Michigan legislators are looking to expand a statewide tuition-free college program that helps adults play for community college tuition or skilled trades training, MLive reported.
The Michigan Reconnect program – launched last year – is open to adults over age 25 who want to return to school to earn their first associate degree or skilled trades certification. It offers free or discounted tuition to those accepted.
House Bills 6129 and 6130 – bipartisan bills sponsored by state Reps. Ben Frederick, R-Owosso, and Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, and introduced this week – would open up the program to adults ages 21-24 to help address education gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Michiganders who return to school as adults have unique needs and prior life experiences that should be acknowledged by their institutions,” Frederick said in a statement. “The goal is to allow people to receive an employment-relevant credential with minimal or no debt, so they can successfully advance their careers.”
Frederick – chair of the House’s budget subcommittee on community colleges and higher education – allocated $155 million in federal COVID relief funding for the expansion of Michigan Reconnect in the House’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
The state budget must be passed by Sept. 30.