The Coordinating Commission recently honored longtime Commissioner Dr. Dick C.E. Davis of Omaha, who served on the Commission since its inception, in 1991, until January 2012.
At the Commission’s March 1 meeting, current Chair Dr. Ron Hunter of Hay Springs read a resolution – unanimously approved by the full Commission – that conferred on Davis the title of “Honorable Commissioner Emeritus.” It’s the first time the Coordinating Commission has conferred that title. Later, Commission staff and Commissioners – both past and present – celebrated Davis and his more than 20 years of service at a luncheon at the Nebraska Club in downtown Lincoln.
Davis served in numerous leadership roles for the Commission, including many years as Chair of the Budget, Construction and Financial Aid Committee. Davis is known statewide as a fierce advocate for education access, particularly for low-income and minority students. He spearheaded the creation of the Davis-Chambers Scholarship, which recognizes academically promising students from diverse backgrounds attending Nebraska colleges and universities. Most recently, Davis established the “Careers for Kids” initiative, which helps prepare students for academic, career and college success by providing them the resources and support necessary to achieve their postsecondary goals.
Davis is CEO of Davis Companies, a family business that for more than 40 years has provided insurance, bonding and consultation to corporate clients. Davis earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – where he also was an All-Big-Eight fullback on the football team – his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his doctorate in Education from UNL.
Coordinating Commission Executive Director Marshall Hill recently testified on numerous bills under consideration by the Legislature.
- LB 946 – The Community College Aid Act, this bill would maintain the state’s current community college funding structure, wherein
each community college receives a specified amount of the allocated $87.7 million, with any additional funds distributed using two
new methods. This would take effect in 2013‐14. Hill testified neutral.
- LB 1066, 1055, 1065 and 1089 – These bills would appropriate state funds for four different University of Nebraska construction projects, collectively totaling more than $90 million. Hill testified in favor of LB 1065 (the Lincoln nursing facility), and neutral for the other three.
- LB 1019 – This bill would appropriate more than $20 million in state funds for the renovation of athletic facilities at Chadron State College and Peru State College. Hill testified neutral.
- LB 1144 – This would allow for the creation and funding of state-recognized “career academies.” Hill’s testimony was neutral.
- LB 1034 – This bill would create the College Choice Grant Program, which would award funds to only Nebraska students attending the state’s private, non-profit postsecondary institutions. Hill testified neutral.
- LB 1104 – This makes technical changes to the Postsecondary Institution Act, which was enacted in 2011. Hill testified in favor of this bill.
The Coordinating Commission at its Dec. 8 meeting approved the LB 637 Dual Enrollment and Career Academy Study Report.
LB 637 directed the commission to study the need for uniform policies and practices regarding dual-enrollment courses and career academies in Nebraska, as well as to examine other opportunities for Nebraska high-school students to earn college credit, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.
The commission’s final report examines Nebraska and national practice in these areas, then makes 27 recommendations for Nebraska moving forward.
The Coordinating Commission at its Dec. 8 meeting will vote on adopting the LB 637 Dual Enrollment and Career Academy Report, produced by Commission staff. The Commission’s Planning and Public Information Committee has already reviewed the report and will recommend approval to the full Commission.
The report is available for review on the Commission’s website, as is more information about LB 637 and the dual enrollment/career academy study.
Thursday’s Commission meeting is open to the public and begins at 8:30 a.m., in room 1113 of the State Capitol. A full agenda is available online.
The Coordinating Commission this Wednesday will hold the last scheduled meeting of the advisory committee it formed to gather input on a study of dual enrollment and career academies in Nebraska.
The committee will meet 9-11:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Council of School Administrators building, 455 S. 11th St., Suite A, in Lincoln.
In May 2011, Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law LB 637, part of which calls on the Coordinating Commission to conduct a study on the need for uniform policies and practices regarding dual-enrollment courses and career academies in Nebraska. The legislation directs the Coordinating Commission to collaborate with numerous stakeholders in completing this study. To help foster this collaboration, the Coordinating Commission formed a 15-member Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from each of the stakeholder groups. The committee’s first two meetings were in August and October.
The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting is to get committee input on a first draft of the study’s report, which is due to the Legislature no later than Dec. 15. More information about the study is available on the Coordinating Commission’s website.
The Coordinating Commission’s dual enrollment/career academy advisory committee will hold its second meeting this Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.
In May 2011, Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law LB 637, part of which calls on the Coordinating Commission to conduct a study on the need for uniform policies and practices regarding dual-enrollment courses and career academies in Nebraska. The legislation directs the Coordinating Commission to collaborate with numerous stakeholders in completing this study. To help foster this collaboration, the Coordinating Commission formed a 15-member Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from each of the stakeholder groups. The committee’s first meeting was in August.
The Oct. 11 meeting agenda, as well as the committee roster and other information, is available on the Coordinating Commission’s website.
The Coordinating Commission distributed more than $220,000 in scholarship funds to more than 300 college students as part of the new ACE Plus Scholarship program. The Commission distributed the funds in July and August for the current academic year.
The ACE Plus Scholarship is awarded to full-time college students who received an ACE Scholarship in high school. The ACE Scholarship, created in 2007, pays tuition and mandatory fees for qualified, low-income high school students to enroll in college courses from eligible Nebraska’s colleges or universities, either through dual-enrollment or early enrollment agreements with these institutions.
The ACE Plus Scholarship provides a $500 scholarship for the first year a student attends college full time and a $1,250 scholarship for the second year. To be eligible for the award, a student must:
- Have received a Nebraska ACE Scholarship;
- Have received a grade point average of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for all completed ACE-funded courses taken while in high school; and
- Be enrolled in a postsecondary educational institution as a full-time student.
The ACE Plus Scholarship program was developed by the Coordinating Commission and is funded by the federal College Access Challenge Grant (CACG).
Katherine Green coordinates both the CACG and ACE Plus programs for the Commission. She presented on the first year of the ACE Plus program – including the demographics of the recipients and where they attend school – at the Commission’s Sept. 29 meeting