education that equips them with the skills to attain good paying jobs, transition to four-year
educational institutions and advance in their careers.
Recently, the spotlight has been placed on the nation’s 1,123 community colleges, as President Obama
made a bold proposal to eliminate tuition for student’s first two years of community college full-time
attendance. Like the state and local initiatives it builds upon, the President’s proposal dramatically
underscores of the importance of obtaining a postsecondary education in today’s economy. It is also an
investment in the nation’s economy. This proposal would help the full range of students at community
colleges, including adult students, while seeking to ensure that states maintain or increase their
investments in higher education. No matter where the reader stands in regard to the use of federal
funds for such an initiative, the nobility of the goal is laudable.
As the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the college is in full gear, it is a great opportunity to reflect on
the value that Glen Oaks Community College brings to the greater St. Joseph County region. Nationally
a recent study reported that community colleges contributed $809 billion in added income to the U.S.
economy in 2012, which was equal to 5.4 percent of the gross domestic product.
“Community colleges offer pathways to economic success and future hope to lower income students,
first-generation college-goers, minority students, veterans, single parents and anyone looking to
advance their lives,” says American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) President Dr. Walter
Bumphus. “Community colleges continue to be a gateway to a better life for many and provide access
to higher education for all Americans regardless of their background or social-economic status. Coupled
with this economic benefit within the local and regional economies, “there is no doubt that community
colleges provide the best investment in the country,” Bumphus continued.
As community college graduates move into higher-paying positions, they will contribute billions of
dollars in increased tax revenue and will save taxpayers billions of dollars in decreased social and
safety net services while experiencing better health and lives.
All of the Glen Oaks family truly appreciates the opportunity we have to serve our students and this
community. We are proud to provide economic value to the region and the lives of students. Please do
not hesitate to let us know how we can serve in even greater ways.
Dr. David H. Devier
President, Glen Oaks Community College