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ACC Students Participate with Community College Day

ACC students, staff and regents met with lawmakers during Community College Day at the Capitol on January 26.

The event is held every legislative session to give students an opportunity to discuss issues facing community colleges.

“Community colleges are essential to the State of Texas,” said State Rep. Gary VanDeaver during a rally at the Capitol steps. “Your voice matters. When a student comes into my office and shares their story… that is impactful. We will educate our way to a better state.”

One of the issues facing community colleges is the recommendations from the Commission on Community College Finance to change the funding model from being based primarily on enrollment to student outcomes.

ACC students and staff members met with State Sen. Mayes Middleton and representatives for State Rep. Ed Thompson. They discussed the proposed funding changes, Dual Enrollment, the possibility of offering Bachelor’s Degrees, career training and more.

ACC Dual Enrollment student Amy Chavez spoke about the importance of expanding the program to reach more students who can excel in the program but can’t currently afford it.

“The main thing for me is the financial factor,” she said. “These students are very driven.”

Dental Assistant graduate Courtney Biegel spoke about supporting students seeking career training.

“The ACC program changed my life,” she said. “I’m excited for the future of that.”

After listening to the students Senator Middleton said that community colleges will hopefully see more opportunities through the commission’s recommendations and the outcomes-based funding model.

“That’s one of the most important things to me for the future of community colleges,” he said.