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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 29, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST

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harm, but to heal. natasha ghoneim south africa. and a reminder that you can keep up-to-date with all of the news all the time on our website usual address aljazerra.com. >> for anyone who thinks that american workers need nor education, the president has an idea. let's send more people to college, but it's going to be expensive . will the federal government shelling out to
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help more students get paid back? >> hello, i'm ray suarez. in the run off to the president state of the union next tuesday, he has been releasing policy proposals. one of proposals rolled out in the past week, making it easier for americans to get two-year college degrees by paying their tuition. >> at this, i'm announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of tuition. all the way down to zero. >> president obama made announcement last friday. the white house claiming the president's plan could help up to nine million students. federal funding would cover three-quarters of the cost with individual states picking up the rest of the tab.
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it's estimated that the program would cost $60 billion over ten years. what impact might this have? consider these numbers. between 2012 and 2013 with household income $25,000 a year or less compared to 15% from higher income backgrounds. and 50% of hispanic students enrolled a community colleges compared to 31% of african-american students, and 28% of white students. a key aim is the hope that two years of community college will propel students to complete a four-year degree. a recent study found that 15% of
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students who started at two-year institutions in 2006 completed a degree at a four-year institution within six years. >> the initiative will require students to have a minimum gpa of 2.5, a c-plus average to remain eligible. it's expensive, ambitious, and it has already provoked plenty of debate. i'm joined employee joshua , and daran joshua, aren't there already existing programs that capture most of the student that we're talking about? >> there are plenty of programs, but students are still struggling to pay for college. we know that two-thirds of community college students, up to three-quarters are working.
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a third of all community college students work full time jobs. we know that students are struggling to pay for college, and existing programs help a lot of students but not enough. >> president pollard, how many does it cost to carry a full load? >> it's about $9,000. if you think about this proposal, it certainly speaks to the cost tuition but the head costs like text books, living expense, transportation, all the things that this promise does not speak to may allay the burdens that some of the students have. >> $9,000 sounds like a deal but it might be far from the reach of the poor. >> if you look at the data from monthdomry country, one of the most affluent communities in the country, our financial aid has gone up 60%, and 8% of americans
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who lowest economic percentile, few can complete coming in college in six years. >> aren't a lot of those young people, and working-age people older people who are your students, going to find a way to do this without this kind of subsidy? >> no. >> so we're not going to get a really small incremental change from something as big as this. >> i think we'll see some up front. but the reality is that our students' lives are very complex. in montgomery county we know for a fact that it costs $82,000 for a family to live without public support. if we were to think about that in realistic term, the idea of education is an additional opportunity often fails when you have to think about food on the plate, paying for housing, thinking about transportation.
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i would like to think that this opportunity, this promise so reap benefit for americans for generations. >> this could be paid back through higher income taxes and higher property taxes down the road. >> i don't think it really well. we see the president's own proposal, community college costs on age 3880 for you tuition fees and that's something that people can cover with pell grants. what this seems likely to do for the upper or the wealthier people going to community colleges, now you're going to getting is free that you may be paid something with your own money for. if you look at labor statistics about a third of jobs in the next eight to ten years are
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going to require some post secondary education. are we going to be preparing people for jobs that exist or are we going to be sending people to college with a promise but not being able to fulfill it. >> economist after economist identify the 21st century as capitalist century. you put enough in, you'll get a lot out. you may be saying that we're overeducating people because we're not creating jobs that need post secondary qualifications . >> we want to be realistic, and we have a third of people with bachelors degrees are in jobs that don't require it. we have
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bigger under employed with people with graduate dress. degrees. there is too much consumption than the ability of the labor market to use it all. >> joshua, this is your bread and butter. you've written a book on the topic. what do you think that neil has said. >> anybody who has paid their college bill for their kids' college bill know that tuition is only a small part of college. the fact of the matter there are fees, technical programs cost two or three times that amount if you want to get a degree in airplane mechanics or wielding that obvious costs more than $3,700 and then living expenses. some people say we should force people to work.
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their chanceswe know when that happens their chances of graduation goes well down. the full cost of college is well over available aid for low income students right now. to say that is somewhat misleading. the second fact that is important here a lot of projections, and i would say that the bulk of labor economists show a coming shortage in college-educated labor in our country. 40% of americans have a college credential. the estimates are that we need in the next decade to be 60%. >> isn't neil right when he says a lot of people with a four-year degree are working in jobs where they don't even need that education. >> i think labor market would tell you otherwise. they have shown a strong demand for higher education in the labor market and an educated
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citizenry and higher salaries, as well as closing the income gap and growth in the economies in the western countries. labor economists can disagree but when we look back at history, fewer than 10% of americans went on to college . few even completed high school. we don't even question the fact that should high school should be universal, but it should be available to every american free of charge. blinn the given the coming demand, we're in a moment where we need to think about advancing that same concept from universal high school to universal college. all of the data i've seen suggests that we need to move in that direction.
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>> i want to talk more about bracket creep later in the president. but madam president, aren't a lot of your students today learning things they ought to have learned in high school and/or at another time in our history might have learned in high school? >> so remediation is something that we do at community coming colleges. i would never disagree with the point that you're making, but speaking to a couple of points raised. the things that community college specialize in is middle skill jobs. we hear all the time by economy cannists that we don't have enough folks to step into middle skilled jobs. so we specialize in crafting that middle skill, we specialize in helping to build the middle class which is what community colleges were founded in doing. and the other thing that speaks to this is is that community colleges are a direct reflection to the communities they serve. i was president of a college in
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california . we had a wine program. here in montgomery we're working with high school graduates those relocating and those who have degrees to come in and move into industries that are representative to the communities that we serve. >> before we roll on and miss the moment. give me an example of middle skill jobs. >> sure, the middle skill jobs typically referred as more than high school or less than a four-year degrees. rns are educated at a community college. many of the health sciences that are less than a nurse and a doctor, those are health sciences. bio technology, your car fixed you'll appreciate the value of an automotive technician. all of these jobs that are technical in nature and assist and build good middle skill
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jobs, this is why this is a game changer. >> we'll be back with more inside story in a moment. when we return after the break we'll talk about what would change about a workforce with more associates degree holders >> on techknow cars... the science behind keeping us safe on the road >> oh... >> oh my god... >> the driving force behind these new innovations >> i did not see that one coming >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my future? >> can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> techknow... where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america
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al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas at us... emmy award winning investigative series... fault lines no refuge: children at the border only on al jazeera america >> you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. today millions of americans with a wide array of backgrounds and ages and needs will head to class at a two-year college. some will use it as a stepping stone to a four-year degree. it's one of the most popular answers to a broader array of answers. they're underfunded, highly
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dependent on part time faculty and too difficult to match up with four-year colleges . if we're going to give community college as the parting prescriptions to high schoolers, will this match the need of the works force? >> if they were capable of meeting the needs of the workforce, there is a huge question based on what is out there in jobs, whether we need to just produce more people with credentials, if we're going to use community college in that capacity, it seems like what needs to be happen many community colleges have to be more responsive quickly to the needs of the workforce and the needs of students. we'll see because of under funding, they're supposed to be inexpensive schools relative to four-year schools. the availability to say quickly what does the workforce need here? how do we get students in the classes they need when they need
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them, this is something that we've seen for profit schools do better because they say we have to get the money. we have to get the customers. the customers will come when we're offering the training that is in demand. it appears that many colleges are slowed to react. >> professional winier at for-profit colleges have been eating the launch ships by providing those services that neil is talking about. >> yes, there are some things that community colleges can learn from-for- from for-profit colleges. they've responded to particularly what students want. they will organize classes that will meet schedules. they'll offer degrees that are in high demand and quickly can pivot. they don't have many of the same restrictions in terms of shifting their faculty quickly
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in response to what is needed in the labor market. there are roughly around graduate rates as community colleges, and for-profits are significantly higher. if we assess how good they are for students. we have some that are very good, and some that are not doing a good job for students. similarly in the communities college sector. i would like to point out that in the community college sector we have remarkable performers. for years i've been looking at the best community colleges across the country. we have community colleges with 75% and 80% graduation rates. we have community colleges where students are earning $40,000 to $60,000 with are just a two-year degree. i think a lot of four-year degree holders would like that result. and we have community colleges sending 50% of their students to four-year colleges and the
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majority get bachelor degrees. i agree with my colleague that community colleges need to do better, so do for-profits. the question is not whether they need to do better but how do we help them get better. >> have you been able to figure out what makes the difference between those that are succeeding? >> excellent community colleges start with the end in mind. they're looking to the two places community college students go, and they're aligning their programs with high quality with those two places. the first is directly into the labor market. they'll look at data and where projections are for jobs. they'll align their programs accordingly if welders are needed, airplane mechanics they'll provide those. and they make sure that it's a real partnership and supply chain. the second place that students go is to four-year colleges.
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there are really close relationships like that between balancia college and to the university of florida where lots of lots of students get their two years in small classes, prove their meddle their mettle. >> one of the complaints is leaving and making that leap into the four year schools is that there is credit erosion and there is more than two-year journey to a four-year degree when by design they should have had two years of college left. there is not easy interoperability within share public systems.
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>> you hit the nail on the head. while we're in the same state, we oftentimes don't operate as the same system. we have to have conversation abouts curriculum alignment from the beginning. we have to talk about the pathway of the student. how do we insure that the student has a set of courses that are aligned directly from the lower-division level to the upper-division level if they understand that it's not a hurdle, but a gentle walk that you're able to do that, and both institutions do that in mind. i would offer where you see a tight coupleling where the state agencies have enforced those types of conversations. i worked in illinois. they required that during the mat trickalation process. i would say that they're hungry for that. we're trying to insure that the pathway is, indeed, a more thoughtful one. >> schools like yours are
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already heavily subsidized. student tuition only covers 30% of the cost of having someone in the seat learning from a teacher. could you handle many more students than you've got now? let's say that this--we fast track this presidential proposal and suddenly there are thousands more kids who want to come through your doors. >> so the first thing i would say is to welcome that challenge, the opportunity to do that. but what makes community colleges unique is that we're tightly coupled with our community. i know right now if i needed to find the additional state my county executive and the local legislation are going to be very invested in trying to create that space and opportunity for me as they have been doing. i can work with local high schools and work with partner community colleges are doing that work. make we can with have conversations to make sure that we're not creating the same programs in multiple areas, but i would remain the opportunity to solve that problem versus the problem are people not having
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access to higher education because they can't afford it. >> we'll take another break. when we return to "inside story" the county has come through long years of severe cut backs to public education as recession strains state budgets. >> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the security council. >> about issues that impact your world. >> infectious diseases are a major threat to health. >> "the week ahead". sunday 8:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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>> welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. the country has already watched the operation of a federal program that requires a high degree of state corporation. it's called the affordable care act. no matter how you feel about the health insurance reform law states ruling themselves in or out has had a tremendous impact on the operation of that law. facing determined opponents in state houses across the country and enormous retreat for public support for higher ed can the president rely on state cooperation with his knew
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community college plans? >> well, we have to remember that this originated in a state. tennessee adopted a plan for free community college. 90% of students initially signed up for this indicated an interest in it. film' sitting across the border in kentucky can i afford not to do this? could i afford to have my citizenry less educated than those across the border in tennessee? i think that the real question is whether states can afford not to do it. you know, this has been cast as a federal imposition. the reality is it's a federal and state partnership. there is nothing this the proposal that tells states what they have to do, what degrees they have to offer, it's a partnership. 75% would be paid by the federal government. 25% by states. clearly there is a significant conversation as to where the money is going to come from, at both the federal and state level, but the fundamental premise of advancing human capital development i think states understand. >> neil mcclue ski, aren't the
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states straining under the responsibilities they have. >> so does the federal government. there is a huge question about first of all whether the federal government will free to pay for this. the reality is we haven't seen the details yet. we have a proposal, a bit of a fact sheet. we don't know where the fun is supposed to come from in the federal part. we adopted know how they're going to germ what programs are systemmible, acceptable, and i don't think states will want to commit until they have that information. that's a lot of money for a state to say, well, okay, so we can get more federal money do we also collectively as states spend $20 billion? especially do we spend it when i think there are lots of open questions about how effective will this be? does it actually fit the workforce needs it will have because the debt right now, it won't, and i think there are
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questions of can commune colleges handle and work them into jobs that exist. there is talk that there will have to be reforms made to commune colleges, how will that be done. >> derreon pollard, you work in a state where he the governor thinks that the state of is too big. will it be easy to get states to come on board? >> i don't think it will be easy but some of the best things in life are not easy. the governor has articulated a commitment to economic development. what i have said to every person i have talked to is economic development. that's what community colleges do exceptionally well. we have to have substantive communications about the financing, the state of maryland, every dollar that is
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spent at the university of maryland, $0.19 goes to the community colleges from the state. if we want to have a conversation in the ways that we create a pathway to higher education, to work that is available in the community, we have to have a conversation about how we finance it. >> what don't you know about this plan yet that you really need to know? >> one of the things that i'm very excited about, and i want to see it happens is the idea if this program will allow for career technical education which pell grants won't pay for, to allowed to be paid for in this program. i want to encompass all programs, or will there be a degree limitation. >> thankthank you for talking with you all. that brings us to the end of this edition of inside story. the conversation continues, we want to hear what you think about today's show. log on to our facebook page. tell us what you think, or follow us on twitter, our handle is eighth aj inside story am or
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you can reach me directly at @ray suarez news. from washington, i'm ray suarez. >> on america tonight. our one of the most feared organizations became a financial powerhouse. >> isil took over factories. they needed civilians not connected to them. i help them sell the product. >> nick schifrin with how isil fuels the money, and how the west aims to stop them. also tonight, swimming against the tide. what the life or death struggle of these rodents tell us about the depth of depression in some of the highest communi

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