OCC Chancellor Timothy R. Meyer applauded Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 budget recommendation for funding increases for the state’s 28 community colleges.
“This is a clear recognition of the critical role community colleges play in the state’s economy,” Meyer said.
Snyder’s executive budget features an 8% increase in total funding over fiscal year 2015. This proposal includes a 1.4% increase or $4.3 million for community college operations, bringing total operations funding to $311.5 million.
As the state’s largest community college, OCC educates over 45,000 students a year. Combined, the state’s community colleges educate upwards of 412,000 students a year.
“The governor recognizes the role of community colleges as partners in economic development and prosperity,” Meyer said. “OCC designs its academic programs based on the needs of the area’s labor markets. Dollar for dollar, the return on investment in community colleges is significant for individuals, our local community and the state.”
The governor also proposed to double skilled trades training funds from $10 million to $20 million, and $17.8 million in K-12 career tech and early middle college programs focusing on skilled trades to foster increased collaboration among K-12, community colleges and universities.
The budget also includes $6 million to fund Independent Part-Time Student Grants, which targets part-time adult community college students. The governor encourages community colleges to use this funding to re-enroll former students who may have dropped out without earning a degree or other credential.
Funding for the state’s community colleges supports the governor’s goal of ensuring at least 60% of Michigan residents have high-quality skills training, a degree or other credential by 2025.