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President Barack Obama’s America’s College Promise plan seeks to make two years of community or technical college “as free and universal as high school.” Students would need to go to school at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 grade point average and make progress toward a degree.

States would have to provide about a quarter of the costs of the program, maintain existing education spending and work to reduce the need for remedial classes and repeated courses.

Colleges with participating students would have to offer academic programs that fully transfer to four-year colleges or job training programs with high graduation rates that lead to degrees and certificates sought by employers.

RELATED: K-14? Obama Proposes Tuition-Free Community College

On Tuesday, Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel discussed the President’s free community college plan and it’s potential impact on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Critics of the plan say the nation can not afford the program while some HBCU representatives believe Pres. Obama’s plan is a death knell for their institutions.

“NewsOne Now” panelist Maya Rockeymoore told Martin, she does not think the “America’s College Promise” initiative will undermine HBCUs because she envisions these “community colleges to be the training grounds for students who eventually transfer to HBCUs and to the extent that they form partnerships and relationships.”

Rockeymoore added, “Students of color need all of the credentials that they can get.”  According to Rockeymoore, a two year education may not be enough for African American students. She said proof of this can be found in statistics. “They have bachelor degrees, we have bachelor degrees and we get paid less.”

She continued, “We’re going to have to pursue higher education, HBCUs need to partner with these (community colleges) to create a feeder system.”

Rock Newman, host of “The Rock Newman Show” did not necessarily agree with Rockeymoore’s analysis of the President’s plan. Newman would like to see Obama take the “America’s College Promise” a step further because “it will undermine and perhaps collapse our schools which have been one of the strongest pillars of our community since time immemorial.”

Listen to Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel complete analysis of Pres. Barack Obama’s plan to offer two years of community college for free to all those who qualify in the audio clip below. Do you believe the “America’s College Promise” plan would undermine HBCUs?

Be sure to listen to “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST and watch at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

Will Pres. Obama’s Free Community College Plan Undermine HBCUs?  was originally published on