H.R. 6, THE HIGHER EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1998, TRIO, INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION, GRADUATE EDUCATION, INDIAN EDUCATION, AND HEP/CAMP
SUBCOMMITTEE ON POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION,
TRAINING AND LIFE-LONG LEARNING
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 17, 1997
Serial No. 105-111
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education
and the Workforce
H.R. 6, THE HIGHER EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF1998
TRIO, INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION, GRADUATE EDUCATION, INDIAN EDUCATION, AND HEP/CAMP
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STATEMENT OF MS. MARTHA McCLEOD, PRESIDENT, BAY MILLS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BRIMLEY, MICHIGAN *
STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL THAYER, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ACCESS AND OUTREACH, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, FORT COLLINS, COLORADO *
STATEMENT OF MS. CRESCENT MUHAMMAD, HARVARD UNIVERSITY STUDENT, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA *
STATEMENT OF MS. GERI WEILACHER, ASSISTANT TO THE ASSOCIATE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA *
STATEMENT OF MR. NORMAN BRISTOL, FOREMER MIGRANT/CAMP STUDENT, LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA *
STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD ATTIYEH, INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR, ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA *
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN WILSON, DEAN, THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY *
STATEMENT OF DR. JILL REICH, Ph.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EDUCATION DIRECTORATE, AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. *
STATEMENT OF DR. PATRICK O'MEARA, DEAN OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA *
Appendix A – THE OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE HOWARD P. "BUCK" McKEON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA *
Appendix B – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MS. MARTHA McCLEOD, PRESIDENT, BAY MILLS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BRIMLEY, MICHIGAN *
Appendix C – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL THAYER, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR EDUCATION ACCESS AND OUTREACH, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, FORT COLLINS, COLORADO *
Appendix D – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MS. CRESCENT MOHAMMED, FORMER TRIO STUDNET-HARVARD UNIVERSITY, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA *
Appendix E – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MS. GERI WEILACHER, ASSISTANT TO THE ASSOCIATE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA *
Appendix F – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MR. NORMAN BRISTOL, FORMER MIGRANT/CAMP STUDENT, LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA *
Appendix G – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD ATTIYEH, INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR-ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA *
Appendix H – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN WILSON, DEAN, THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY *
Appendix I – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. JILL REICH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EDUCATIION DIRECTORATE, AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. *
Appendix J – THE WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. PATRICK O’MEARA, DEAN OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA *
LETTER FROM MR. THOMAS W. COLE, JR., PRESIDENT, CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY, ATLANTA, GEORGIA *
Table of Indexes 227
Tuesday, June 17, 1997
House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, Training and Life-Long Learning
Committee on Education and the Workforce
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:35 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives McKeon, Petri, Kildee, Roemer, Fattah, McCarthy, Tierney, Kind, and Sanchez.
Staff Present: George Conant, Professional Staff Member; Sally Stroup, Professional Staff Member; Pam Davidson, Legislative Assistant; David Evans, Minority Professional Staff Member.
Chairman McKeon. Good morning. I would like to take a moment to welcome the witnesses who have agreed to appear before us, and being from California, I would like to give a special welcome to a fellow Californian, Dr. Richard Attiyeh, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of California. You just had the President out there for graduation and I am sure you had some great experiences. I watched a little of it on television.
Today, we will hold another in a series of several program specific hearings here in Washington, D.C., to bring together experts from across the country and hear their views on the Higher Education Act.
The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Higher Education Act, and we have a great deal of work ahead of us. As many of you know, the Higher Education Act is scheduled for reauthorization during this 105th Congress and in general terms this means the committee will be making determinations as to the effectiveness of the existing programs as well as the need for other programs which address specific problem areas. One of our primary focuses throughout this entire process is keeping college affordable for all students and families.
Since the early 1980s, the price of college has spiraled at a rate of two to three times that of inflation every year. According to a report recently released by the General Accounting Office, between 1980 and 1981 and 1994 and 1995, tuition at 4-year public colleges and universities increased 234 percent, while median household income rose 82 percent and the Consumer Price Index rose only 74 percent. As a parent of six children, two of whom are currently enrolled in college and two are out repaying student loans, I am well aware of what it costs for a family to pay for college.
Our job in Congress is to improve on what is already working for students across the country, eliminate programs which are not working and do it all in a way that ensures that precious taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. As we reauthorize the Higher Education Act, our goals will be making higher education more affordable; simplifying the student aid system; and stressing academic quality.
Today's hearing will focus on the TRIO programs, international education, graduate education, Indian education, and the HEP and CAMP programs for migrant students.
Our witnesses all have hands-on experience with our system of higher education, whether it is ensuring the smooth functioning of a college or university for the leaders of tomorrow, making certain our students receive the financial help they need to pursue a postsecondary education or, most importantly, working for that diploma or certificate which will give you the tools for a successful future. They are the true experts on higher education, and I look forward to hearing from each of you.
We will now hear from Mr. Kildee for his opening statement.
See Appendix A for the Opening Statement of the Hon. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The programs we consider today may not be as large as the Pell grant and the campus-based program that were the focus of last week's hearings, but to the populations they serve they are of equally critical importance. Without the TRIO programs, many disadvantaged youths and adults would not even dare to dream about a college education.
In my district, Flint and Pontiac, I know people today who are successful members of our community because of the TRIO programs. These programs really touch people's lives. And I can only speculate what they would be doing were it not for the TRIO programs, but knowing and having been raised in that area, I am sure they would not be contributing to the community as they are now fulfilling themselves were it not for the TRIO programs.
For migrant students, the small but thorough HEP programs work the same kind of magic as the TRIO programs. And for Native Americans, and I am very happy we have Ms. Martha McCleod from the Bay Mills Community College in Brimley, Michigan, a college for which I have a great deal of concern and care. I am glad she is testifying for Native Americans. Because of our federal programs, Native Americans will have a college education which is truly within their physical and financial reach.
I have spent this past weekend meeting with Indian leaders from the four corners of the United States and it was a wonderful experience, and they certainly recognize that the great key to the future for the Indian people of this country is education.
As co-chair of the Native American Caucus, I have worked hard to make sure that we provide those who were here before my ancestors arrived have an opportunity for an education. For the United States as a whole, the graduate education in foreign language and international studies programs which we consider today are vital to building a strong America at home and abroad.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony we will receive this morning, and again, I want to publicly state that I am very happy that Mr. McKeon is the Chairman of this committee because he really believes that education helps promote human dignity, which is a function of government.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you.
If we could ask our first panel now to come and take their place at the table. Ms. Martha McCleod, President of Bay Mills Community College from Brimley, Michigan; Dr. Paul Thayer, the Director of the Center for Educational Access and Outreach from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Ms. Crescent Muhammad, a Harvard University student from South Bend, Indiana; Mr. Geri Weilacher, Assistant to the Associate Dean from University Park, Pennsylvania; and Mr. Norman Bristol, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
We will just go down the line as I introduced you, starting with Ms. McCleod, and your time is just about up.
Ms. McCleod. Boy, I knew you guys were quick.
Chairman McKeon. The way this works, is we ask each of you if you could summarize your testimony in five minutes. The green light comes on when you begin, and when you have a minute left the yellow light goes on, and when your time is up the red light goes on. We have your full written testimonies for the record. If you would summarize your testimony or stress what you feel are the most important issues, we would appreciate that.
Ms. Muhammad is from South Bend, Indiana. We happen to have a Congressman from there. We would like to turn the microphone over to him at this time. Mr. Roemer.
Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I, too, want to salute you, as Mr. Kildee did, our distinguished Ranking Member from Michigan, in having this hearing. Certainly we all hear from our constituents about how important it is to bring down the cost of higher education, but equally as important to cost is access to higher education. And we are very concerned that we not only understand but we promote programs such as the Upward Bound program and the Talent Search program and the TRIO program, and that these programs start earlier for our young people.
I have the honor and the privilege this morning of introducing somebody from my congressional district, in South Bend, Indiana. I have known Crescent Muhammad for many years, too many years for me to mention here at the hearing, and I know her well because I know her mom well, and her mom is one of the most distinguished public servants in South Bend, and I think that is one of the reasons she has been so successful, because the great role model her mom has been for her.
But she has also come here to testify today about a program that works and works well, and not only gave Crescent more self-confidence and self-esteem, but convinced her after spending six weeks each summer at Notre Dame that she could go there or go to an equally prestigious place, like Harvard. She ended up going to Harvard there and she is now here to give back by testifying about a program that helped her get through school, graduate from Harvard, and we look forward to hearing her personal experience.
I do have to say without putting too much pressure on her, Mr. Chairman, that she recently testified with a number of presidents of my local universities back home in Indiana at a hearing that you and Mr. Kildee were absolutely paramount in helping me attain, and I thank you again for that. But she was, if not better, absolutely as good as each one of those university presidents, so I look forward to her testimony today.
Thank you for giving her the opportunity to come to Washington and tell us in a very personal and emotional way, about how important these programs have been for her and how important they will be to other young people, especially when we start them in the 5th and 6th and 7th grade, to give equal access to everybody in this country for an opportunity to go to, not just to Harvard but a place for higher learning.
Chairman McKeon. Well, that does put a little pressure on her. Fortunately, you have a little while to think about it. We will hear first from Ms. McCleod.
STATEMENT OF MS. MARTHA McCLEOD, PRESIDENT, BAY MILLS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BRIMLEY, MICHIGAN
Ms. McCleod. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, on behalf of this Nation's 30 tribal colleges, which comprise the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, I thank you for the opportunity to share our views on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and most important to us, the reauthorization of the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978. I will summarize my remarks and ask that my written statement, along with a brief accompanying document, be included in the hearing record.
My name is Martha McCleod, and I am the President of Bay Mills Community College on the Bay Mills Indian community reservation on the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan, which is right on the Canadian border in the middle of the swamp.
Bay Mills Community College is the only tribal college in Michigan. We serve the 11 federally recognized tribes and their neighboring communities, which means we offer classes on any reservation that can enroll 10 students in a course, 8 hours west at Lac Vieux Desert and 7 hours south for the Pokagan Band. Some 300 miles south of our main campus, we have conducted classes for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Mount Pleasant. We truly are an institution of, by, and for American Indians.
I am honored to be here and on behalf of the tribal colleges to make the following specific requests for amendments to the Higher Education Act and the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act, and naturally there is a more detailed discussion in the written remarks.
First, in Title III of the Higher Education Act, we respectfully request the creation and funding for a new part for tribal colleges, similar to Part B for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and section 316 for Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
As you know, Title III was created to assist institutions that historically have served minority and low-income students and who have been denied access to postsecondary education because of race or national origin. In 1980, a specific part was created for black colleges and in 1992 a section for Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and as a group, only colleges serving first Americans, American Indians, have been left out.
In 1996, no Title III grants were granted to Native American Indian institutions. In Title IV of the Act, amendments are needed to create a system closer to parity between the pre-1979 institutions which benefit hold harmless provisions of the law and the new institutions like the tribal colleges.
Third, in the Tribal College Act, we are proposing an amendment to specifically require that institutions funded under the act be accredited. In addition, we request an amendment to direct the Secretary of Education to work with tribal colleges to develop a national accrediting agency or association for us.
Fourth, amendments are needed to the Tribal College Act to increase authorizations for core funding based on Indian student count, which is currently set at $5,820, but funded at $2,800, a much lower level. Authorization should also be increased for the never-funded facilities renovation and economic development sections.
I will cover briefly the following four areas. I will provide some background on the tribal colleges, discuss a challenge we face with welfare reform, and discuss the Carnegie Foundation report on Native American Colleges: Progress and Prospects.
In the early 1970s, American Indians faced dismal statistics: Out of some 100 students, 56 percent would become dropouts; 44 percent would graduate from high school; of those graduates, only 15 percent would go on to college; and of those, 70 percent would drop out. Of those remaining who would go to graduate school, 90 percent would drop out. Based on these figures of those 100 graduates, only 2 were likely to graduate from college and the 2 who graduated had less than a 10 percent chance of getting an advanced degree.
Those statistics made tribal leaders realize that only through local, culturally based and holistic methods could American Indians succeed in higher education.
So the first tribal colleges were born, with little, in abandoned and condemned government buildings. Bay Mills is in a remodeled fish processing plant. We have the thickest walls east of the Mississippi.
Despite our growth, tribal colleges remain the most poorly funded institutions of higher education in this country, and although conditions of some have improved, many of the colleges still operate in trailers, cast off billings, and facilities with leaking roofs. Our core funding, which comes from the Department of Interior appropriations bill, remains grossly inadequate. In fact, the tribal colleges appropriation of $2,861 per Indian student is dramatically less than the average per student revenue of mainstream 2-year institutions, and it is also far below the authorized level.
Since our inception, tribal colleges have addressed the problems and challenges of welfare reform. All tribal colleges provide GED, basic remedial and other college prep courses, probably more than any other community college in the country. We have done this because our mission requires it of us.
Over the next several months and years, the demand for these services as well as the basic training services will increase dramatically because of changes in the welfare laws. Last semester alone, the unduplicated student count at Bay Mills Community College grew from 165 to 273 students. This is an increase of 108 students, or a 65 percent increase in one semester.
The impact of that level of growth on any institution is staggering but it is even more dramatic at a tribal college. Remember that Bay Mills' core funding, which Congress has not increased in the past several years, and this funding in effect decreases with student growth. Essentially, we have to serve more students with the same pot of money, and this can't continue without sacrificing educational and job training quality.
Within the next few months and years, our students will be required to become prepared for and to find employment or they will lose assistance under the new temporary assistance for needy students program. What does this mean for tribal colleges? It means the programs authorized by this subcommittee for basic educational services are going to become even more important than they are today. They are absolutely essential to the success of the welfare reform legislation enacted by Congress, and more important, they are essential to the success of our students, and that is what we are there for, our students.
Finally, I would like to end my remarks on a brighter note, the new report on tribal colleges, and I am going to quote directly from the Carnegie Report. The new report reassesses our need and provides specific findings and recommendations to the federal government and private sector.
It says, the inadequate level of our core funding on the Tribally Controlled Community College Act must be addressed; the need for increased partnerships with mainstream universities; the need for improvements in library, laboratory, classroom, and residence facilities; the need for faculty development programs and stronger curricula that makes greater use of new technologies; and the need for public and private sector support for our cultural, history, and language preservation efforts.
I thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much. I didn't want to mention the trap door that opens. I didn't want to make you nervous.
Ms. McCleod. Oh, not me.
Chairman McKeon. If it is any consolation, I have only been doing this for a short time and I am nervous all the time.
See Appendix B for the Written Statement of Ms. Martha McCleod
Chairman McKeon. Dr. Thayer.
STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL THAYER, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ACCESS AND OUTREACH, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, FORT COLLINS, COLORADO
Dr. Thayer. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to join in this important discussion this morning.
I have worked with the TRIO programs for the past 19 years. I have done so for one reason alone: TRIO programs do make a difference. Across the country, there are currently 1,900 TRIO programs. They are hosted by 1,200 colleges and universities and 100 community organizations. Together they serve nearly 700,000 TRIO participants annually.
For more than 30 years, Educational Opportunity Centers, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and Ronald McNair programs have been helping low-income citizens improve their lives by entering and graduating from college. Over that time, it is estimated that 2 million TRIO participants have graduated from college, moved out of poverty, and are contributing members of their communities.
I would like to address three points this morning. First, that TRIO plays a critical role in the student financial aid strategy; second, that TRIO programs work; third, I would like to highlight two recommendations to further increase TRIO effectiveness. Let me first address the critical role of TRIO in the federal student financial aid strategy.
This committee had the wisdom some years ago and the vision to place TRIO and student financial aid in conjunction with one another in Title IV of the Higher Education Act. After all, the committee recognized that while financially it is necessary, it is not sufficient for low-income students to enter and successfully graduate from college. While financial aid may address important financial barriers to success, there are non-financial barriers as well. Included in these are lack of academic preparation, lack of parent and peer support, lack of information and knowledge about postsecondary opportunities. TRIO addresses these very non-financial barriers. By investing in TRIO, we are also acting to protect the substantial investment in student financial assistance.
My second point is that TRIO programs work. Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned rigorous evaluations of the two largest programs, Upward Bound and Student Support Services.
The Upward Bound study revealed that participants complete more academic credits, they sustain higher levels of postsecondary expectations, and that their parents' expectations are increased as well. Meanwhile, other studies have shown that participants enroll in postsecondary education at higher rates than non-participants.
The Student Support Services study revealed that participants show a statistically significant and higher rate of retention through college, they earn higher grade point averages, and complete a higher number of semester credits. In effect, Student Support Services participants are not only more likely to graduate, but to graduate earlier and with higher grade point averages.
TRIO is making a difference in terms of real, quantifiable outcomes.
With my final point, I wish to highlight two recommendations for further improving TRIO programs. As we look at national statistics, we cannot help but be concerned with the high rates at which low-income students fail to complete postsecondary programs. Left unaddressed, this incurs cost of remediation and wasted resources associated with dropping out.
Talent Search is in a unique position to make a difference by increasing the academic preparation levels of students beginning in the 6th grade and continuing through high school. However, the Talent Search mission and resources must be augmented in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
In my community, as well as in others, we are also concerned about implementing the extent of welfare reform. EOC, Educational Opportunity Centers, are in a position to make a difference in this regard. Because EOC’s often provide educational services to single parents on welfare and displaced workers, EOC programs can assist communities in moving low-income citizens from dependence on welfare to independence.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am convinced that education is low-income students' very best chance of moving from poverty and contributing fully to our society. I am further convinced that TRIO makes such opportunity a reality.
Thank you for your attention to these recommendations. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much.
See Appendix C for the Written Statement of Dr. Paul Thayer
Chairman McKeon. Ms. Muhammad.
STATEMENT OF MS. CRESCENT MUHAMMAD, HARVARD UNIVERSITY STUDENT, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA
Ms. Muhammad. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. I want to thank you for granting me the opportunity to speak out on behalf of TRIO programs and the importance of funding for higher education.
To clear up any confusion, I am a recent graduate of Harvard University. I just graduated cum laude earlier this month, and I plan to attend the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the fall of 1998.
Raised in a single parent home with three older brothers, my mother never had extra money to spend on something that did not address our immediate needs. Making due without child support payments and without welfare as an option, my mother made sure we were clothed and fed. The reduced lunch program at school proved a godsend and friends of the family often helped with bus fare and other transportation and academic expenses.
A love of reading implemented and encouraged by my mother resulted in high test scores and good grades early on. With this combination, I was able to participate in summer programs that provided further academic enrichment. Programs such as LINK UP and CATCH, both of which start around the 4th grade and continue until around the 8th grade, and held on the University of Notre Dame's campus, helped learning continue over the summer months. In many ways these programs were forerunners for the Upward Bound program in which I participated in high school.
Although we were not sure how we would afford it, it was always understood that I would go to college. Thus, like many families, we relied on my 4.0 grade point average and numerous activities to pay for the college. Fortunately, the system did not fail me. Upon leaving high school, I was awarded varying amounts of scholarship money from different organizations around the city. In addition to several small but beneficial awards through my high school, I was also selected as a Richard Lugar Scholar and Governor's Scholar, but was unable to use the $4,000 plus award because I decided to attend an out-of-state school. And an interjection here, originally I was going to attend the University of Notre Dame; however, when I got accepted into Harvard, I decided to go there.
Fortunately, at Harvard, I was selected as a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Scholar. This award, combined with additional grants like the Pell grant and the Stafford loan and an additional private loan from the school, helped bring down tuition costs considerably. Another source of financial aid was the federal Work Study program which, believe me, is a much appreciated avenue in which to earn money for school.
Although my mother did not want me to work during my first year of college, two problems kept materializing in my head. One, I knew she would not be able to send me any money and, two, I could not help but be concerned about how the remainder of the tuition bill was going to get paid from semester to semester. Thus, from the second week of classes on, I have always had one job, if not two. Working two jobs and taking a full load, in addition to numerous extracurricular activities, was not an easy task, and I often envied those students who did not need to work and could devote all their time to studying and participating in college activities. Nonetheless, I must add, I was glad to have had the opportunity to supplement my income, my tuition, in this capacity.
It was a combination of three very important factors that helped me reach my goals of attending and excelling at Harvard University. First, was my mother and her never-ending support and determination that I succeed. Second, was my high school where again I was surrounded in a supportive atmosphere that encouraged my quest for higher learning and thus did all they could to prepare me for such an endeavor. Last, and equally as important as the other two, was my involvement in programs like the Upward Bound Project, one of many TRIO programs across the nation, where for 4 years I spent 6 weeks.
My own transition at the college was made unbelievably easier by my involvement in Upward Bound. From making sure I got to class on time without relying upon a bell to signal my location, to working through the difficulties of finite math in a study group. By the time I got to Harvard I felt as though I was more than ready to face college life.
As an African-American female growing up in the inner city, I do not believe I would have had access to institutions like Harvard and the first rate education I have received there without the support of TRIO programs such as Upward Bound, Talent Search, and an additional program called The Promoting Women and Minority Enrollment in Graduate School Program.
Funds such as grants, loans, and scholarships allocated for disadvantaged youth are essential to ensure continued access to higher education for minorities.
I see the yellow light is on so I am going to end quite quickly here.
Upward Bound was tremendous in helping me apply to college and providing me with access to other institutions. We went on trips, I came to D.C. one year, and began networking across the nation. It has been great. Thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much.
See Appendix D for the Written Statement of Ms. Crescent Mohammed
Chairman McKeon. Ms. Weilacher.
STATEMENT OF MS. GERI WEILACHER, ASSISTANT TO THE ASSOCIATE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA
Ms. Weilacher. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you about the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) on behalf of Penn State University.
I am the Assistant to the Associate Dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education at Penn State. I assist in supervising Penn State's CAMP program as well as six TRIO programs and I am a former director of six years of the Upward Bound program.
According to the study, Invisible Children: A Portrait of American Migrant Education in the United States, 30 years ago there was not a single son or daughter of a migrant farm worker who was known who had graduated from college. Happily, CAMP and its sister program, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) are beginning to reverse that deplorable situation.
Penn State currently serves 35 CAMP students each year. The students come from Pennsylvania and other states along the East Coast that are traveled and worked by migrant workers. We are proud of HEP and CAMP because of the critical difference they make in the lives of young people with so much potential.
CAMP is the only federally funded program that recruits and encourages migrant children with high school educations or GEDs to go on to college and then offers them targeted counseling and an additional stipend to help them complete their first year of college. Likewise, HEP is the only federally funded program that reaches out to migrant youth who have dropped out of high school in order to encourage them to get back into the educational mainstream and get their GED.
The success rates of these two programs are tremendous. Ninety-six percent of CAMP students complete their first year of college, they complete the CAMP program because it serves them primarily during their first year. Seventy-three percent of those students go on to graduate from college, a much higher rate than the rate for Hispanic youth in general which have a graduation rate of eighty percent.
Sixty-nine percent of the students in the High School Equivalency Program complete that program, and a large percentage of those students, about seventy percent, go on to postsecondary education.
The impact of CAMP and HEP is limited primarily by funding levels. If we look at current data, for the number of migrant students that are now in elementary school and secondary school and also factor in the dropout rate for migrant students, which is about sixty percent, and look ahead for the next twelve years, we can project that 244,000 migrant students would be eligible for CAMP, yet only two percent could be served at the current funding level. That is about 4,500 students.
Projecting again for the next twelve years, about 366,000 students would be eligible for HEP. Yet, only twelve percent at current funding levels could be served. This represents a enormous loss in human potential and a deficit to the economy.
I urge you to use the opportunity of reauthorization to increase authorization levels of funding to ensure that more students can be served.
I must add that HEP and CAMP are cost-effective and yield a significant return for the government and the economy. For students who complete CAMP, the first year of college, they are, on average, likely to earn $4,080 more than their peers who don't, and at a conservative tax rate of fifteen percent, within nine years the students would have paid back the government the money invested in their CAMP experience. At a higher tax rate of 28 percent, they would have paid back the investment in five years.
For the CAMP students, and I mentioned 73 percent graduate from college, for those students, they are likely to earn $11,000 more than their peers who did not complete CAMP. At a tax rate of 28 percent, within two years they would be able to pay back to the government the money invested in their CAMP experience.
My written testimony includes other specific recommendations for HEP and CAMP, but there are three specific ones I’d like to address. First, increase the total funding so there are more CAMP and HEP programs and more help to students into the second year of their college experience; require better recordkeeping so we can better document and follow migrant education through all the years of their educational experience; and include language that encourages more cooperate between HEP, CAMP, and other federally funded programs.
Thanks. I would be happy to answer questions.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much.
See Appendix E for the Written Statement of Ms. Geri Weilacher
Chairman McKeon. Mr. Bristol.
STATEMENT OF MR. NORMAN BRISTOL, FOREMER MIGRANT/CAMP STUDENT, LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA
Mr. Bristol. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Norman Bristol, currently a migrant student at Penn State University. I am honored to be here today representing migrant students, telling and sharing with you the experiences that migrant students face when we enter this society. What barriers, what limitations we have to endure and overcome, but also what hopes and what struggles we go through as we toil towards the aspirations and opportunities that we know we can obtain. Even if we at times think that there is no sense in the struggle, there is no choice but to struggle.
Migrant children often have a difficult time getting an education because we move frequently from one school district to another. Many do not speak English, and have to rely on the English as a second language classes to be able to survive. We encounter harassment and worse from the other students and sometimes from the teachers. That is why many migrant students drop out from school, looking for a place where they think they belong and a place where they feel equal and appreciated.
When a boy becomes capable of doing a man's work, there is always the temptation to leave school and work in the fields or the factories or the fast food restaurants. Teenage girls frequently think they can make a better contribution at home. Many families have to make the painful trade-off decision of sacrificing the long-term value of educating a bright son or daughter and the short-term necessity of having them contribute immediately to the family income.
In the famous 1960s documentary on migrant farm workers, "Harvest of Shame," Edward R. Murrow stated: "There is no case upon the record of the child of a migrant laborer ever receiving a college diploma." Thirty-five years later, 50 percent of migrant farm worker youth drop out of school before completing high school, and of the other 50 percent, a small percentage actually enroll in postsecondary education institutions.
It is with pride that I say two things to you today: First, that is not the case in Pennsylvania where more than 70 percent of migrant high school graduates enrolled in a postsecondary institution, and, second, that of those migrant students that go to college nationwide, we have a higher graduation rate than the rest of the nation.
However, migrant students have made giant steps and each year hundreds of migrant youths enter postsecondary educational institutions. There are many former migrant students that are represented in all walks of life, politics, law, religion, science, education, arts, and business.
When I came to Pennsylvania from Puerto Rico, even though we are citizens, I encountered many difficulties in school. Other students humiliated me by making fun of the way I spoke and dressed. But most devastating was the fact that teachers wouldn't give me letters of recommendation for Penn State University in spite of my high grades of 3.8. They said I wouldn't be accepted. I was denied information of how I could get into higher education. They suggested I try other universities or community colleges or a technical school. But that didn't stop me and many other youth in my position because we come with the weapon that gives any barrier, any obstacle, any difficulty, any problem. We come with a lot of hope, desire, potential, and the strain of having a background of suffering and sacrifices, of hard work and humbleness. I know that we cannot change our yesterdays but we can change our tomorrow’s.
The migrant education program, however, provided for me the stimulus and inspiration to overcome the extreme difficulties, limitations and barriers to get ahead in school and graduate from high school. The program helped to get me involved in Penn State University and linked me with an organization of Latinos in Education. I must say that the support and help of the professionals of the program was extremely important in motivating my inner strength that was so essential for me and others to overcome the many difficulties faced by migrant youth.
At present, I am a participant of the College Assistance Migrant Program and a 1998 candidate for a bachelor's degree in political sciences and economics with minors in Spanish and sociology from the Penn State University. This program has provided me with financial assistance, support, and the opportunity of participating in the academic enrichment program.
I want to share with you some of the experiences I have been facing since I was a little boy. It is the first time I share something so important to me. I hope you understand what we have to go through, not by choice, but because of the circumstances.
I come from a very poor family where my mother was the head of the household. She used to work in the fields of Puerto Rico to take care of herself, five sons and our grandmother. I remember how she used to get up at 4:00 in the morning to go to work. Our grandmother used to take care of us, give us breakfast, and send us to school with God's blessing. "Dios te bendiga mi'jo," God bless you my son, because as the foundation of then nation states, In God We Trust. She couldn't give us any money as other parents did. Not even a quarter because we were so poor. Two things were important in my home: Bringing home the daily bread, and, two, going to school. It was very important that we understood that progress requires struggle.
I was the youngest of five children, but my mother's love and enduring travails were also an inspiration. She used to work 8 long and hard hours, after which she came home to cook for us, take care of all of us, give us love and help us with our homework. She was our queen and we used to divide the housework as an offering and gift for her work and love.
My mom was humble but she was a dreamer and a fighter. I am proud of her and I want to give her back what she has given me.
Struggle is built into our blood by our ancestors and family members. The migrants struggle through life to give their children something better to look forward. They work the harsh fields and are mistreated in the course of their painful lives, but one thing we all have and never lack is hope, hope for a new beginning and a better life for our parents, ourselves, and our children, and the community.
It is a success for those that are willing to give us a chance and work with us to overcome the obstacles and hardships that come from being a migrant student. We look forward to achieve our goals, to be productive and positive members of our society. We want to climb so that we can then extend our hand to those that come behind us and give them a lift. We are grateful to programs like the Migrant Education Program and the College Assistance Migrant Programs of Pennsylvania because they extended that hand. They gave us strength and steadied our faltering steps. Without their support I would not be in college today. The College Assistance Migrant Program has provided me with financial help, academic and tutorial classes, motivation, and a support system that has prepared me to deal with college life as well as to fortify the necessary endurance and academic background to enable me to succeed. That is why we migrant students ask you to continue the funding of education to migrant students.
We, the migrant students, play an important role in shaping the future of America. Being a migrant child means a lot of struggle and sacrifices to succeed in life. Many migrant students do not have time to think of anything but survival.
All around America we can see how hard we work and how we have nothing. Migrant education programs is a unique program in the ability to identify, recruit, and retain a very model low-income and neglected group of people in our society. CAMP program is a way to increase the ability with which to pay for the American dream we want to be a part of.
You know, I know, and the citizens of the United States of America know that the best way to help migratory children leave the fields and improve their life is by providing them equal access to higher education. Most migratory children dream the American dream and the only road to that dream is education.
I am a former Pennsylvania migrant education student. I am a current College Assistance Migrant Education student. I will always be a professional migrant individual. Thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much.
See Appendix F for the Written Statement of Mr. Norman Bristol
Chairman McKeon. As much time as I have, I will just go down the line with some questions.
Ms. McCleod, your testimony mentions some disturbing statistics about the state of Indian education prior to enactment of the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act. How have these statistics improved since then?
Ms. McCleod. There are about 25,000 tribal college students presently enrolled. We have a much higher retention rate than other mainstream institutions. Bay Mills, for instance, has an 83 percent retention rate for students who come to school with us. Of the students who graduate, 90 percent of my students go to work or transfer to 4-year institutions.
This year, remember how small we are, but six of my students got bachelor's degree. Now, we started with 11 students in the basement of the tribal center in 1984. Now we have well over 500 students. Those six students we honored at our graduation this year for their graduating from university and the university presidents came and helped us with our celebration. The point is it is improving and we know how to do it best. We take the students from where they are to where they want to be.
Chairman McKeon. Very good. Thank you. I will have some other questions but I will submit them in writing and maybe you could answer them back to me.
Chairman McKeon. Dr. Thayer, on average, how much does it cost to fund the participation of one TRIO student? How much of this money comes from the institution or other outside sources such as businesses? Are there ways in which we can make these programs more efficient? Are there regulatory burdens which could be reduced in order to assist programs like yourself in serving their purpose while allowing you to make use of your money on students? Again, I have more too, but if you could.
Dr. Thayer. Yes. In terms of cost, nationwide, it depends on the program because the programs have somewhat different missions and intensity. For example, Upward Bound, the average cost factually is about $3,900 a year; for Talent Search about $260 and for education opportunity centers about $160 a year. The difference has to do with intensity of the service and the particular mission involved.
In terms of how much comes from the community and the institution, let me use my own institution. Our institution waives the indirect costs, the 8 percent indirect costs, and contributes that back to the program, so the institution is claiming no indirect costs. In addition, the institution provides a variety of other services.
But another thing that has happened with our programs is we have been able to leverage additional dollars from the community. For example, First Bank of Northern Colorado became interested in a bridge program for young students moving from middle school on to high school and made a $40,000 grant, multiyear grant to establish that program. Subsequently, that program has been taken over by the university. That is institutionalized by the university.
So those leveraged dollars aren't replacing the essential functions that the TRIO programs are providing but they provide additional expanded opportunities for students. I think that is fairly typical of TRIO programs.
In terms of efficiency and regulatory issues, my experience is that programs are extremely concerned about efficiency because every dollar that we don't spend well takes away from the number of students we are able to serve. Our greatest concern, though, has been while we have an excellent infrastructure, a series of programs that can serve students at various points of access, that we are only serving 10 percent of the eligible population. That means that 90 percent of the eligible population is really being deprived, going without the services that would allow them to be fully effective and meet their potential.
The last comment I wanted to make related to regulation is that we may be one of the few programs that is anxious to maintain the regulatory guidance that we have at present. We feel that that protects the program. Number one, it makes sure that institutions are appropriately using the funds for the benefit of students, and of course these are programs that are student loyal, not institution loyal. Lastly, we feel that regulation is important in terms of accountability. We are anxious that the programs are being accountable and that we be required to demonstrate that we are meeting our purposes and making a difference for students.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you. I see my time is up. I want to, as I said, ask further questions, maybe I could send them to each of you and you could respond. I would like to commend Ms. Muhammad and Mr. Bristol for the efforts that you are making, for the example you are setting for those that follow behind you. You are doing a great job. Keep up your efforts.
Chairman McKeon. Mr. Kildee.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to talk to Ms. McCleod first. I have read the Treaty of Detroit, as well as, many of the Indian treaties. I tell the Indian tribes that they should read the treaties that we signed. They are in the National Archives. We signed them with England, France, Japan, and with the sovereign tribes throughout the country. Almost all the treaties we have signed with the sovereign Indian tribes, we took millions of acres of land from the Bay Mill and Sault Sainte Marie and Kohagen and promised usually always one thing in return, education. So that is a federal commitment.
The Constitution reads that this Constitution and all treaties entered into are the supreme law of the land, and I think you have a special claim on making sure that we keep these authorizations going and raise the level of the authorization even when the Appropriations Committee in a couple of instances has not appropriated the dollars. Just tell us to carry out our Constitutional duties; we did take an oath to uphold this Constitution.
I always carry this Constitution with me and there are two places I mark it. One is the Constitution and all treaties which shall be made pursuant thereof are the supreme law of the land. And then Article 1, Section 8, talks about the three sovereignties, Congress shall impart regular commerce with foreign nations, the several states, and with Indian tribes. So be bold and demand that Congress carry out the treaties that we have signed with Native Americans, and certainly the 11 tribes of Michigan all come under in some way that Treaty of Detroit.
I want to work with you on that. I know we have underfunded, and the tendency very often is to not reauthorize where the Appropriations Committee has not been appropriating. But I think in this instance we should reauthorize even when the appropriations are not there. So I encourage you to push us to do just that, wave the Constitution in front of us and tell us we have an obligation under the treaties.
In fact, during what I call the "winter of discontent" when Dave Stockman was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, I used to say if we could withdraw all support for everyone, we could not legally do it for Indians because of our treaty obligations. It is something we have very strongly, Norman, if you will indulge me a little bit, but I have many Puerto Rican friends, especially Mr. Carlos Romero-Barcelo, a member of this committee.
[Speaking in Spanish.]
I spent some good times in Puerto Rico and really admire what you are doing. I notice you are majoring, among other things, in political science, right? Look for a job up here sometime. We nee people like you especially those who are bilingual. It is a blessing and we as a nation are enriched by bilingualism and appreciate what you are doing.
We are often criticized about the money we spend on remedial education in college and saying, why should we be spending money there; secondary schools and primary schools should be doing better.
Could some of you talk about the need for remedial education in our colleges?
Ms. McCleod. I used to think when I first began at Bay Mills that only Bay Mills students or perhaps tribal students specially needed remedial education, but if you look at the state institution, 80 percent of the incoming freshman need remediation in English or math. And that is not just tribal colleges. But if you look at the tribal students who have the highest drop out rate of any minority group in Michigan, remediation is the key. Whether the adult student who is motivated through school and gain independence, they gallop through remediation, but they need it to go on and succeed.
Our students who took the national accounting test this year, 83 percent tested above the national average. The average age of that student was 40. Our students want to succeed and without remedial education to bring them to that basic college level and move ahead, they won't. We need remedial education.
Dr. Thayer. I would like to say that one way to look at it is to try to act proactively so there is not a need for that. One of the things we try to do in Talent Search is to intensify academic services so that as Talent Search students move from 6th grade through high school and then to college, there is no need for remedial education. So we see that as remediation prevention.
Ms. Muhammad. I wanted to add, perhaps not at schools like Harvard is it needed, but other institutions, like Ms. McCleod mentioned, where students coming out of high school might not have the highest GPA but let's say it was a decent average C, and there is nothing wrong with that, are fearful of going to college and flunking out. So being offered remedial classes and told they are there and will help you get through college. I’m certain that the dropout rate will lessen.
Particularly our athletes. Sports is a big deal in our country and we often recruit students whose GPA are somewhat questionable but whose athletic prowess is outstanding. So again, remedial classes for those students and the like would be of great benefit.
Mr. Kildee. I really was fascinated by your specific statement. I have always said that education is an investment, pardon me, Mr. Chairman, but you specifically showed in one instance where this person paying 28 percent and when they are going to have returned the money. I was very interested in that. I really am convinced that education is an investment. You documented that well here this morning.
Ms. Weilacher. I myself was a low-income student and went to school with national student defense loans and every year as I pay my taxes I think of how happy I am to pay back the investment in my education. We see this every day in the success stories of the college assistance migrant student program and the TRIO students.
Mr. Kildee. Norman, do you have any additional comments you would like to make?
Mr. Bristol. I think that remedial classes are the base for many students that want to be in the first year of college, and they want to go to graduate school. It helped me and I know it will help a lot of other students in my position.
Ms. Weilacher. If I might say one more thing about remedial education with migrant students. When these students by definition of moving from a minimum of three school districts a year and have interruptions in their education in elementary and secondary school, it makes just good sense to have a continuous review for those students before they begin their college year and while they are still in the HEP program.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for indulging me.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Mr. Roemer.
Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My constituent, Crescent Muhammad has mentioned a couple of times this morning the University of Notre Dame and that is certainly important to me because that is where I went for graduate school. But before going to the University of Notre Dame, in a link with you, Mr. Chairman, I went to the University of California at San Diego, where the President of the United States just recently gave an extremely important address on race relations and the future of race relations in the next century. And I certainly applaud his address and have read it, but if he wants to implement what he talked about, I think that he has to follow through on programs that we are discussing here today. Because economic progress is only there for people that get an education, that achieve educational results in high school and, as Crescent has said, it often starts in the 4th grade with the LINK UP program, and students start to make decisions in the 4th and 5th and 6th grade where they are going to go on college, as incredible as that may seem. Crescent talked a little bit about that back in South Bend at our hearing there.
So I would hope that the President would actually follow up on the lofty speech that he gave out in San Diego with some hard decisions on funding these kinds of education programs, the Pell grant and the TRIO programs and the HEP/CAMP programs and the Native American Indian programs that Mrs. McCleod has talked about so eloquently. We are hopeful that there is follow through and implementation to what I think was a very important start on improving race relations in this country.
I guess my first question would be to Crescent, if I could, and ask her to talk a little bit more about some of the dilemmas that young people in this country face in the earliest grade school levels and middle school levels, how do we try to reach out to them with these kinds of TRIO programs and what can we change about the TRIO programs to deliver these educational opportunities to students to get them to finish school, the first part, but also believe they are capable of going on to college?
Ms. Muhammad. Programs like LINK UP and CATCH, which I mentioned before, students are mainly targeted by their test scores and GPAs. The program that I participated in the past two summers is the National Youth Sports Program, and it is for 10 to 16-year-old on the University of Notre Dame campus. There are other programs such as that across the nation.
This summer I was in charge of a 12 through 14-year-old group, and in contrast to academic programs, all you have to do is sign up. You don't have to have any money. You don't have to have a certain GPA. But within the program, the counselors are all college students and we encourage the kids. It is primarily an athletic program to get out and have fun in the summertime, but it is also a program to get the kids off the street. But it is a program where they can interact with college students; they can float around the campus and see what it is like to go to college. In the midst of going to their various athletic activities, they can talk to students and ask us questions about college.
I know my first day there I always ask the kids, what do you want to do for a living when you grow up? Many of them have outstanding goals. I want to be a lawyer, a doctor, architect, a comedian. I encourage them all. It is outstanding because these are inner city kids, kids people have given up on. They don't want to be drug addicts and crack dealers and that; they want to do something. They don't have the resources right at their fingertips. Their families, their mothers and fathers may not know what they can do when they get out of elementary school or when they get on into middle school or high school.
I guess one of the things I recommend, whether it is through athletic programs or academic programs through the summer, we just talk to kids. I think the biggest thing in Upward Bound that can be improved upon is the resources, helping parents get through the paperwork, encouraging students, this is a program you need to be in. Upward Bound does fill up quite quickly and the waiting list is long, and I am sure funding to help Upward Bound serve more people.
Mr. Roemer. Let me just ask you a question there too, Crescent, and I think Dr. Thayer talked about this a little bit in his testimony, that the TRIO programs and the Upward Bound programs are currently serving 10 percent of the students that might require it; is that what you said?
Dr. Thayer. Yes, less than 10 percent.
Mr. Roemer. Less than 10 percent.
Ms. Muhammad. Coming from South Bend where it is a community of roughly 150,000 or less, and just around the city, as Congressman Roemer said, my mother is relatively well-known and she is a community organizer. We talked to a lot of people in South Bend and we know of so many students that could benefit from that program; they just cannot get into it for a number of reasons; namely, it is filled up, they can't understand the paperwork, can't work through.
Mr. Roemer. So increased funding and help with paperwork would improve the program?
Finally, let me commend Norman Bristol as well too for his very helpful testimony to us, and I have a comment and then a quick question for him.
First, you mentioned your mother five or six times in your testimony and I know that she is extremely proud of you and I wish she were here today. She is not here today?
Mr. Bristol. No.
Mr. Roemer. Well, I know wherever she is she is very, very delighted and proud of the testimony you gave, and I know as a parent, I can think of no better testimony to me than my son or daughter speaking those kinds of loving words you did about your mom and the sacrifices she has made.
Second, I understand that the HEP/CAMP program is currently serving about 4,000 migrant students. What is the need? How many more could it serve?
Ms. Weilacher. They are likely serving less than 10 percent. But again, for migrant students, it is very hard to get a hold on the numbers because the students move around so much, but those are the best calculations we have. Thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Your questions are some of the same ones I wanted to ask, and that has been one of the concerns I have had, is we are looking for new programs from the President when we have programs like this that are still underfunded that really I would like to see us put more resources to.
Mr. Fattah. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We all seem to be in agreement that more resources are needed and I, too, would like to see these programs more fully funded. We spend such a paltry percentage of the federal budget on education. It is unfortunate that we have to fight between worthy programs for the few pennies that are available when we really should be opening up a broader dialogue in this country about reprioritizing our budget.
In the line of what Mr. Kildee suggested, not only in relationship to the treaties but our own economic future, it would seem to me that we should not be fighting over a few pennies out of the federal budget to put in education while we are so eager to spend money on things that are less valuable in the long term.
Let me just say to Mrs. McCleod that I too share your concern and I am interested in what we can do to have tribal colleges more appropriately represented when we under take the reauthorization.
I spent 2 or 3 years on Penn State's Board of Trustees, and I am happy to see you here and appreciate your testimony.
Ms. Muhammad, I wanted to first of all welcome you to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, which is in my district. My wife graduated from Penn Law. I want to welcome you to my district. Hopefully you will relocate to Philadelphia permanently from South Bend. No? But I congratulate you on your work in Harvard.
Let me ask you a question. Were there other students you grew up with in South Bend who you felt could have matriculated to college who had similar academic skills as you?
Ms. Muhammad. Yes, without question. It is interesting that you ask me that, because when I was in high school I didn't really tell that many people I was going to apply to Harvard, because the few people I did when they asked me what schools I was applying to gave me funny looks. So in order to avoid that I would say a couple of institutions here and there.
But out of my high school I was the first black and first woman, and prior to me, I think 30 years ago someone had gone off to Harvard, but since then more students from my school have gone to Harvard. I have encouraged other students within our institution to apply to Harvard or other institutions, private institutions outside of Indiana, that are of great repute.
Most of the students from my high school and surrounding high schools tend to go to state schools because it is easier. But when you live in the Midwest your perspective tends to be so limited. So when I go home, I encourage my friends who are my age to go back to school or start school, or younger students to look all around the nation.
Mr. Fattah. But are there students back home, your peers, that you went to elementary and middle and high school with who did not matriculate to college?
Ms. Muhammad. Oh, yes, a great deal.
Mr. Fattah. Did some have the ability to go on to college?
Ms. Muhammad. Without question.
Mr. Fattah. Because one of the things that the committee is considering is how do we get more people like you out of this process. Obviously, part of this is being examined through the panel and through some of the comments here. Maybe the answer lies in funding additional Upward Bound programs and TRIO programs, but I am also interested in the students themselves and their motivation.
Ms. Muhammad. Approaching my senior year of high school, I looked around and noticed of my peers, in my old school, 8th and 9th grade, those who showed outstanding academic potential. Of my advanced placement math class, it was myself and several other minority students. By the time I graduated, it was just myself. They showed the academic potential then and somewhere along the line everything fell apart. I think a large part is they just gave up hope. They didn't see themselves as being able to graduate from high school and succeed. They just didn't see it.
I don't know what happened, where it went wrong, but I think that getting into high school, advice tends to fall to the wayside, the principals may not be as available, and our high schools, really, our public institutions really need to push our students. Even those who are not showing the greatest academic potential, especially those who are showing it, I had my mother, I had my family, I had unending support. Other students don't necessarily have. If they don't have it at home, they need to have it at school, because they can succeed.
Mr. Fattah. Thank you very much.
Norman, when do you graduate from Penn State?
Mr. Bristol. 1998.
Mr. Fattah. And you plan to go on to graduate school, law school?
Mr. Bristol. Yes, I am planning to go to law school.
Mr. Fattah. Okay. Are you going to apply to the University of Pennsylvania Law?
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you.
Ms. Sanchez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope he is applying to California, Mr. Fattah.
I would like to welcome all of you, particularly the students, Ms. Muhammad and Mr. Bristol, and I also believe that mothers are an important piece of making sure that children, in fact, Mr. Bristol, my mother was a Migrant Education Coordinator in California, actually for the hometown that I represent, Anaheim, and has many success stories through the migrant education program. I think she served for about 5 or 6 years after having brought up seven children in a Hispanic family, getting them all college educated, and she herself with a third grade education and then going back at age 42 to begin college work and become a public school teacher. So mothers definitely have an impact on education. I am glad to hear that your mother did too.
I have a question for Dr. Thayer, and Doctor, I have had the benefit of holding a congressional hearing in my own district with respect to the TRIO programs, and we had an incredible array of about 20 witnesses with respect to the TRIO program. So I really have a question with respect to the Upward Bound program, which I think has an ability to impact and decrease the nation's high school dropout rate. And this is a particular concern, in particular the Hispanic population, and my district is about 80 percent Hispanic, when we talk about school age children going through the process and of course the dropout rate is significantly high.
I represent a city called Santa Ana, California, which is out of the largest cities in the United States. It is the second youngest city in population, so you can imagine the impact of high school dropouts is very acute in our area.
According to the Center for Education Statistics, the national dropout rate is 12 percent. They say that whites have an 8.6 percent dropout rate, African-Americans have a 12.1 percent dropout rate, and Hispanics have the highest dropout rate of any group, 30 percent.
Given these statistics, why are TRIO student participants made up 42 percent white, 35 percent black, and only 15 percent Hispanic?
Dr. Thayer. I think some of that has to do with history. Some of the early programs were funded in the southeast of the U.S., and I think gradually that is beginning to redress somewhat.
I am from Colorado. In our particular region we serve a high proportion of Hispanic students, in our State certainly, and our project serves about 70 percent Hispanic students. One of the things we are anxious to do and encourage the Department to do is provide active outreach to institutions and communities that are serving Hispanic students so they will successfully compete for TRIO programs.
In our own state, within our region, we are seeking out those institutions in that do not have TRIO programs, who we know have a need, and we are assisting them in making application so they will be successful in the competition. I know, through our professional associations, that this is happening to a large degree.
Ms. Sanchez. So you believe that the programs that serve those institutions, that serve more Hispanics, just haven't been in the process long enough and haven't gotten up to speed in what is out there and how they compete and how they did it. What would be the redress for that?
Dr. Thayer. I think the best redress is the kind of outreach that is happening not just from the Department of Education but within the TRIO community itself as we assist other schools to prepare successful applications and we are doing that especially in my region.
Ms. Sanchez. Thank you. That is all the questions I have, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Mr. Kind.
Mr. Kind. Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I, too, would like to thank the panel for coming today and sharing all the useful information, especially Ms. Muhammad, coming from my alma mater. Unfortunately, I was there when Harvard Square was under construction so we were gagging most of time on dust and soot. I recently returned to see it was in good shape and you are doing a terrific job and keep up the good work.
You see TRIO programs and the good that it does and the benefit it confers on students and you hear the statistics, less than 10 percent are being served that could be served by the program. We are in an era of trying to balance the budget and bring in some spending, but there is such a tremendous educational need in the country right now that even with good programs right here, the federal government, the limited resources, aren't going to be able to do it all.
The district I represent in western Wisconsin, we have some higher education facilities who are doing a tremendous job with limited resources for TRIO programs that exist now at the University of Eau Claire and the University of La Crosse, and yet we have a growing and very valuable Hmong population in Wisconsin now, many of those students are getting into these programs and benefiting tremendously from it.
Now, Wisconsin has tried to make, on the state level, tried to interface many of the programs that the State is offering with TRIO. For instance, and I would be curious to hear from some of you, if you have information, Dr. Thayer, Ms. McCleod, as far as other efforts in the Nation, state government and state legislature, tries to implement and supplement these programs that exist and whether or not that might be another avenue we need to explore a little bit more, creating more of these types of partnerships at all levels of government.
Ms. McCleod. If I might address that for a moment, speaking from an Indian education standpoint, state government has never been our main support. State government has never given us much of any support. Our support has always come from you here in Congress. We access through you, and for us, accessing continually through the federal government will ensure that Native American students receive services. Accessing through state government usually does not allow that to happen.
Dr. Thayer. I think I would concur in general. Though we are actively seeking any partners that we can, I think that it is at the federal level that we have consistent support for expanding postsecondary educational opportunity, but we are anxious to explore other partnerships with the state and with local communities.
I mentioned before how we have been able to involve community and institutions, and I think one of the strengths of TRIO has been to leverage additional resources, build on partnerships, to involve public and private entities in the services to students.
Mr. Kind. Well, thanks again. I appreciate your being here.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much.
That concludes our first panel and I want to thank you. As I commented, we will probably have some additional questions. There are some Members not able to be here today and they will read your full testimony and maybe other questions we will submit to you and we would appreciate it if you could respond to those. If you think of any additional information that you would like to share, that you didn't get a chance to say, we would be happy to hear from you.
Chairman McKeon. Yes, Mr. Kildee.
Mr. Kildee. I would say again to Ms. McCleod, again, I look forward to working with you and please give my best to Chairman Jeff Parker.
Ms. McCleod. Sure will. Thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much for being here this morning. We will take just a couple of minutes to break and ask the second panel if they will take their seats.
Chairman McKeon. We will be starting again now with our second panel. Again, we want to thank all of you for being here, for taking the time to address this important issue. We will hear first from Dr. Attiyeh.
Dr. Attiyeh. Well done.
Chairman McKeon. He is currently serving as Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate Studies at the University of California in San Diego.
Over the past two decades, he has held a number of leadership positions within national associations on graduate education, including heading up the AAU Association of Graduate Schools and the AGS Project for Research on Doctoral Education. I will talk a little bit more about him because he comes all the way from California, and that is a long plane ride. I made it again yesterday. Good to be here.
We will hear first from Dr. Attiyeh; then Dr. John Wilson, Dean of the graduate school of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; then from Ms. Jill Reich, did I pronounce that correctly?
Dr. Reich. I answer to all pronunciations.
Chairman McKeon. How do you say it?
Dr. Reich. Reich.
Chairman McKeon. With McKeon, I hear all different pronunciations, so I try to do it right.
Ms. Reich is the Executive Director of the Education Directorate at the American Psychological Association here in Washington, D.C.; and then we will hear from Dr. Patrick O'Meara, another good Irish name, Dean of International Programs, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD ATTIYEH, INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR, ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
Dr. Attiyeh. Good morning. Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today about the important role the federal government plays in nurturing the graduate education enterprise.
When one realizes today's graduate students, union researchers, and industry scientists and engineers, it becomes apparent that your future economic and social well-being is heavily dependent on the vitality of our universities' graduate programs. Whatever you might consider to be the nation's greatest challenges, be they preserving national security, promoting the health of our citizens, improving primary or secondary education, protecting the environment, maintaining our international competitiveness or reducing crime, how well we meet these challenges will depend critically on our universities' capacity to attract outstanding students to their graduate programs.
Historically, the building and maintaining of excellence of our graduate programs has been shared by our graduate students themselves, our universities, and the federal government. Our students give up potentially lucrative employment to continue their studies. They study incredibly hard and typically support themselves with a combination of work, loans, and a modest amount of fellowship funding.
Our universities provide instructions in mentoring. They offer opportunities for practical training and financial support through research assistantships and teaching assistantships and they devote scarce resources to graduate student fellowships. But like the federal government, our universities and students are facing fiscal stresses and strains. Therefore, it is essential that the federal government continue to provide substantial support to assist our universities in attracting a reasonable share of our most able college graduates into their graduate programs.
The Department of Education trainee and fellowship programs are important components of the federal contribution to graduate education. I should point out that the $30 million in current funding for these programs is now only about 35 percent of what it was in the 1970s, and a much lower percentage in real terms. But although these programs are small, indeed almost invisible from a federal point of view, these critically important to universities.
We recognize that the federal government needs to bring its expenditures in line with its revenues and what we propose is responsive to that need. We have spent the better part of a year to see how we do simplify and consolidate the existing Title IX programs without losing any of their essential features.
This effort has led us to recommend that Congress reorganize the currently authorized Title IX programs into a single national graduate fellowship program. This program would have the following three components. First, traineeships in academic areas of national need to be awarded to strong graduate programs so that they can recruit and support outstanding students in these fields; second, portable fellowships in the humanities and social sciences and arts to be awarded to outstanding individuals who will be able to select the institutions whose programs best match their interests; and third, institutional grants to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups, awarded to universities on the basis of academic quality and the track record of successful outreach to these students.
To simplify and reduce the cost of administering these programs, all three programs would be the same properties. First, all grants would be awarded competitively by peer review panels; second, the competitions would be administered by contract by a non-governmental organization with meaningful ties to the academic community; third, students would receive a need-based stipend and tuition waiver, receiving an educational allowance instead of tuition and fees; and all grants would be for 3 years.
We believe this program would be responsive to the legitimate needs of graduate education and would constitute a sound investment in the nation's future.
Our graduate education enterprise in the United States is second to none in the world and it is our national interest to keep it that way. We respectfully ask that you give this proposal serious consideration.
Thank you again for this opportunity, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have. Thank you.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you.
See Appendix G for the Written Statement of Dr. Richard Attiyeh
Chairman McKeon. Dr. Wilson.
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN WILSON, DEAN, THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Dr. Wilson. Thank you. I want to thank Chairman McKeon and other distinguished members of the committee for the opportunity to discuss the important programs authorized by the Higher Education Act. We are particularly aware of the leadership provided by Representatives Roukema, Payne, and Andrews in making educational opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels available to our students in New Jersey.
American higher education is the envy of the world and our accomplishments in education and research should be a source of great pride for all of us. Graduate programs provide our most outstanding students with the training for leadership in teaching and research. It is difficult to overstate the importance of graduate education to the nation's competitiveness, the health of our people, national security, and the quality of life.
Princeton University supports the comprehensive set of recommendations prepared by the national education associations and presented to the committee on behalf of the higher education community. I would also like to support the testimony on graduate education which was presented to the subcommittee's hearing at Ramapo College on May 19th of this year by President Lawrence of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. Today I have been asked to address the portion of that document that provides recommendations for changes to Title IX graduate education programs, particularly addressing the role played by portable fellowships.
For many years, the Department of Education has supported graduate education through grants to both students and university departments. The proposal developed by the education community would simplify government's support in this area by consolidating several programs into a single national graduate fellowship program. The new program would include portable fellowships to individual students and traineeships administered by university departments.
Let me lift up in my remaining time essentially five points by the portable fellowships program. First, the Javits program, as it has become known, it was begun in 1985 to complement, essentially by imitation, the successful National Science Foundation (NSF) program, then 20 years old, which provided direct support for the most distinguished students in science and engineering through a national competition.
Here the fields were defined as humanities, social sciences, and the arts, and the program departed from the NSF model by including need-based criteria. The scale was about one-tenth the size of the roughly 1,000 students a year as part of the NSF program, but the competition for these awards was as much as five times as intense.
Why is portability important? I think there are several dimensions to this.
One is to encourage the broadest search for talent and perhaps the best way is through a national competition. Secondly, doctoral education is highly specialized. Students must be free to seek out the programs best suited to their interests. Third, movement among institutions is often important for the best doctoral training, and finally, of course, certainly circumstances may play a role in decisions about which program to attend.
What have been the objections to the existing Javits program? As I understand it, it essentially has been cumbersome to administer. This proposal gets around that by proposing that a private operation be contracted to run it. Like in Title IX, this portable program has limited objectives; namely, sustaining the flow of the very best students into leadership roles in our society.
The final point. Why is excellence important in these areas important? Is there payoff like there is in technological innovation?
Here I would like to recall an aphorism attributed to the German historian Von Renke, those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it. Let me paraphrase this thought, a nation who does not remember its history well will relive it, a society that does not reexamine and reaffirm its values will be forced to rediscover them. In sum, these areas represent ongoing critical reflection and affirmation of our society and its values. We neglect them at our peril.
Thank you for allowing me to testify.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you.
See Appendix H for the Written Statement of Dr. John Wilson
Chairman McKeon. Mrs. Reich.
STATEMENT OF DR. JILL REICH, Ph.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EDUCATION DIRECTORATE, AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Dr. Reich. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you about graduate education. I am Jill Reich, currently Executive Director for Education of the American Psychological Association (APA). I have also served at Dean of Faculty at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, as Chairman and Professor of Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago.
I am here today because I am deeply concerned about the future of graduate education in the United States. Graduate education is essential to economic competitiveness and national security. Knowledge is the new precious metal of the 21st century. What coal and iron once were to the industrial era, knowledge is to the informational society. Graduate education is the way knowledge is refined. Graduate students are a key source of creativity and productivity in U.S. academic research, and the source of more than half of our nation's basic research. Using an example from psychology, graduate students are working on issues such an airline safety, artificial intelligence and genetic testing. The market for graduate education extends well beyond the academic community. In 1994, nearly 50 percent of doctorates were employed outside of education, in industry, national defense, health, education, and other areas in the public domain.
Our national interest demands that we invest in the future by strengthening opportunities for graduate students and not just for those who are able to finance their education. Unequal participation rates for minority students continues to plague higher education. The high cost of graduate training requires most students to accumulate significant debt in order to meet their academic goals. The lack of other sources of financial aid often available to undergraduates effects the borrowing patterns of all but the most fortunate of graduate students. Fear of unmanageable debt curtails the interest of many students in pursuing postbaccalaureate education. This threatens our nation's ability to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population, and ultimately it threatens our position of economic prominence in the global marketplace.
A 4-year baccalaureate degree is no longer sufficient training for many fields. As the name of this subcommittee suggests, life long learning opportunities are necessary for a growing number of Americans. Yet those who cannot afford graduate study are denied this opportunity. For example, obtaining a doctorate in psychology requires 7-1/2 years of study beyond the baccalaureate degree and the potential debt burden can be as high as $90,000.
I would like to illustrate the problem this presents by contrasting the experience of two of my graduate students, one male, one female, one black, one white. Neither had the capacity to pay for their graduate education. The level of debt played an important role in their career choice. One completed his degree with enormous debt burden and joined a major publishing company at a high salary. The other, supported by fellowships and assistantships, is now working with poor urban families to foster successful child development.
APA believes there needs to be a partnership, a shared responsibility between the students, the institution of higher education, and the government for financing graduate education. As do our strongest competitors in Asia and Europe, the United States must ensure that a certain number of graduate students are produced in the sciences and other areas of national priority.
We suggest the following ways to support graduate education. For Title IV in general, APA recommends that all federal campus-based student aid programs be extended to include, at the discretion of the institution, assistance for the pursuit of graduate education. We are not requesting a diversion of precious undergraduate resources, but rather authority for institutions, at their discretion, to make awards to deserving graduate students.
For the work-study program, we recommend that internships and research assistantships that may be considered of service to the community and nation be included as eligible work-study positions.
For Title IX graduate programs, we recommend the creation of a single program whereby institutions of higher education would award fellowships based on merit and financial need. Graduate support would be provided in exchange for work in underserved areas. The obligation should rest with the applying institution to make the case for funding.
If I may go on just briefly, in its effort to balance the federal budget, Congress is now considering several tax proposals that could be of benefit to graduate students. We urge the committee to recommend restoring the deductibility of student loan interest payments, and we urge the committee to retain a provision in the Tax Code, Section 117, that allows the universities to waive the tuition of graduate teaching and research assistants in return for the services they provide. The widespread reliance on this tax provision by institutions helps make graduate school more affordable for our citizens.
Those of us who are urging you to provide federal support for graduate education understand the constraints under which you are working. Your desire to increase access to postsecondary education is of necessity constrained by the need to balance the Federal budget. We are committed to working with you to achieve this important goal. Thank you.
See Appendix I for the Written Statement for Dr. Jill Reich
Chairman McKeon. Dr. O'Meara.
STATEMENT OF DR. PATRICK O'MEARA, DEAN OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA
Dr. O'Meara. Mr. Chairman, I am Dean of International Programs at Indiana University, Professor of Political Science, and Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and I specialize on Southern African politics.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to present the views on the Coalition for International Education on the Higher Education Act, Title VI. The coalition is an ad hoc group of 25 national higher education institutions representing the nation's 3,300 universities as well as many international groups.
I would like my time to make four simple points. First, Title VI is an extremely effective partnership between higher education and the federal government in the area of international education. It is vital to the national interest and should be continued. The sense of national crisis about U.S. lack of knowledge of other countries motivated the Eisenhower administration and the Congress to create Title VI in the National Defense Act of 1958. These programs remain the federal government's primary mechanism for supporting higher education's infrastructure and producing the nation's international expertise.
What does Title VI do? It provides major expertise and training which support U.S. foreign policy in defense. In a changing global environment, it maintains a national capacity on strategic world areas and teaches less commonly toward languages. Title VI also provides training and expertise to small and midsize U.S. businesses to be competitive in an emerging international market. It enhances public understanding of international events, and it internationalizes American education from primary schools through postgraduate training.
The second major role of Title VI is to protect national security and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness, and this requires greater depth of knowledge of skills than ever before in the past. The end of the Cold War has led to new and less familiar international threats and challenges, such as terrorism, regional conflicts, globally organized crime, environmental changes. The reach of these problems is not confined to any geographic area as we have seen in the civil rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it should be noted that American intervention was called for here.
On the economic level, the new global marketplace in international trade are of ever more increasing importance. We now need human resources that will vary from a general understanding of the world and the U.S. role in it, to a high level of expertise on other cultures.
The third major aspect we should emphasize is that Title VI is part of a partnership with state, private, and academic sectors, and that this is necessary to ensure the successful preparation to respond to international challenges. Federal incentives such as Title VI ensure that local ethics are undertaken to meet national needs. Such needs are not necessarily the priorities of individual states or universities. If we just look at universities, only a few students enroll in less commonly taught areas and language courses, and universities alone cannot cover the high costs involved. State and local governments and the private sector including foundations will not by themselves focus on long-term support. It takes 12 years to produce a Middle East specialist fluent in Arabic, for example. Only the federal government can provide the leadership requirement for mobilizing these resources in the national interest.
Final point, the Title VI student is structurally sound and poised to meet the challenges ahead within modest budgeting parameters. We recommend it not be substantially modified or rearranged. Our proposals fine-tune and modernize the language of the statute to reflect new global reality and current practices. The amendments strengthen and clarify existing programs and eliminate unfunded authorities. Modest new initiatives are recommended.
In conclusion, at the very time that the U.S. faces unprecedented changes in the world order affecting our domestic welfare, our nation's structure, generating internal expertise is not keeping up with the pace and the demands. Today, we urge the federal government to work with the higher education community and the private sector to focus on the international dimension of human resource development for the 21st century. Title VI has been a pivotal presence, it has a pivotal roll to play in this, and we urge Congress to support its continuation.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you.
See Appendix J for the Written Statement for Dr. Patrick O’Meara
Chairman McKeon. I appreciate that all of you have looked at ways of streamlining these graduate programs. The main complaint that we get from the administration about the graduate programs is that they are small in dollars and small in number of students that they effect but they are very complex and difficult to administer.
Do you feel your proposals adequately address the concerns of the administration?
Dr. Attiyeh. Let me just say that we focused particularly on the streamlining aspect of this and the administration of it. I think historically, these programs, each component differed from one another and made it difficult for the Department of Education to administer these in a timely and efficient manner. I think consolidating them under one program, contracting out the administration of it, would greatly reduce both the cost of administration and the speed with which these awards can be made and enable them to be made in a timely manner in terms of recruitment of new students.
Dr. Wilson. I would certainly second that.
Chairman McKeon. Okay.
Dr. O'Meara. I think we need to recognize that Title VI is already a one-line appropriation.
Chairman McKeon. I think we are talking more in the Title VI programs, the three programs into the one. It would be difficult to have two, to merge all of them in together.
Ms. Reich suggested in her testimony that Congress should expand the campus-based programs to graduate students. Now, they already can use a Work-Study and Perkins loan, so I imagine you made some changes there in expanding the Work-Study, which I would certainly support.
Are you always referring to the SEOG funds?
Ds. Reich. Yes, sir.
Also, I believe there is an enormous amount of confusion as to whether campus-based funds could be used at the discretion of the institution, and so would encourage, perhaps, a recognition of that by Congress that would allow all institutions to know that is possible.
Chairman McKeon. Okay. So we need clarification language in the Higher Education Act?
Dr. Reich. Yes, sir.
Chairman McKeon. Under the graduate assistant, in the areas of national need program, the Secretary consults with the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and other areas to determine the areas of need.
Does this consultation process work, and is there agreement on areas of national need?
Dr. Attiyeh. I think it has worked pretty well in the past. My focus is primarily in the areas of science and engineering, where the link between both the research and training to the economic competitiveness of the Nation are rather obvious, I think, to everyone.
The fact of the matter is over time, scarcities arrive in some areas and more than in others, and I think we need to be responsive to that. So I think to specify in advance exactly what those programs are would be a mistake. But I think as we are doing a much better job of monitoring the employment opportunities for graduate students when they leave the units gave us a much better handle on where the needs are.
For example, right now there is a tremendous shortage of computer scientists, for obvious reasons. And certainly in California there is a shortage of people going into the biotech industry. So I think we can monitor those and get the information back to the decision makers who administer these programs, and I don't see that as a problem at all.
Chairman McKeon. Yes.
Dr. Reich. I would like to speak to that, if I may.
The richness of American education and the greatness of the educational system that we have created is, in part, based on the diversity of our institutions and their ability to meet the needs of their students, and we would like to urge that in consideration of this particular issue that the obligation should rest with the applying institution to make the case for federal funding rather than focusing on an eligible list of study.
Chairman McKeon. That leads into my last question. There has been a great deal of discussion about the role that financial needs should play in determining who receives assistance with respect to graduate programs. At least one school of thought is that we should be providing funds to the best and brightest regardless of need. I would like to ask each of you what your feeling is on the need versus merit debate.
Dr. Attiyeh. Well, as a practical matter, most graduate students are needy. They are no longer supported by their parents, typically. Ninety-five percent of them do not come with great assets to graduate school, so by and large, this is a distinction that is perhaps not as important as it is at the undergraduate level. Having said that, I think using need as a criterion is something that we can accommodate very well. It is not an excessive burden on students to make available personal information about their financial situations, and I think a substantial proportion of our graduate students are needy by federal criteria and, therefore, I don't think this poses a serious problem.
Dr. Wilson. I completely concur with that judgment. I think it is, in essence, a false problem that in practice doesn't work out that way. These are young adults. They are, by and large, no longer dependent on families. To ask them to demonstrate need seems to me perfectly reasonable. It is done in a relatively straightforward manner now. I don't see that as one of the chief problems that exist with the current program.
Dr. Reich. I, too, concur with my colleagues and underscore we look to the federal government to ensure access and equity, and many folks out there who would not be able to finance their graduate education would be well-served by considering need as well as merit.
Dr. O'Meara. I would agree as well. In many ways the young adults meet many of the criteria in terms of need. But I want to emphasize that our strategic role in providing leaders for the future, people who understand crucial world areas and people who have language skills, this is a dimension we should not lose sight of. We need to find the brightest and best, otherwise we are not going to be competitive in the global context.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you very much. Mr. Kildee.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Under current law, we have three different graduate education programs, and most of the higher education community would consolidate this into one program with three separate parts.
Let me ask you these questions: How is this different from current law, and how would newer programs of graduate studies at smaller institutions compare under this proposal of one program with three integral parts?
Dr. Attiyeh. I can start on that.
The consolidation under one program with three parts recognizes that there are three areas that really have to be addressed. One is the strengthening of the academic programs, one is attracting students of ability into the fields of amenities, social sciences, and the arts, and the third needs to respond to the underrepresentation that exists from many demographic groups in graduate education. It would be a tragic mistake for us to fail to recognize those three components.
I think the advantage of thinking about this as one program with three parts is in terms of the administration of it; that is, if we can simplify the procedures, if we can simplify the criteria so that the cost of administration and the complexity is eliminated, I think we will have achieved a lot of the objections that one would have for consolidation into one program while still recognizing the fact that there are multiple needs in graduate education, as I mentioned.
Chairman McKeon. Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson. I would like to say with respect to especially the portable fellowship dimension of it, there exists several agencies but one in particular, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, which in a sense specializes in running competitively. One could imagine that being contracted to that outside agency. They have a great track record for efficiency, for effectiveness, and for national exposure. So that is an illustration of how shifting the administration of the program really might make it work better, and I think comparable strategies might work with the other two prongs of the proposed new single program.
Chairman McKeon. Dr. Reich.
Dr. Reich. Yes, thank you. I think my colleagues have spoken well to your example. What I would like to come back to is what you said about smaller institutions, while we in the higher education community and particularly as we look to graduate education, I think we speak very clearly and with one voice here at the table. One of the things that we would like to call your attention to is the difficulty of complexity of identifying what areas these kinds of programs might be focused on, and it is an extremely difficult and complex question. Our suggestion to you is that the obligation should rest with the applying institution to make the case for federal funding, rather than utilizing eligible areas.
Mr. Kildee. Dr. O'Meara.
Dr. O'Meara. Respectfully, I don't believe that Title VI should be consolidated. We see this as a freestanding matter.
Mr. Kildee. Let me thank you. I personally knew Patricia Roberts Harris and am very interested in that program which is concerned with women and minorities, particularly in those graduate areas where there is underrepresentation.
How would a program like that fare under consolidation?
Dr. Attiyeh. Well, this essentially would be one of the tracks in the program that I proposed. What the Patricia Roberts Harris is now is essentially grants to institutions, institutions make proposals for a certain number of slots for students from underrepresented groups. Essentially, that aspect of the Patricia Roberts Harris program would be preserved, and the main advantage we would have is the simplicity of administration and the competitive process.
Mr. Kildee. Before we continue on, I have been in Congress for 21 years now and I have always been a little bit worried about block granting, because very often the programs you put into block grants lose their identity and their advocacy.
Dr. Attiyeh. I think the way the program would be offered is each institution would say how they are going to use this money, and it would be judged on the basis of merit of the proposal.
These awards are up for 3 years. At the end of the 3 years you have to demonstrate that you have done what you said you were going to do. It provides an incentive for the institution to think of these programs and perhaps rather than go on, you just disburse in some random way.
I know on any other the process of competing for Patricia Roberts Harris funds has made us focus our attention in a way we wouldn't otherwise have done. So the impact it has to the organization, the university as an institution, I think is more as well.
Mr. Kildee. Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson. In this respect, I might just comment you expressed concern for newer and smaller programs. They may be able to take advantage of this reformulation very effectively. So I think it would work to their advantage, not against it.
Mr. Kildee. Dr. Reich.
Dr. Reich. I think we, too, would see it as working to their advantage and would urge you to vote for the Patricia Roberts Harris. As Associate Dean, I handled that program and I saw the many students and now professionals it has produced.
Mr. Kildee. Dr. O'Meara.
Dr. O'Meara. Once again, I would emphasize the difference of Title VI.
Mr. Kildee. Well, thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We have had two very helpful panels here this morning. I hope you realize the role you play in this reauthorization, because we here in the Congress make the final decisions but your input is so, not only important, so essential in what we finally do, so we appreciate your testifying before the committee this morning and I know it will be helpful. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman McKeon. Thank you. We make the final decisions and then the regulators get it. Then we start over.
But we have enjoyed your comments, your testimony, and again, those Members who aren't here will be receiving your full testimony, and as I said, if you think of anything you didn't say that you want to share with us we would love to hear it. If you follow this process through as we hold several more hearings on various subjects later this summer. We also expect to draft the bill and hopefully get it passed in the House this fall and if the other body will move quickly too, we would like to get this done in total by next year, and signed into law before we get too heavily involved in the political season.
Thank you, and I appreciate your being with us today, and with that, we will end this hearing. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]