Oregon Debates Free Community College Plan

diverseeducation.com

In just the last year or so, Tennessee adopted a plan for free community colleges, as did Chicago and the Community College of Philadelphia. Now the Oregon state legislature is debating whether to institute a similar program.

State senator Mark Hass put forward SB 81 this past February, a bill that would make community college free for qualified high school graduates in Oregon. To qualify for free tuition, students would have to be state residents and have graduated from high school within the past two years before starting classes and meet certain academic standards. Students would also have to pay $50 per course.

According to a study prepared for the state, the estimated cost of such a program would be $25 million. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission looked into different ways to make college affordable in 2014. Paying the tuition, housing, food and transportation costs of all Oregon adults without a degree would cost $250 million, the report found. Instead of such a comprehensive approach, the program will pay only for tuition using a “last dollar” scholarship. Students must apply for federal and state aid, which is expected to cover 75 percent of the cost, and the state would chip in the rest. The total cost to the state is estimated to be about $25 million.

Hass has repeatedly said that there is an economic argument to be made for free community college, pointing out that someone without a postsecondary degree or certificate has fewer opportunities for gainful employment.

In an op-ed published in the Oregonian, Hass and Representative Mark Johnson wrote, “Most of us agree that without some kind of training or education after high school there is often a well-worn path to poverty. And poverty is expensive. A lifetime of food stamps is much more expensive than the annual community college tuition of $3,000.”

Whether the bill passes still remains to be seen. The program would take effect in 2017-18, but a host of recent reports and audits found that the state’s 17 community colleges grapple less with enrollment issues and more with graduation and completion rates.

An audit released in May by the Oregon Secretary of State found that only 24 percent of community college students who started in 2007-08 completed a degree or certificate within seven years. To improve outcomes, the audit recommended that community colleges prioritize student success initiatives. The audit also found that state investment is too low to fund the requisite programs in a comprehensive way.

“[The findings] clearly show that Oregon’s community colleges have done a good job of identifying and developing strategies to help students succeed, and we are proud of that work. However, as the audit says, our ability to better serve our students has been hamstrung by anemic funding and lack of capacity for analysis,” said Andrea Henderson, executive director of the Oregon Community College Association, in a statement in May.

Community Colleges and Employers Develop Online Course Content To Address High-Need Skills Gap

campustechnology.com

CorpU, a social learning platform, and Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit that focuses on addressing workforce demands, have assembled the College Employer Collaborative (CEC), a group of community colleges and employers that will work with CorpU to develop college curricula and credentials intended to meet the needs of high-growth industries.

According to a recent Gallup survey, approximately one third of business leaders think college and university graduates don’t have the skills that meet their business needs. The CEC aims to help rectify the situation by developing online courses geared toward the skills employers are looking for in employees.

“Community colleges have always been a critical pipeline of talent,” said Brian Inbody, president of Neosho County Community College, in a prepared statement. “By working with employers to actually develop course content, we are able to help students develop high-demand skills in the context of a meaningful academic environment.”

The CEC will meet in mid-June to begin designing the courses. Employers and CorpU learning designers will work together to develop the courses using CorpU’s social learning platform. Colleges will integrate the online course content into their on-campus courses beginning in the Fall 2015 semester. According to information from CorpU and Jobs for the Future, “students who successfully complete the courses will earn a credential recognized by employers in the Collaborative, which signals their mastery of these critical skills.”

Community college members of the CEC include Neosho County Community College in Kansas, Everett Community College in Washington State, LaGuardia Community College in New York and Alamo Colleges in Texas. Employer members include AGCO, Boeing, MetLife Premier Client Group, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Waddell & Reed and Securian Financial Group.

GAMA International, a professional development association for leadership and management professionals in the insurance, investment and financial services industry, helped to convene the employers that have joined the CEC.

Community colleges work with adult learners

desmoinesregister.com

At Des Moines Area Community College, students over the age of 26 make up about 20 percent of the student population.

Mike Hoffman, executive director of continuing education at DMACC, shared with the Register some insights on why the number of adult learners is increasing, what concerns those students have and why returning for more education can be beneficial.

Why the increase in adult learners?

I think, originally, it was probably because the unemployment rate was so high the past couple of years. People are going back to get reskilled in order to provide better opportunities for themselves in a different career.

I think you have a lot of career changers out there. People in a job for a long period of time want to go back and do something differently. They come to community college to skill up.

What are some of their main concerns when thinking about getting more education?

Typically, when they first come back, we do some type of assessment and find out: Do they have a high school diploma or not? In some cases, they don’t. So then we put them through our adult basic education program. They start that, because typically employers will not hire somebody without the minimum of a high school diploma.

So once they start that adult education track, we help them figure out what their goals are while they’re going through that process. Whether it’s some short-term training opportunities that we offer — such as non-credit training that we offer through our Workforce Training Academy — which will give them an opportunity for immediate employment, or we can get them into a two-year degree program.

Sometimes, some people just need to survive, so it’s about getting off unemployment, getting a job immediately in order to get employed right away. Those trainings are set up based on industry need. We work with our industry partners. For example, if they need CNA (nursing) students immediately, we would set up some non-credit CNA programming so those students can get into employment right away.

Typically, (adult learners) think when they go to school, they’re going to be in a class with a bunch of 19- and 20-year-olds. For them to walk into a classroom with them being 30- to 40-year-olds is a little intimidating. But typically at most community colleges, you’re going to have that stretch of 18- to 45-year-olds.

How can they get financial assistance?

We have in place now, thanks to the legislation, two funding sources, including gap tuition assistance and PACE: Pathways for Academic Career Education and Employment.

Gap tuition assistance is tuition assistance to help support students financially as they’re going through noncredit training, so it’ll help based on their income guidelines … those below 250 percent of the poverty level (qualify).

PACE (helps with) tuition assistance as well as other barriers to the person being successful: help with a tutor, gas card if the student needs help getting to class. We’ve used it for rental assistance, child care assistance.

What’s the classroom dynamic like with a wide age range?

I think a lot of times they build some camaraderie within the class. Some of the older students who are more experienced and might be able to share some life experiences with the younger students, which is a huge benefit.

Benefits of going back to school?

The big benefit is for them to skill-up and get a higher-paying job based on that education. We actually just started a new partnership with some area IT companies, like Principal, Nationwide, Shazam, they need application developers, but they’re not getting them fast enough.

Community colleges do a great job of working with area employers to meet the needs of their employment opportunities, because it changes so quickly sometimes. We can adjust quickly to meet those needs.

Don’t be afraid to come in. Community colleges work hard and work with people individually when they come in and are very understanding of the situations they’re in and make the first step.

Allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree will cost taxpayers more

Source:  mlive.com

Once again, Lansing is debating whether we need to dramatically increase the number of four year public universities operating in Michigan – without considering the consequences of such a move.

Legislation is pending to allow Michigan’s 28 community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain fields, bringing the number of four year colleges in the state to 43. The argument is that community colleges can provide four-year degrees more cheaply than our current universities. But this penny wise, degree-foolish thought process ignores the reality that today Michigan’s community colleges have a track record of low graduation rates and high spending on the students they do graduate.

It takes more local and state dollars to fund a community college associate degree than a public university bachelor’s degree, national studies show. In 2008, community colleges spent an average of $68,867 to get each associate student graduated with two years of college credit. The cost to get a student graduated at a public university is $10,000 less ($57,019), even though the time the student spends in classrooms is twice that of an associate degree, and despite the fact that the value in earning potential of a bachelor’s degree is far, far higher than an associate’s degree, according to a Delta Cost Project report issued in 2008.

Michigan data shows why. In Michigan, only 15.2 percent of associate students who started community college in 2006 ended up graduating within three years. In that same year, Michigan’s graduation rate for four-year universities was 54.8 percent – better than the national average.

Equally sobering: the Michigan community college completion rate is about half that of the national rate of 29.2 percent. Michigan schools do far worse than their peers around the nation in getting students to associate’s degrees.

Michigan doesn’t need more four year colleges. It needs its two year colleges to a better job at their mission, not engage in mission creep that is unneeded. Indeed, the evidence is clear that as community colleges start to offer four year degrees, they will need to hire more faculty with advanced degrees, will need to add lab and other space at a high cost and will engage in expensive administration growth to ensure they can meet tough national accreditation standards. So the final cost will be far higher to taxpayers and students than if those students just attended current four year schools.

Funding bachelor programs at 28 colleges that struggle to get their current students graduated is a risky investment for Michigan. Those expecting that adding four year degrees will not add major costs to students are ignoring reality.

Community colleges need to focus on improving graduation rates in the degree programs they already offer, and helping those students get ready to move into four-year universities that are ready and able today to meet their needs and graduate a far larger proportion on time and at lower overall costs.

Michael A. Boulus is the executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

Find Alternatives to Popular Majors at Community Colleges

usnews.com

Choosing a major that will lead to career and financial success can be intimidating for students.

“Students pick business because they think that business is what’s going to get them a job,” says Kathy Michaelian, instructional dean of business at Montgomery College in Maryland. “A lot of students come into business without truly understanding what it means to have a business degree.”

Business and health professions are two of the most popular college majors in the U.S. Job security is a common and valid reason for choosing a major, but there are many facets of business and heath care that students can explore at community college.

Community colleges offer a variety of business certifications for students who are interested in specific subsets of business. Those can include hospitality, accounting, management information services, restaurant and food management and construction management.

Certifications and associate degrees in specialties, like hospitality, could be beneficial for students who are already working in those fields and need some education to advance their careers.

“When you’re looking at the certificates, look for certificates that feed into degrees,” Michaelian says. That way students won’t lose credits if they choose to continue their education later.

It’s more common for students to choose to start a business administration degree at community college and transfer to a four-year university.

That’s the best option for students who have no prior education or job training, experts say.

“The best thing for them to do is to take the general education requirements because those will generally transfer anywhere,” says Tom Hendricks, dean of business and information technologies at Oakland Community College in Michigan. “Once you get into the specialized degrees, they may or may not.”

Students can work with community colleges and their intended four-year university to find out whichcredits will transfer.

A business degree isn’t the only option for a business-minded student. Students who want to start a business in the future can choose to major in a different subject but pursue entrepreneurship opportunities on campus, experts say.

Some schools offer extracurricular and academic programs and competitions to help students develop business ideas and build skills. For example, Montgomery College hosted its first “Shark Tank”-style competition that allows students from any major to compete for the opportunity to pitch ideas to industry leaders and win seed money.

Students can also look into entrepreneurship certificates and classes to build business skills while pursuing a degree in a different field.

Unlike many business professions, students can earn an associate degree in nursing and start working. Registered nurses are in high demand and so are spots in nursing programs at community colleges which are both popular and competitive.

But there are plenty of other professions within the health care industry that students can pursue with an associate degree. Job opportunities in fields such as respiratory therapy, radiology technology andphlebotomy are expected to grow as much or faster than job prospects for nursing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.​

The Importance of Federation: California Community Colleges Join InCommon

campustechnology.com

With 72 autonomous districts and 112 colleges, the California Community Colleges are looking to federated identity as an important element of their technology strategy. This week, they’ve announced that the system is joining InCommon. CT spoke with California Community Colleges Technology Center Executive Director, Tim Calhoon, for some insight on the CCC’s move.

Mary Grush: What is the background of technology change at the California Community Colleges that ultimately led to your more current push for federated identity?

Tim Calhoon: The story really begins for us way back in the late 1990s. The community colleges at that time were putting together a fiber optic network, 4CNET, which eventually was folded into what is now our fiber optic network in California operated by CENIC. It’s the California Research and Education Network that all of education in California ties into. This was the first time that the California Community Colleges acted together in a technical project. We worked together to make it happen, and the result is that all the community colleges now have broadband Internet that’s paid for centrally.

The next significant project was to normalize the application for admissions. This idea came about particularly to give us data integrity coming into the system — we had our infrastructure, but we were having some problems with data integrity throughout our system. We also worked on the exchange of electronic transcripts among the community colleges.

Those were the projects that really laid the groundwork for the centralization of technology in our system. Then in the year 2001, the colleges began adopting CCCApply, the new application for admissions. By 2010 — this took almost ten years — 103 of the 112 colleges were using it.

I should note here that as a system we’re a very distributed model and we can’t actually mandate that our colleges use any of this. We built all this with steering committees composed of stake holders from across the colleges. So everything we do is really owned and governed by the colleges themselves.

By 2008, we came to the realization that because CCCApply was a centralized piece of software used by the overwhelming majority of the colleges, we could use it as a lever to move forward with technology at the colleges. So we decided to begin to build a whole new application for admission, and with that, at the same time, we’d create a whole new technology platform [for the CCCs, systemwide].

There were several elements in the new platform that we developed over time, and several that are to become more established going forward. We want to deliver a new suite of student services that provide a unified user experience through our enterprise portal environment; we want to take advantage of cloud computing and the ability to scale; security is always a big issue we want to address; and finally, we want to take advantage of federated identity.

So we really laid the groundwork for all of that, with the new version of CCCApply, called OpenCCCApply.

Grush: How is identity relevant in OpenCCCApply? Are you able to push for federated identity there?

Calhoon: Yes. That’s related to our new, systemwide student account — the OpenCCC account. Now, when students apply for admission, they create an OpenCCC account. Each account has just one identifier, which we call the CCC ID. It’s their one identifier. And especially because our students often attend several different colleges, even occasionally two or three colleges at the same time, we need a way to tie their data together. So in terms of doing that, and in terms of establishing federated identity, the single CCC ID is becoming a very important asset.

Grush: How is the adoption of OpenCCCApply?

In terms of adoption, we finally released the new application for admissions in 2013, and by the end of this June, we’ll have about 100-105 of the 112 colleges using it. We now have more than 1.5 million new student accounts that use new CCC ID.

Grush: A little more specifically, where are you with your push for federated identity?

Calhoon: OpenCCCApply and the new CCC ID has been a big effort for us, but now, layer on the concept of federated identity. And I think I mentioned, because basically all the colleges needed CCCApply, we used it as a lever. We’ve been able to offer the the new version of CCCApply to the colleges at no cost. So we said to the colleges, “If you are going to go to this new version of CCCApply, we need you to stand up a Shibboleth identity provider, and to federate.” And those colleges have done that, and they do see the benefits of federating.

Grush: What are some of the areas you are working on in your new suite of service applications, where colleges will realize the benefit of federated identity?

Calhoon: Here are three major efforts: First, we are working towards a common course management system for the California Community Colleges. Secondly, we’re also working on common assessment and a placement test to use across the system. And the third area is education planning, degree audit, and career exploration.

Grush: What does this look like from a student’s point of view?

Calhoon: If you were to look at a college campus maybe 15 years ago, all of the college’s data would be contained in their data center. And students would probably have multiple accounts — one for each of the different services they use on campus. And everything would be contained there on the campus. Today, colleges have many applications or services that they’ll make available to students — library services, the course management system, maybe Google Apps or Office 360, and so many more. But federated identity will allow one single sign on for the student to access all of these.

Grush: Is the California Community College system offering the colleges InCommon membership at no charge?

Calhoon: Yes, the system is offering the colleges InCommon membership at no charge. Initially this will be useful for the colleges to get their students to our own systemwide offerings. But over time, the individual colleges may also take advantage of other services available to InCommon members.

Grush: So it must be that there are many areas yet to be explored, where the colleges may realize the advantages of federated identity and benefit from their InCommon memberships. Are there also implications for linking to the other statewide systems — the CSUs and the UCs?

Calhoon: Yes, of course there are great possibilities in using federated identity with our sister systems in the state as well as with with other services in the future. Federated identity — the InCommon piece — underpins of all this; it’s the architectural element that makes it all work.

NIU partners with community colleges for program

daily-chronicle.com

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University is partnering with five suburban community colleges for a dual business degree program, allowing students to transfer seamlessly to NIU-Hoffman Estates, school officials announced.

 The Business Dual Degree Program – which partners NIU with Elgin Community College, Harper College, College of Lake County, McHenry County College and Oakton Community College – allows transfer students to earn their degree close to home and, in turn, will address the region’s need for an educated workforce, according to a news release from the university.

“An educated workforce is critical to growing our region’s competitiveness,” NIU President Douglas Baker said in a statement. “Expanding baccalaureate completion opportunities, improving transitions and providing students with incentives for degree-completion through compacts such as this help move our state toward these goals.”

Transfer students will be eligible for NIU scholarships.

In a news release, presidents from the participating colleges expressed their excitement about the partnership.

Harper College President Ken Ender said officials are “pleased” to work with NIU on the joint degree.

“Given dwindling state resources, it is critical that we partner closely with public universities to offer our residents affordable bachelor’s degrees close to home,” Ender said in a statement.

The program’s effectiveness will be measured by the participating college with regard to increasing the number of those who obtain associate degree and bachelor’s degree holders, especially among low-income and first generation students, according to a news release.

In a statement, Elgin Community College David Sam noted the convenience and affordability of the program.

“This partnership provides another pathway for students to improve their lives and reach their educational goals,” he said. “It will allow ECC students to earn a four-year degree in business from NIU without leaving the district. It is an excellent benefit to our students and community.”

Educator guides community college students

azcentral.com

Mary Lou Mosley guides young college students today thanks to an uncle who was a university professor.

“He encouraged and mentored me,” says Mosley, vice president of academic affairs at Paradise Valley Community College. “He helped me develop a career path that followed my interests and talents.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado Boulder, Mosley earned her master’s degree in library media from the University of Colorado at Denver. Arizona State University awarded her doctorate in educational technology.

At PVCC, Mosley administers academic programs and academic personnel matters. In addition, she fosters the design, development and evaluation of innovative strategies, programs and partnerships in support of student learning, success, retention and completion. She also teaches two courses: History of Western Civilization and Internet/Web Development.

“I enjoy teaching,” she says. “It keeps me in touch with students and with what the college asks faculty to do.”

For Mosley, community college gives students from all backgrounds and experiences an affordable opportunity to begin or return to education.

“The focus at community colleges is on teaching, learning and student success rather than on research like many universities,” she says. “And the quality of the education for the undergraduate meets and may exceed the quality of university education.”

In addition, she notes that students who transfer from a community college to a university often do better than students who start at the university.

Mosley has won two Innovator of the Year team awards, for a distance learning program and a first-year experience program.

“They give me pride because they were based on collaboration across departments and disciplines,” she says. “And both projects made a difference for students in terms of access and success.”

“My goal is to solve problems and open doors so faculty and students can be successful,” she adds. “I ask myself all the time, ‘How can we improve learning? What have we learned that can make us better at all levels?'”

Outside PVCC, Mosley has volunteered with her therapy dog at a long-term care facility and at Maricopa Medical Center’s pediatric ward.

At the former, she was gratified she had helped others, even for the short while she and her dog visited. Similarly, she cherished watching the change in sick children and their families during their visits to the medical center.

“We helped them forget some of the pain or scary moments they were experiencing,” she says.

From community college to the Ivy League

phillyvoice.com

Crystal Delmonico never dreamed of attending the University of Pennsylvania.

Not as a suburban Philadelphia girl struggling to complete high school in the mid-1990s. Not as a homeless adult living in city shelters. And not as a community college student undertaking remedial math and reading courses.

From 2005 to 2013, the most recent data available, 260 Community College of Philadelphia students transferred to Ivy League schools, including 235 to Penn.

“I never thought of going to Penn,” Delmonico said. “If you would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have told you that you were crazy.”

But this fall, Delmonico and three classmates from the Community College of Philadelphia will make the jump to the Ivy League by transferring to Penn. Their stories differ, but none is less remarkable than the next.

Michael Novak earned a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, a $40,000 annual scholarship bestowed upon 90 transfer students across the country. Aminata Sy homeschooled one of her three children while completing her own coursework. Wanda Klinefelter, a high school dropout, returned to school when her limited education became an impediment to her career.

Each year, CCP sends several students to Ivy League institutions. From 2005 to 2013, the most recent data available, 260 CCP students transferred to Ivy League schools, including 235 to Penn. Others have transferred to elite schools like Bryn Mawr College, New York University or the University of Virginia.

“The transfer rate is quite good to these high-powered schools,” said Brian Seymour, coordinator of CCP’s honors program. “But it’s also extraordinary to places like Temple, St. Joe’s and La Salle.”

Penn accepts about 200 transfer students each year, selecting from a pool of some 2,000 applicants. Admissions officials were unavailable late last week to comment on the university’s standards for accepting community college transfers.

Some students, like Novak, enroll at CCP with the intention of transferring to an elite university. Others, like Klinefelter, only recognize the possibility after enrolling at CCP.

‘JUST TOOK THE CHANCE’

“Community college is really a path of possibilities,” Klinefelter said. “There’s a lot of people who come from different cultures, different environments and different financial situations. There’s a place for everybody. Anything can happen. Look at me.”

Klinefelter, a North Philly native, entered the workforce at age 16 after dropping out of high school. She served as an office manager at a maintenance company, but lacked the educational background necessary to advance her career.

“I came in here thinking if I could just get through the certificate’s degree, I’d be fine,” Klinefelter said. “My sister kept pushing. She said, ‘You have a great GPA. You’re pushing forward. Why don’t you try Penn?’ So, I kind of just took the chance.”

It paid off. Klinefelter, 34, will study English at Penn, a reality she says still seems surreal. One day, she hopes to become a fine book curator.

 

Michael Novak earned a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, which are awarded to 90 transfer students across the country. Novak is pursuing a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies. (Thom Carroll / PhillyVoice)

‘AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION’ AT CCP

By contrast, Michael Novak entered CCP expecting to transfer to Penn, where he knew many professors in the Asian Studies program from his time touring colleges as an interpreter for a Japanese Zen Buddhist master.

Novak, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies, wanted a strong educational foundation before enrolling at Penn. He selected CCP, but expected to breeze through its honors program. Instead, he was surprised at its rigors.

“I would not have been well prepared to succeed at Penn or to compete at Penn without the honors training,” Novak said. “In a way, I thought CCP was sort of a detour on my road to Penn. But CCP, especially the honors program here, is an excellent education.”

Novak, 39, earned a Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, which provides him $120,000 over three years to cover tuition, books and housing costs. Combined with other scholarships, Novak anticipates attending Penn at no cost to himself.
‘I’M NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING ANYMORE’

For Aminata Sy, CCP offered the flexibility necessary to obtain a degree as a married mother of three children, including a homeschooled son.

Her days began by teaching her own son before taking CCP classes in the afternoon. She then came home and made dinner. Once everyone else was in bed, Sy retired to her studies.

“I never actually stopped – I was always on the clock,” Sy said, laughing. “But because community college was flexible and convenient, I was able to manage even though it was a lot to do.”

Sy, 34, did not consider Penn until the end of her first year, when a professor mentioned its International Relations program. A Senegal native, Sy wants to work in diplomacy and improve employment opportunities in Africa.

She credits CCP for instilling the confidence to make that dream possible.

“What I took away from this experience is that my voice matters, that I can accomplish anything I want to,” Sy said. “Because I didn’t come in here thinking that. But … being here just prepared me for the world out there. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. I’m just ready.”

 

‘HOMELESS TO PENN’

Crystal Delmonico, who grew up in Sellersville, Bucks County, gained a similar confidence at CCP.

She initially enrolled in 2009, but withdrew due to personal struggles. She later underwent open-heart surgery, which she says gave her a greater life appreciation.

“I was lost and angry for many years – no direction,” Delmonico said. “I just would react based on fear or anger. I dealt with a lot of depression. I completely understand what it’s like to feel hopeless.”

But she returned to CCP, diving wholeheartedly into her studies for the first time. She took part in a women’s leadership conference and a scholars program at Bucknell University. She fought against a learning disability, staying late for tutoring.

Delmonico, 37, also realized her own experiences, including spending more than two years homeless, give her a unique ability to help others struggling through difficult situations.

“I’ve had a lot of stuff happen in my life that could keep somebody down for a long time,” Delmonico said. “The turning point for me was looking at it from a different perspective and realizing that they don’t define me. I’m not a bad person, I’m not a horrible person. If anything, they’ve made me a better person.”

She plans to enter the Penn Program for Mindfulness in hopes of a career in social work or positive psychology.

“There’s a story, ‘Homeless to Harvard,’” Delmonico said. “I don’t know – ‘Homeless to Penn.’”

Brunswick County funds won’t boost community college president’s salary

wect.com

Brunswick County commissioners approved a budget Monday that ends a long-standing practice of boosting the local community college president’s pay with county money.

In previous years, Brunswick Community College trustees used a portion of their county allocation to supplement the president’s salary.

This year, the county designated how college leaders can use the money. They didn’t include a line item for the pay supplement.

President Susanne Adams’ contract guarantees a local salary supplement of at least $37,424 on top of her state salary, which is currently around $135,000.

John Jones, who chairs the BCC board of trustees, said Tuesday the college would dip into its fund balance to pay the supplement. He expected the board to take the action at its June 26 board meeting. The fund balance contains $758,860, according to Sheila Galloway, the college’s chief financial officer.

In all, trustees requested $52,200 in county money for the president’s office. In addition to Adams’ salary supplement, the county funds would have paid a pro rata portion of her longevity pay and fringe benefits, including social security and retirement. Other expenses associated with the president’s office made up $2,992 of the county request, a college spokeswoman said.

Jones said the county provided a presidential supplement for 18 years, allocating $37,424 each of the past six years.

In May, the North Carolina Community College said 55 of 58 community college presidents received a local supplement, with 53 funded by county government.

Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy released the following statement:

This is certainly not a lack of support from the county. In fact, the county commissioners are very proud of Brunswick Community College and the service the staff provides to the county. Our county is greater because of the many students educated at BCC and the training they have provided to our industries. The college is essential to the economic growth and quality of life of the county. The county has funded the college well over the years, enough so that the college has accumulated a fund balance sufficient enough to meet the contractual obligation of the Trustees to the President. The county funds the college at one of the highest per student rates in the State.

Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke stressed the county wasn’t a party to any agreement between the college and its president. He said the decision not to fund Adams’ supplement was simply a budget issue and not a reflection of her performance.

“I hold her in very high esteem,” Cooke said. “I don’t have anything against her. I consider her a friend.”