Nebraska Bill Aimed at Expanding Community College Assistance Programs Passes First Senate Reading

A bill that aims to expand the number of community college programs that are eligible for special state assistance has received approval by Nebraska legislatures, with a unanimous vote of 43-0. This is the first of three required readings the bill will go through.

Led by Sen. Kate Bolz, D-Lincoln, the proposed legislation, Nebraska LB917 centers on the Community College Gap Assistance Program, which offers funding that can be given to students training for an in-demand career.

The legislation would allow for certain for-credit courses or short-term programs that aren’t currently eligible for the program to qualify, according to 1011Now.

Explained even further, the copy of the proposed legislation states that an eligible program:

“… means a program offered by a community college that (a) either is not offered for credit and has a duration of not less than sixteen contact hours in length or is offered for credit but consists of fewer than sixteen semester hours or twenty-four quarter hours of instruction offered during not less than fifteen weeks of instruction and (b) is aligned with training programs with stackable credentials that lead to a program awarding college credit, an associate’s degree, a diploma, or a certificate in an in-demand occupation, and does any of the following: (i) Offers a state, national, or locally recognized certificate; (ii) Offers preparation for a professional examination or licensure; (iii) Provides endorsement for an existing credential or license; (iv) Represents recognized skill standards defined by an industrial sector; or (v) Offers a similar credential or training; and In-demand occupation means: financial services; transportation, warehousing, and distribution logistics; precision metals manufacturing; biosciences; renewable energy; agriculture and food processing; business management and administrative services; software and computer services; research, development, and engineering services; health services; hospitality and tourism; and any other industry designated as an in-demand occupation by the committee.”

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