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WLNS 6 Lansing: Sen. Peters, others offer plan to make college more affordable

Efforts to make college affordable and accessible is the goal of legislation that has been introduced in Washington today.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters, along with a number of other Senators and U.S. Representatives from both parties, are reintroducing “The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act”.

That legislation is geared to helping higher learning institutions to develop dual and concurrent enrollment and college programs that allow high school students to earn college credits before high school graduation.

“Some form of higher education or technical certification is increasingly essential to joining today’s workforce, and the rising cost of tuition should not be a barrier that keeps students from getting the skills and education they need to succeed,” said Senator Peters.

The legislation would allow federal funding for grants that would:

  • Offer dual and concurrent enrollment programs as well as early/middle college programming, including covering tuition, fees, books and materials for students
  • Provide professional development services to teachers in these programs
  • Support course design, course approval processes, community outreach, student counseling and support services.

Concurrent enrollments allow high school students to earn college credit by taking college-level courses that are taught by college-approved high school instructors within the high school environment.

Dual enrollment programs provide high school students an opportunity to take college-level courses while enrolled at both a high school and college.

“Early College programs are essential in accelerating academic and personal growth,” said Lansing Community College President, Dr. Brent Knight. “This bill promotes access and affordability to higher education—which will help close the skills gap and improve college attendance and completion rates.”