Create Flexibility for Workforce Development and Address Expenditure Limit Crisis

Structural Changes to Arizona’s Community Colleges Expenditure Limitation

AC4 supports legislative efforts to develop changes to the Expenditure Limitation formula that better reflect the costs associated with providing high quality workforce training, considers the overall cost structure of 21st century community colleges in general and provides the colleges with the ability to spend revenues they collect to meet the needs of students, employers, and the institutions themselves.

The legislature can change the definition of FTSE for expenditure limits purposes and do so without changing the use of the existing FTSE definition for funding. Currently, statute defines FTSE as the completion of 15 credit hours per semester, 30 credit hours per year. This definition, put into place decades ago, fails to recognize the shorter-term nature of workforce certifications and credentials that do not require students to earn a two-year degree. It also fails to recognize that most students attending community colleges attend part-time.

For expenditure limitation purposes only (non-funding), the legislature can address this crisis by passing measures that recognizes:

  • short-term programs aimed at training Arizona’s workforce
  • additional expenses required to provide high-cost sophisticated workforce programs
  • the large percentage of community college students attending part-time.

Non-Degree Industry Credentials

Arizona is behind the national curve on recognizing the value of non-degree industry credentialling. Arizona does not currently recognize these and as such, does not have a definition for these critical workforce programs that are specifically designed to give students the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of Arizona business and industry. We are currently discussing the need for including these programs in statute, defining industry-led workforce credential courses that meet the rigor required for student success.

Demands for a variety of industry credentials continue to increase as more emphasis is being placed on prospective employees having certifications that show mastery in specific skills and training that aren’t designed for careers that require degrees or licensure but are skill mastery driven. Community colleges have been developing these programs for industries in advanced manufacturing sectors, healthcare, cyber security and IT.

For funding and expenditure limitation purposes, the legislature can address this critical workforce need by passing a measure that includes this new category and formula within existing statutory definitions of community college programs.


Extended Community College Funding

  • AC4 supports efforts to expand funding available through Proposition 301
  • AC4 supports increased funding for workforce programs, including the restoration of funding for Maricopa, Pima and Central Arizona colleges.
  • AC4 supports legislative efforts and policy initiatives that enhance partnerships with businesses, industry representatives and educational institutions, provided that decision making remain at the discretion of the local district governing board, or college administration.

Additional Support for Community College’s Providing Integrated Education & Training

Arizona’s community colleges are the largest and most economical provider of integrated education & training and adult basic education in the state. The community colleges favor increasing support and resources to bolster our adult education system. Adult basic education is an important tool that ensures individuals can keep up with today’s quickly changing technological world. Whether continuing education means improving English, completing a GED or learning a new skill, it helps adults gain the skills they need to be successful.

Support for Statewide Early College Models

The community colleges support efforts to fully fund early college programs such as dual enrollment as well as providing tuition assistance for dual enrollment students, stipends to high school teachers and enhancing delivery of concurrent enrollment for schools that don’t have qualified faculty for teaching dual enrollment.