More White House Support for Community Colleges

If you’re in the USA, you’ve probably heard about the various disasters befalling the California college and university systems. In light of that, it’s particularly nice to hear about more support for the community college system coming from the White House. Previously, I wrote that Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the vice president, is a community college English teacher. Recently, she spoke about the importance of community colleges in her keynote address at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2009 World Conference on Higher Education in Paris (read more at the White House blog). Even better, however, is the just-announced American Graduation Initiative. It’s supposed to lead to more funding and additional community college graduates. I hope this leads to real action and genuine support, not just verbal support. Here’s where you can get more information:

Among the highlights in the latter:

  • “A new national goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world”
  • “An additional 5 million community college degrees and certificates by 2020”
  • “A new research center with a mission to develop and implement new measures of community colleges’ success so prospective students and businesses could get a clear sense of how effective schools are in helping students — including the most disadvantaged — learn, graduate, and secure good jobs”
  • “Create a New Online Skills Laboratory … The Departments of Defense, Education, and Labor will work together to make the courses freely available through one or more community colleges and the Defense Department’s distributed learning network, explore ways to award academic credit based upon achievement rather than class hours, and rigorously evaluate the results”
  • Various financial reforms including expanding Pell grants, reforming student loan programs, simplifying the FAFSA, expanding the Perkins loan program, improving 529 savings plans, etc.
  • Much more–go read it, and let me know what you think, community college instructors and administrators!





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