New York, NY (PRWEB) April 29, 2014
On May 1st, one hundred fifty students from seventeen high schools from across the country will converge on Capitol Hill to lobby their congress members and senators for increased funding for Early/Middle College high schools and dual enrollment programs. Middle/Early College high schools and Dual Enrollment Programs are public schools that allow high school students to earn college credits up to an associate’s degree from an accredited college or university, tuition free, concurrently with their high school diplomas. This lobbying effort by students is one aspect of the annual Middle College National Consortium’s (MCNC) Student Leadership Conference. In an effort to both learn more about civic action and convince their congressional representatives to support young people get an affordable college degree students will lobby on behalf of making Pell Grants and Title One monies available for college tuition for high school students. Joining MCNC in organizing the lobbying effort are the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), Jobs for the Future (JFF), and Bard College.
Two other major events will take place at the MCNC Student Leadership Conference that will impact on efforts to convince congress to make college more affordable for young people. Donna Edwards, the influential Congresswoman from Maryland, will deliver the conference keynote address. Ms. Edwards is a long time supporter of social justice issues, having served as the first executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an advocacy and legal support group for battered women. Currently, Congresswoman Edwards is actively at work on issues such as the repeal of Citizens United, the increase of the minimum wage for all workers in Maryland, and the expansion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for high school students.
Additionally, after students finish their lobbying, Senator Christopher Coons, (Dem) from Delaware, has agreed to host an open Congressional briefing session. Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, founder and Director of MCNC, will lead a panel of students and experts in the field of Dual and Concurrent Enrollment who will speak to the need for congress to increase funding for Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs, including Middle/Early High Schools. She will be joined on the panel by Toria Hawkins, a student from the MCNC Student Leadership Conference hosting school, Academy of Health Sciences, located on the campus of Prince George Community College.
In a major consolidation of efforts to increase college access to high school students, this year, for the first time, NACEP will hold its Washington Policy Seminar in Conjunction with the MCNC Student Leadership Conference. Opening remarks at the NACEP Policy Seminar will be delivered by Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, founder and Director of MCNC. She will speak to the need for the US Government to take necessary, and related, steps to make college affordable again and to break the cycle of dropouts. Dr. Cunningham strongly believes that “The coalition of students telling their story combined with well respected education institutions demonstrating the societal benefits of dual enrollment programs will have significant results in Congress”.
Middle College National Consortium, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain high school/college dual enrollment as a viable and necessary educational model. Additionally, MCNC is dedicated to developing and sustaining small schools in which high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an associate’s degree or transferable college credits upon graduation.
To learn more about the Middle College National Consortium, visit us at (http://www.mcnc.us/) for a comprehensive overview of our history, design principles, current work and achievements.
Tony Hoffmann Middle College National Consortium
O. 718-361-1981 X6