WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) and Congressman John R. Curtis (UT-03) introduced the bipartisan Time For Completion Act to ensure community colleges more accurately report graduation rates and provide increased transparency for students when selecting an academic institution. Current law requires community colleges and other institutions of higher education to report graduation rates only for first-time, full-time students. This excludes millions of nontraditional students and leads to incomplete reporting, especially by community colleges.

According to a report by the Association of Community College Trustees, over half of students at community colleges are enrolled part-time. Under current law, these students are excluded from reporting on graduation rates. The Time For Completion Act expands existing reporting requirements to ensure schools provide data on all student populations, including part-time and returning, students with disabilities, and others who are earning a full-time degree or certificate at community colleges. By including all students, community college reporting will more accurately reflect student success and allow students to better evaluate institutions of higher education.

“Prospective students need as much information as possible when pursuing pathways for higher education. Under existing law, the data is incomplete and lacks the full scope of the community college experience,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “The Time For Completion Act aims to empower students so they may carefully choose the institution that is right for them.”

“While representing the youngest congressional district, I am constantly seeking ways to improve educational opportunities for students,” said Congressman John R. Curtis. “I am proud to partner with my colleague, Congresswoman Hayes, to introduce bipartisan legislation that will increase transparency and enable students to make more informed decisions for themselves and their families regarding higher education.”

“The American Association of Community Colleges strongly endorses the Time to Completion Act.  It will ensure that the unique pathways of the nation’s 6.1 million community college credit students are better reflected in federal measures of student and institutional success.  Current metrics paint an incomplete picture of community college outcomes, at a time when those outcomes are continuing to improve through sustained student success efforts.  The Time to Completion Act would significantly improve the Higher Education Act’s transparency framework, and the American Association of Community Colleges urges Congress to enact it as soon as possible,” said Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D., President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges.

“It is more essential than ever that students, parents, and policymakers have accurate and comprehensive information about college completion rates. For too long the success of our community college students in completing their studies and earning credentials, certificates and degrees has been underreported. I applaud Congressman Curtis and Congresswoman Hayes for sponsoring the Time for Completion Act that will provide greater transparency and ensure that the reporting of graduation rates accurately reflects the achievements of community colleges and their students,” said Tim Sheehan, Vice President for Government and Community Relations at Salt Lake Community College.

In addition to the American Association of Community Colleges and Salt Lake Community College, the Time For Completion Act has also been endorsed by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.

Full bill text of the legislation can be found here.