Welcome to the ROC.
The [Re]Invest in Our Colleges (ROC) campaign is AFT Washington’s legislative campaign to increase state financial and policy investment into Washington’s Community and Technical Colleges (CTCs).
Why we need to ROC
60% of post-high school students attend a CTC. Our CTCs offer educational opportunities that include pre-college classes, Bachelor’s degrees, technical training, apprenticeships, and transfer degrees. 40% of students who earn a Bachelor’s degree at a 4-year college start at a CTC. As education costs go up, CTCs are the most affordable higher education option for many students all over Washington. Washington’s next generation of workers are being educated at the CTCs.
Over the years, while the need for affordable post-high school education has increased, the cost of that education has increased disproportionately. More importantly, the share paid by students has skyrocketed. According to an Economic Opportunity Institute study, the cost of a CTC education has increased 15% in the last 30 years, but the student’s share of the cost has increased from 20% to 45%! To look at that another way, in 1980, three weeks of wages at the minimum wage covered CTC tuition; now it takes two months of work to cover tuition costs.
The ROC campaign is about opening college doors to all students. We know, though, that opening the doors isn’t enough - we want to ensure students and their communities will succeed by investing in the people that make our system thrive. This year, we’re focusing on policies that are supportive of students and of the changing world we live in, where more students come from diverse backgrounds, more faculty lack job security, and more students face barriers to education.
Join us – let’s ROC!