I move for a favorable, favorable report for house bill 15. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This does get a serial referral to appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] With a serial referral to appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The motion is before us. All in favor say aye. Opposed? The ayes have it, and the bill is passed on to appropriations. Second one is house bill 47 which is mine, so I'll be, bring it over to Gail. [SPEAKER CHANGES] On house bill 47 there is a PCS. Do I have a motion that we hear the PCS? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Daughtry. All right. Representative Brody, you may proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. In December of 2013, the Anson county school board decided to take a chance, and a big chance and apply for a grant from the department of education and labor for $2 million to offer courses for their high school students. And lo and behold, last summer, they found out that they were awarded the grant, $2 million. It was one of 26 grants throughout the country and the only one in North Carolina. The problem we have is that between the time that they applied for the grant and the time that they got the grant, we changed our law. And currently, the, the system, our current system doesn't allow that, them to use the grant. Basically what we're, what it doesn't allow to use for freshman and sophomores in high school. The program will set up for 90 students beginning in a freshman class and adding 90 for the next four years and each year the, the, the school system will receive half a million dollars in order to proceed with that. What we're asking is that we allow them an exception to, to exercise the program. It's gonna

be more of on an experimental stage. We're gonna find out if this program does work. It does sunset, so we aren't creating a program that will last forever. This is a four year program and then it ends. At the end of four years, we can decide if we want to continue it or not. Ready for questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Arp for a motion when appropriate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Insko. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you're going to enroll 90 students for four years in a row? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We're gonna [SPEAKER CHANGES] And your grant lasts four years. And when the four years is over, the grant either gets renewed or expires, and if it expires what happens to those people that enrolled in the fourth year? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Then that's what we have to decide. I think one of the folks from the community college can answer that better than I can, if the Chair will permit? [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. If you'll just step up and state your name for the record? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi. My name is Jennifer Haygood. I'm Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for the community college system. Our recommendation to the legislature is that we find that this is a successful program, that the school apply to be a cooperative, innovative high school which is already authorized under our statutes and it continue under that basis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there any other questions? If not, seeing none, Representative Arp for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make a motion that we have a favorable report to the post committee substitute, unfavorable to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And could you add a referral to Appropriations to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] With a ?? referral to Appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. The committee hears the motion. All in favor say Aye. Opposed No. Appears the Ayes have it. The Ayes do have it. Thank you. We're adjourned.