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Blinn students tell state legislators what community college has meant to them

Students visited state Capitol as part of Texas Community College Day

January 3, 2015

Texas Community College DayMore than 40 Blinn College students told state legislators what a community college education has meant to them Tuesday during Texas Community College Day at the state Capitol in Austin.

The day began with a rally on the Capitol’s south steps, in which almost 2,000 representatives from the state’s 50 community colleges were greeted by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and Sen. Larry Taylor. Students were then welcomed inside the Capitol, where they had the opportunity to visit the House and Senate galleries and meet with lawmakers about the impact community colleges have made on their lives.

“Each of our students has a story tell and it is important for our legislators to see that first-hand,” said Dr. Ana M. “Cha” Guzman, Blinn College interim district president. “As community colleges, we have no better advocates than our students.”

Students spoke to legislators, including Rep. John Raney, Rep. Kyle Kacal and Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst, about the need for community college funding to meet the state’s growing demand for a community college education. More than 700,000 students enrolled in Texas public community colleges in Fall 2014, and 70 percent of first-time college students in Texas begin their college education at a community college.

“Blinn has meant quite a lot to me because I am a first-generation college student,” said Alayna James, a second-year student from La Grange. “It has not only helped me feel better about myself and improve my life, but has shown me that I can be a role model for my younger siblings and prove that we can do something with our lives. Because the tuition is so much lower than at a university, Blinn is an easy way to go for it and change your life.”

The Texas Association of Community Colleges has proposed a 5-Point Campaign to ensure that student success remains a priority during the 84th Texas Legislative Session. Texas taxpayers see a 6.9 percent rate of return on their investment in community colleges, and 95 percent of community college students remain in the state, keeping taxpayers’ investment in Texas.

Blinn enrolled a school-record 19,317 students last Fall and has experienced 37.5 percent growth since 2006. Students taking 30 credit hours at Blinn in 2014-15 will save approximately $4,000 in tuition compared to the average Texas public university (48.8 percent), and Blinn offers more than 220 endowed scholarships.
The College’s academic transfer rate regularly ranks among the highest in the state and nation and is approximately 20 percent higher than the state average.

About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

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