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Senate Bill 284 Brings Optimism to Community Colleges

By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner

 

Chuck Terrell is excited about the 2018 legislative session. It’s a far cry from the past several years, when the feeling was more of dread than anticipation.
Terrell is the President of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College and one the reasons for his optimism is Senate Bill 284.

Introduced on Jan. 15 by Senate President Mitch Carmichael at the request of Governor Jim Justice, SB284 would provide free tuition for any program leading to an associates degree or certification at any of the state’s community and technical colleges.

The language in the legislation reads, “According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly earnings of an individual with an associate’s degree is approximately $6,604 more than an individual with only a high school diploma. Therefore, any investment by the state into a citizen obtaining such a degree would be repaid multiple times over through the citizen’s increased contribution to the economy and tax base.”

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