A team comprised of members of NOVA’s College Board met with several members of the Commonwealth’s Congressional Delegation; including Senator Kaine, as a part of the Association of Community College Trustee’s Legislative Summit. Pictured with Senator Kaine are College Board Members Rosie O’Neil and Zuzana Steen, Student Representative to the College Board Brenda Medrano-Frias and President Ralls. In addition to those pictured, College Board Vice Chair Rick Pearson and Dana Kauffman with College Government Affairs rounded out the delegation meeting with officials on February 13.
These College representatives presented NOVA’s Federal legislative priorities as a team. They align with those of the Association of Community College Trustees; the national advocacy group for community college board members. Concerns include:
- Further amending the Pell program to pay for short-term workforce development/certificate training. These skills are of critical importance to employers and to keeping jobs in our region/state. We have already seen established technology employers move out of state in an effort to find skilled employees.
- Providing Dreamers with permanent legal status and a path to citizenship. NOVA currently has 632 self-identified DACA students; by far the largest concentration in Virginia.
- Rethinking “Risk Sharing” as a part of the Higher Education Act re-authorization. Originally intended as a check to abuse by for-profit institutions, this concept would penalize community colleges as open-access institutions for the hardest to serve students.
The NOVA team enjoyed their time in D.C. and are looking forward to the results of the legislative summit.