Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education and Annual Reports and Budgets for Postsecondary Instructions
The annual Nebraska Higher Education Progress Report, released by the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education in March of 2014, documents the Nebraska’s state and community colleges and the University of Nebraska’s progress toward three key goals: increasing enrollments, increasing postsecondary graduation rates, and “reduc[ing], eliminat[ing], and then revers[ing] the net out-migration of Nebraskans with high levels of educational attainment.” This year’s report continues to confirm the past three years’ trend of dropping enrollment rates at universities and community colleges across the state (declining 5.1% since 2010). While graduation rates have shown a net increase since 2003, they declined slightly between 2011 and 2012. These declining enrollment rates, then, continue to be a concern for institutions across the state, and specifically for programs that rely heavily on first-year student enrollments.
On October 15, the CCPE also forwarded their biennial budget recommendations for the State College System, the University of Nebraska, and the state’s community colleges to the Legislature and Governor for approval. The proposed budget takes into account the 10.58% budget increase requested by state institutions and instead recommends only a 5.36% overall budget increase. These increases are primarily directed at maintaining and increasing financial aid funding for needy students and the state’s Access College Early program that provides opportunities for low-income high school students to enroll in college courses for credit. Lastly, the proposed budget also allocates significant funds for the maintenance of campus facilities. The proposed budget will be addressed by the state Unicameral in its next session beginning January 7, 2015.
For more information: http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us/PublicDoc/Ccpe/Reports/budget/2015-2017/Full_Report.pdf
At their upcoming December 4 meeting, the CCPE will consider a proposal by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media to form a School of the Arts within the college. The proposed School would consist of Art & Art History, Theater, and the Writer’s Workshop. This proposed change is of particular interest to NCTE members because the Writer’s Workshop is specifically charged with helping to prepare K-12 writing teachers, partially through its MFA program.
For more information, see the proposal at: http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us/PublicDoc/CCPE/NewPrograms/UNO_Arts.pdf
*Many thanks to the intrepid Nicole Green for helping with the compilation of Nebraska information.