81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

RESOLUTION ON COLLEGE COMPLETION AND AFFORDABILITY

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has joined the President in setting a goal for the nation to achieve the highest proportion of students graduating from college in the world by 2020, and the goal that all Americans should be prepared to enroll in at least one year of higher education or job training to better prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has supported the President's plan to increase higher education access and success by restructuring and dramatically expanding college financial aid, address college completion and strengthen the higher education pipeline to ensure that more students succeed and complete their degree, and invest in community colleges to equip a greater share of young people and adults with high-demand skills and education for emerging industries; and

WHEREAS, the rapid diffusion of online education has overwhelmed the system of location-based state-level licensure of postsecondary institutions, creating wide gaps of consumer protection for students and a dizzying array of incompatible authorization requirements and procedures for institutions, thus requiring a reciprocity system for authorization that has now been drafted by the regional higher education compacts,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion and urges Congress to appropriate funds to:

         Encourage states to reform their higher education systems by increasing their affordability, efficiency, quality, and productivity; and

         Reward colleges that have acted responsibly in setting tuition, providing value, and serving needy students; and

         Develop evidence of strategies colleges can use to improve their long-term affordability and quality, and to increase capacity; and

         Empower students and families with better information so they can choose affordable colleges that provide good value; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion and other federal postsecondary education policies should, in addition, be designed and implemented to:

         Promote the widespread adoption of standardized systems of competency-based credit and badges that are portable between institutions and meaningful to students and employers; and

         Use technology to modernize student-centered, customized systems for college and career planning, assessment and placement, and enrollment services; and

         Align or replace admission and placement tests with assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards; and

         Create incentives for the adoption of policies and practices that increase graduation rates and reduce time-to-degree, including dual/concurrent enrollment in high school as well as practices recommended by Complete College America; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses the comprehensive reciprocity agreement for authorization of online and remote postsecondary education drafted by the regional higher education compacts and reflected in the consensus report of the National Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, Advancing Access through Regulatory Reform: Findings, Principles, and Recommendations for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

Projected Cost: The Presidentís Budget includes $1 billion


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013