Story by Melina Paris/Opinion Editor/@parismelina

There is a national effort to create more access to community college by making it tuition free. April is national Community College month and Monday, April 25 was a day of action. Tuition free college at public universities is even being discussed during presidential debates.

LBCC Director, Office of the Superintendent-President, Miles Nevin said there is an effort from both Heads Up America and the White House to continue the conversation around college about pathways and advocating for free community college for responsible students.

“We’d like to call on our community of LBCC students and others who read the Viking to take the pledge online,” said Nevin.

Head’s Up America has an online toolkit and one of the things they are asking campuses to do is engage their community through social media.

Some ideas are; help organize Heads Up events on campus to build momentum for free community college, spread the message about college affordability, share the value of a community college education and the impact College Promise programs can make by reducing the financial burden placed on students. College students, employees and the community were asked to post photos and other messages to generate activity through the day to get students to take the pledge and to like the Facebook page.

LBCC Presidents Ambassadors club also be participated in a social media campaign for free community college on April 25. President’s Ambassadors serve as official representatives of Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley and serve as college ambassadors to the campus and community at large.

“LBCC is one of the longstanding leaders of this initiatives,” Nevin said. “Our local College Promise program is one of the examples the White House has used to develop their national campaign.”

In addition, LBCC students promoted two campaigns on April 25, free college tuition and the continuing efforts to bring president Obama to the campus, June 9, to speak at the graduation commencement.

“Our President, Eloy Oakley and many others are doing this work every day, talking about this in the community and elsewhere,” Nevin added. “If (LBCC) students can do something to help and drive this grassroots campaign it would be great.”

The Long Beach Promise is one of the models for President Obama’s America’s College Promise.

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