TIME: For Immediate Release
DATE: February 1, 2019
CONTACT: John Tompkins, Communications Coordinator
(281) 756-3551 office
SUBJECT: ACC Students Attend Community College Day
PHOTOS: photo from event
ACC Students Attend Community College Day
Faced with issues such as rising textbook costs, the need for mental health services and changes to Dual Enrollment, Alvin Community College students visited with lawmakers on Community College Day at the Texas Legislature on January 30.
Students from community colleges across the state were at the Capitol throughout the day speaking with legislators about higher education in Texas. Community College Day also included tours for the college students as well as a rally in front of the steps to the Capitol. ACC Board of Regents Chair Mike Pyburn, regent Jody Droege and President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht joined the students at the Capitol
We had a wonderful day at the capitol with our students,” President Albrecht said. “They asked insightful questions while meeting with our legislative representatives. Chairman Mike Pyburn and board secretary Jody Droege were also very impressed with our students, some of whom had never been to our capitol.”
Community colleges play a major role in educating Texans and is, said State Rep. J.M. Lozano during the recognition of Community College Day on the House Floor.
“Some of the many opportunities that community colleges provide for our students are the ability to participate in Dual Credit programs, receive technical training that will prepare them for the workforce and allow students to complete their college degrees with less debt,” he said.
A group of ACC students and staff spoke with State Rep. Ed Thompson and representatives of State Sen. Larry Taylor during Community College Day. Students talked about a variety of issues including the cost of textbooks, course transferability, mental health awareness and Dual Enrollment.
Asked if there would be any adjustments to Dual Enrollment in Texas, Thompson responded that he would like to see the program increased along with more advising for students in high school and junior high school.
“I hope that we see an expansion of opportunities for those students,” Thompson said. “I think it’s the best thing to come around” in education.
As students face rising textbook costs, the legislature may pursue funding alternative textbook sources including digital material, Thompson said.
Legislators may also explore the possibility of providing additional mental health services to students, Thompson said.
“You are going to see a lot more discussion of that in this session,” he said.
Students asked about how legislators could help ensure that the courses they take transfer to the university level. Senate Higher Education policy analyst Daniel Warner spoke about the possibility of a data sharing program between community colleges and universities that would help students make proper selection for their degree program.
“I think collaboration with faculty groups will get us moving in the right direction,” Warner said.
Whatever the outcome of the legislative session, Thompson encouraged students to stay in contact with their state public officials.
“Always feel free to come and speak with us,” he told them.
ACC students and staff pose in front of the Texas Capitol during community college day on January 30.