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Oregon's Community Colleges to Ask Legislature for $32 Million

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UCC joins statewide effort to mitigate tuition increases, restore funding for student advising.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – When the legislative session begins in Salem on Feb. 5, Umpqua Community College (UCC) will join the state’s other 16 community colleges to ask the Oregon Legislature to allocate an additional $32 million to the Community College Support Fund (CCSF). The request is to mitigate tuition increases and restore funding for student advising in the second year of the 2017-2019 biennium.

At the end of the 2017 legislative session, the Joint Ways and Means Committee restored more than $70 million to the Public Universities Support Fund (PUSF) to keep the cost of tuition down, but only invested $6 million to do the same at the community colleges. The lack of funding at the state level forces tuition increases at the local level at both community colleges and public universities. Each are critical parts of the education continuum and the legislature must support both.

In the last two biennia, the legislature’s investment to the PUSF has grown at twice the rate of property tax and general funding going toward the Community College Support Fund (CCSF). For example, in the 2017 session, general fund dollars into the PUSF increased nearly 27 percent compared to just 13 percent for the CCSF.

“The lack of funding at the state level forces tuition increases at the community college level,” Dave Hunt, Oregon Community College Association vice president, said. “Our colleges serve students with the greatest academic, financial and social challenges, but receive less per student in public funding than our university counterparts. The legislature must work to ensure students in both community colleges and public universities have the support needed to succeed.”

Advising is a critical area where help is needed to ensure student success. Proper advising helps ensure that students are taking the right classes at the right time, which saves both time and money.
• The nationally recommended student-to-advisor ratio is 300:1.
• The Oregon community college average is 440:1.
• The average at UCC is 750:1.

“Community colleges serve as a critical bridge between K-12 and the universities and provide services to students across the continuum,” Denise Frisbee, Oregon Community College Association president, said. “Investing in community colleges helps build student success across the education spectrum.”

Investing in community colleges now will help colleges continue this path of profound change in how they serve students.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

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