Investing in Community Colleges

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Governor Patrick    FY 2013 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


The 15 community colleges that make up the Massachusetts community college system are essential contributors to the workforce development and the economic prosperity of Massachusetts.  The community colleges provide relevant, affordable educational and career-focused training programs to prepare students of all ages for both the local job market and further academic study.

The community colleges currently serve as the linchpin of three central goals of the Patrick-Murray Administration:

1.    Creating a 21st century workforce that will respond to local and statewide economic needs;

2.    Reducing unemployment across the state; and

3.    Closing the achievement gap.

Strengthening Massachusetts Community Colleges

Going forward, the mission of the Massachusetts community colleges will be to prepare students of all ages for the local job market by providing relevant, affordable education and training.  The primary goal of the community college system will be to offer courses that are better aligned with employer needs and are also more standardized and transferable, across campuses.  These courses combined with locally developed, industry-specific curricula will provide students with the education and skills they need to excel in their professional and academic careers. 

The Governor’s FY 2013 budget includes a $10 M increase in total funding for community colleges.  This additional funding aims to support local campuses in achieving these goals, conditioned on passage of reforms.

Reforms Proposed in the FY 2013 Budget

The Patrick-Murray Administration is proposing two strategies to build a more unified and coherent community college system:

1.    Strategic Budgeting – The Board of Higher Education (BHE) will have the authority to allocate all state funding to the community colleges in alignment with systemic priorities.

2.    Strong Leadership – The BHE will have the authority to appoint community college presidents and review their performance in accordance with systemic goals.

By implementing these strategies and also continuing the important work that we have already begun, our community colleges will be better positioned to achieve their primary mission – create jobs by offering high-quality training and certification programs so that students can immediately enter the workforce – as well as create robust pathways to additional educational opportunities.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information email: (617) 727-2040