The passing of Proposition R ensures St. Louis Community College programs and facilities
can meet the job training and retraining demands for good paying jobs in Missouri.
From Prop R to STLCC Transformed
Thanks to the citizens of the St. Louis region who voted to approve Proposition R
in 2021, we’re moving forward with STLCC Transformed. Collectively, this initiative aims to bring the College into a more modern standing
by providing facilities and programming for the growth and competitiveness of our
We understand that voters are interested in how we will move forward with the use
of the funds supplied by the passing of Prop R. And so, as part of the College's commitment
to transparency and responsible spending, this web page aims to share details on the
progress of STLCC Transformed.
December 2022 Update: A lot of work has been happening to plan for STLCC Transformed. This fall, the College
engaged various stakeholder groups to collect input on priorities and projects that
will eventually result in the construction of new facilities at our four campuses.
While there are multiple phases for these projects -- including pre-design, design,
construction procurement, construction and renovation/demolition (if necessary) --
the design phase is well underway across the campuses. The College expects to break
ground on projects at all four campuses in 2023. Continue reading for background information
on STLCC Transformed and stay tuned for future updates.
*Photos courtesy of Arcturis
Campus Forums: In the fall of 2022, College leaders hosted campus forums to bring
students, employees and community members up to date on STLCC Transformed. These forums
were facilitated by Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., chancellor, and Hart Nelson, chief operating
officer, and included details on the planning, programming, building and funding for
Input is key! To leverage the expertise and input of our stakeholders, the College
formed and continues to work with various groups to develop and review plans for these
projects. Here’s a snapshot of some of these teams.
Chancellor’s Advisory Committee
This team is composed of several CEO's from some of the largest employers, agencies
and institutions in the St. Louis region.
STLCC Graduate Team
This team engages College alumni to collect input on the decision-making process.
Campus Planning Transformation Teams
These teams are composed of faculty and staff members who have volunteered to provide
input into the ideas and vision created by the College Transformation Steering Committee.
College Transformation Steering Committee
This team is composed of the College’s executive leadership group, campus presidents
and vice presidents of student affairs.
These are very exciting times at the College for our students and employees, as well
as for the entire St. Louis region as we move forward with significant changes on
our campuses. We understand you may have questions as we work to complete the STLCC
Transformed projects. For the fastest response, please send all inquiries related
to STLCC Transformed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding from Prop. R would be used to update STLCC facilities and programs to help
meet the demand for high-tech job training. Approximately $350 million in funds from
Prop. R, which is an 8-cent operating rate increase, will be used to renovate and
repurpose facilities and update technology to provide real-world learning experiences.
The remaining funding will go toward updating job training and retraining programs
to prepare students with skills needed in critical industries in our region, including
healthcare, information technology, financial services, biotechnology and manufacturing.
Our region faces urgent economic challenges as we recover from the pandemic. Employers
report their No. 1 barrier to growth is a shortage of skilled employees. From nurses
to accountants to lab technicians and computer programmers, St. Louis faces significant
for high-demand jobs now and in the coming decades. The College can help solve these
workforce challenges, but only if we can invest in necessary improvements to our programs
and facilities. Prop. R will provide funding to ensure the College has adequate facilities
and programs to meet the need for these jobs. Despite a reduction of state funding
since 2013, the College has continued to improve with limited available resources.
However, the current budget will not allow the College to keep pace with essential
facility and program enhancements.
More than 40% of the College’s funding comes from local property taxes. The maximum
levy for the college is currently 22 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The current
levy is set at just less than 20 cents due to the Hancock Amendment. Prop. R would
raise the levy to approximately 28 cents.
The amount you contribute to the community college through the tax rate will vary
depending on the value of your home. For example, a taxpayer whose home has an estimated
market value of $150,000 will pay an additional $1.90 per month. For most homeowners,
Prop. R would cost pennies a day.
The amount of revenue generated by Prop. R will vary each year depending on local
property tax valuations, but it is estimated to generate approximately $24 million
a year. The overall operating budget for the college, which is generated from local
property taxes, state funding and tuition, is $160.7 million. The additional revenue
will be used to fund approximately $350 million in new bonds that will be used to
improve job training programs and update facilities and improve safety and security
on the campuses.
The additional funding will be used to update career training programs and facilities.
Current and future students will benefit from programs that prepare them for careers
in critical industries. Prop. R will provide funds to improve safety, security and
accessibility at all campuses. Prop. R is supported by regional K-12 school districts
and systems across St. Louis city and county.
St. Louis is facing a shortage of skilled workers in critical industries such as healthcare,
information technology and biotechnology. Funds raised from Prop. R will allow the
College to make necessary improvements to programs that train students for careers
in these and other high-demand fields. In addition, by investing in our workforce,
St. Louis can attract new businesses and help existing businesses expand, benefiting
everyone in the region.
Every $1 of state or local tax investment in STLCC yields a $2.40 return in benefits
to the region and protects the investment taxpayers have already made in the College,
its students and its facilities.
A growing economy helps every single member of our community. More and better jobs
mean that cities, school districts and every other unit of local government will benefit
from improved revenue, thus taking pressure off sales and property tax rates. So,
the investment we make in STLCC improves the long-term future of the College and our
Everyone is affected by our region’s shortage of skilled workers and will benefit
from strategic investments in our workforce. Funding Prop. R will also protect the
investment we have made in STLCC over the past 60 years, ensuring that campus facilities
are protected and updated so they can continue to support valuable educational and
training programs for our community.
Every year, taxpayers provide STLCC with more than $100 million in funding. In return,
residents will benefit from added tax revenue stemming from students’ higher lifetime
earnings and increased business output, amounting to nearly $300 million. In addition,
reduced demand for government-funded services in Missouri adds another $20 million
in benefits to taxpayers. For every dollar of public money invested in STLCC, taxpayers
receive more than $2.50 in return over the course of students’ working lives.
It is anticipated that the Missouri economy will grow by $3.4 billion over the course
of students’ working lives. Society will also benefit from $76.8 million of public
and private sector savings. For every dollar invested in STLCC, people in Missouri
receive more than $10 in return for as long as STLCC’s students remain active in the
The College’s older facilities are expensive to maintain and many cannot be renovated
to meet the needs of today’s programs. Replacing or updating older buildings with
modern, more efficient facilities will lead to significant ongoing savings on utilities,
maintenance and groundskeeping.
All seven STLCC campuses would receive updates if Prop. R is approved. Projects include
updated technology infrastructure, exterior lighting to improve safety and security
and completion of deferred maintenance at every campus. Classrooms, labs, libraries
and other learning spaces will be updated to provide hands-on, real-world training
and education at the Florissant Valley, Meramec, Forest Park and Wildwood campuses.
A full report of the updates to be performed are defined in the Facility Master Plan
study, which was completed in 2021.
Many of STLCC’s facilities were built more than half a century ago, and a lot has
changed since then. Many of these buildings cannot be updated to meet the training
and technological needs of today. For example:
Nursing and other health science classroom spaces, aside from the Center for Nursing
and Health Sciences at Forest Park, are too small and lack the technology infrastructure
for simulation and other hands-on learning experiences. The current facilities have
impacted the college’s ability to add additional radiology or other health career
programs at other locations.
Hands-on technology class sizes are limited because learning spaces have been retrofitted
into the only available space, small classrooms.
Science labs in older buildings have outdated fixed workstations that are not multi-purpose
and modifiable for different classes within the science programs, making this space
inefficient and not adaptable for modern technology required in these programs.
Aging lecture halls across the District were built for teaching, learning, and students
from a different time. There is no space or power for laptops or other technology,
and fixed seating that makes collaborative, hands-on learning nearly impossible.
The College leases space for the BioTech program so students have to attend those
program-specific classes at an off-campus facility.
Prop. R will provide funding to increase and improve exterior campus lighting, improve
wayfinding and access to public transportation, replace outdated security camera and
locking systems to improve safety and security at all campuses.
Skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and accounting and finance are
among the top skills in demand by St. Louis area employers. In 2020, more than 50%
of businesses reported the need for middle-skill employees to address workforce shortages.
A shortage of workers with knowledge or skills remains the primary barrier to expanding
The St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) consists of a diverse economy with
a labor force of over 1.3 million people. The top employment sectors are healthcare
and social assistance, wholesale and retail trade. Over the past decade, there has
been tremendous growth in the finance and insurance sector as well. Overall, the St.
Louis economy added over 93,000 employees in the past 10 years through 2019.
Nearly half of the region’s population aged 25 and older have a high school diploma
but no post-secondary degree, lower than the state rate of 52%; 44% have an associate’s
degree or greater, higher than both the state rate (37%) and the national rate (42%).
The average associate degree graduate from STLCC will see an increase in earnings
of $10,000 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma working in Missouri.
Data continues to show that education pays off in both median earnings and lower unemployment
rates. St. Louis MSA data for 2019 shows that having some college or an associate’s
degree versus just a high school diploma reduces the average unemployment rate by
1.6% and provides $7,825 annually in average extra earnings. A bachelor’s degree or
higher further reduces the unemployment rate by 1.7% and increases median earnings.
More than 1.3 million students have furthered their education at STLCC since 1962.
In addition, it is estimated that more than half of the households in the St. Louis
region have at least one resident who has attended STLCC at one point or another.
The length of each program is different, but STLCC strives to meet the needs of all
students and employers and has found new ways to provide training and retraining.
For example, the College offers short-term credentials, such as non-certificate programs,
Certificates of Specialization
and Certificates of Proficiency, to quickly prepare workers. These credentials are
then stackable to align with longer-term degrees and beyond to offer a career pathway.
The College continues to have a waitlist for its nursing and respiratory care programs,
while other healthcare programs such as radiologic technology, dental hygiene, diagnostic
medical sonography, physical therapist assistant and surgical technology are typically
at or close to capacity. The College has also seen growth in information technology
programs along with career training in areas such as automotive and construction-based
programs. Employers still need more graduates in programs such as computer programming,
cybersecurity and other IT applications. All of these programs help local employers
find the employees they need and provide a pathway for individuals in low-wage jobs
into well-paying careers. Overall, this cycle is a boost to our regional economy.
Every year, College leadership reviews enrollment numbers and area workforce needs
to update its program offerings. Since 2014, 110 programs have been updated, 20 have
been added and 59 have been deactivated.
The College works diligently to balance its budget year to year. These efforts have
involved reducing expenses for programs with few students and offering Voluntary Retirement
Incentive programs to help reduce salary costs.
STLCC receives considerable private funding every year, but it is simply not enough
to keep up with the demands for job training and retraining programs needed by our
local economy. Recently, STLCC and its foundation raised more than $19 million in
private donations to help fund high-demand priority initiatives agreed upon by College
and STLCC Foundation leadership. These areas include offering increased scholarships
and other student support initiatives that get STLCC students through graduation and
beyond. In addition, the campaign has helped support the scaling up of two key program
areas that will power the St. Louis economy in coming years: health sciences and information
technology. Finally, the effort has brought substantial funding to grow the College’s
workforce training initiatives, fueling increased partnerships with a diversity of
businesses and industries. Every effort is being made to provide private funding to
the College, and those efforts will continue.
While this effort has been tremendously helpful, there are still hundreds of millions
of dollars in facility and program needs within the College.
The average tuition cost for an STLCC student who is a resident of the district is
around $3,500, which is higher than the Missouri average for community college tuition,
which is around $3,400 per year, and the national average of $3,340. Quality, affordable
community college courses allow students to access life-changing education without
accruing large debts. STLCC is committed to keeping tuition costs affordable.
Maybe. The proposed American Families Plan includes funding for community college
tuition. This plan would help more students afford courses and graduate with less
debt. However, tuition makes up only a small portion of the College’s budget. Whether
tuition is paid by students or the state and federal government, most of the College’s
budget will continue to come from other sources.
STLCC’s transferable courses allow students to complete degree requirements at less
than half the cost of public universities. STLCC serves students at all stages of
their college careers, whether they are first-time college students, returning students
or visiting students from a university.
More than 1,000 St. Louis area high school students benefit from STLCC’s dual credit
and dual enrollment programs each year. These opportunities to earn affordable, transferable
college credits are incredibly important for local students and their families. Since
2015, the number of students involved in these programs has more than doubled.
Most of the buildings at the three main campuses (Meramec, Forest Park and Florissant
Valley) were built in the 1960s, 60 years ago. Since then, careers, training and technology
have changed dramatically, and the learning spaces needed to prepare today’s students
are also very different.
The 60-year-old buildings have antiquated building systems and infrastructure, as
well as disjointed, small rooms that lack the infrastructure to support the needs
of the current educational programming and priorities. There is also an insufficient
amount of laboratory and multipurpose flexible spaces but an overstock of large, underutilized,
low-demand inflexible spaces such as gymnasiums, pools, and cafeterias.
Each year, the College spends approximately $4.3 million on repairs and maintenance
of its buildings. More than $150 million in maintenance, repairs and updates have
been identified through formal facility studies.
STLCC opened the Center for Nursing and Health Sciences at Forest Park in 2019. The
Center features the latest technology and hands-on clinical learning spaces to help
address the St. Louis region's growing healthcare workforce needs. More than 900 students
per year prepare for careers in nursing and health science professions in this building.
This $40 million facility was built through a combination of private donations and
a small bond issue that was paid for through the general operating fund and the sale
of the College’s downtown corporate office building. This type of funding is not available
to meet the more than $350 million in facility needs and additional program updates
necessary to meet the needs of students and local employers.