WSU is advancing Washington industries …
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WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

In the News

College Promise Coalition Announces Agenda for 2013 Legislative Session

The College Promise Coalition (CPC) has released the critical components of an agenda including preserving access to higher education, protecting financial aid sources and increasing funding for colleges and universities. Noting that Washington State ranks last in nation in total spending per student, the CPC is a partnership that brings together advocates for Washington colleges and universities, alongside students, parents, faculty, alumni, education advocates and leaders in business and labor, in order to urge the legislature to make higher education a top priority in our state. 

The College Promise Coalition – press release

Olympia — The advocates that make up the College Promise Coalition (CPC) have released an agenda today, calling on the legislature to not only avoid cutting higher education but to find a long-term solution that addresses the sustained funding crisis facing colleges and universities in Washington State. The agenda outlines a cradle-to-college approach to education that emphasizes the importance of maintaining access higher education for Washington families and asks that legislators find a budget solution that reinvests in higher education and protects financial aid programs including Work Study and the College Bound Scholarship Program.

“Our higher education system is still in crisis. Universities have seen state funding cuts of over 50% since 2007 and currently we rank dead last in state spending per student in the nation,” said Ralph Munro, Trustee, Western Washington University. “Stop-gap measures like tuition increases or last year’s no cuts budget haven’t solved the larger problem. Washington state simply won’t be able to compete if we continue to under-fund higher education, limiting access for Washington families and failing to prepare our kids for the 21st century.”

“Lifting Washington state back into economic health and keeping it there requires an investment right now in higher education. Our colleges are critical to supplying a competitive workforce, and we need to get back on that track,” said Tim Douglas, President, Trustees Association for Community & Technical Colleges/Trustee, Whatcom Community College.

In it’s third year of advocacy, the College Promise Coalition once again brings a together a broad range of supporters including students, parents, faculty, representatives from four and two year institutions, alumni across the state, labor and other education groups to urge the legislature to make higher education a top priority.  The CPC agenda includes the following;

  • Cradle to College: The legislature must recognize that a quality education system that prepares our kids for the demands of the 21st century is not limited to K-12 but must start with early childhood education and stretch through college programs. Last year’s McCleary decision clearly illustrates how dangerously underfunded Washington’s system is.
  • Protect Student Aid: Washington has one of the strongest state financial aid systems in the country. Programs like the State Need Grant Program and the College Bound Scholarship Program enable low income, first generation and underrepresented students to achieve the dream of college education and become productive state citizens.  
  • Funding cuts have already had consequences: Our public colleges and universities have seen a continuous decline in funding over the last two decades. This path of state disinvestment has compromised access, raised class sizes, reduced course offerings, and created serious hardships across Washington State for students and their families, particularly those of more modest means.
  • A stable economic future means reinvesting, not cutting higher education: If Washington is going to continue to compete nationally and globally, and deliver on our constitutional duty to the kids of Washington, it is time to increase funding for our colleges and universities. CPC understands that the legislators in Olympia face difficult choices, but defunding higher education is shortsighted and will undermine the long-term economic vitality of our state.  Increased funding will help increase degree production in critical employment sectors while ensuring our colleges and universities remain affordable by keeping tuition down.

Coalition members will be active in Olympia this year and working with legislators to help meet the agenda goals.

About the Coalition:
College Promise Coalition is an unprecedented partnership that brings together advocates for Washington colleges and universities, alongside students, parents, faculty, alumni, education advocates and leaders in business and labor, in order to urge the legislature to make higher education a top priority in our state. Founded in 2011 to address dramatic cuts to higher education funding, the coalition is entering its third year of fighting to ensure that access to an affordable, quality education remains an option for all Washington families and kids.

The facts:

  • Washington State ranks last in the nation in dollars spent per student.*
  • Since 2007, Washington’s baccalaureate programs have seen cuts in state funding of nearly 50%. Community and Technical Colleges have seen similar slashes to their funding.*
  • These state funding cuts have caused rapid increases in tuition for students. In 2000, the state paid for 71% of each student’s education, with 29% coming from tuition. Today those numbers have flipped–and tuition accounts for 67% of the price educating each student, making obtaining a college degree more and more difficult for middle class families. *
  • The threat is especially dangerous for middle class families who are watching tuition levels rise and access diminish due to the statewide cuts.
  • Nearly 32,000 students enrolled state colleges and universities are eligible for a State Need Grant but did not get one because state funding ran out. The majority of these students – about 21,000 – are in two-year colleges. **

* Source: State Higher Education Finance FY 2011, State Higher Education Executive Officer
** Source: State Board of Community and Technical Colleges LINK


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