Archived Information

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Visit Roanoke, Va., Release Adult College Completion Toolkit, as Part of 2012 Cross-Country Back-to-School Bus Tour Promoting Education

“Education Drives America” to Spotlight College and Career Readiness for Nontraditional Students and Link Education and the Economy

Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour, on Friday, Sept. 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will lead a town hall discussion that will explore indicators of college and career readiness at Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) in Roanoke, Va. Also participating in the town hall will be Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier, VWCC faculty, students, regional employers, and local community members.

“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” said Secretary Duncan, who will begin the tour on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in Redwood City, Calif. “It is the key to a vibrant middle class, strong national security and our global economic competitiveness.”

Secretary Duncan and his leadership team are crisscrossing the country from Sept. 12-21 for a series of events highlighting the theme that Education Drives America. Besides Roanoke, some of the other stops include Sacramento, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Salt Lake City; Denver; Topeka, Kan.; St. Louis; Kansas City, Mo.; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va.; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C.

The highlight of the town hall at VWCC will be the release of the “Adult College Completion Toolkit,” a collection of resources designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department’s work in the area of adult education. The toolkit focuses on three key areas: access, quality, and completion. Four target student populations include veterans, adult basic education students, incarcerated individuals, and skilled immigrants.

Prior to the town hall, Dann-Messier and other senior Department of Education officials, including Adult Literacy Division Deputy Director Chris Coro and Senior Policy Advisor Sue Liu, will engage in a VWCC student roundtable. The discussion will center on student experiences and supports that are crucial to helping students successfully transition to postsecondary education and careers. Students also will lead ED officials on a tour of the cutting-edge Mechatronics Lab at VWCC.

More specific details about the bus tour stop in Roanoke, Va., will become available as the time for the events draws closer. For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour12, or visit the Department’s bus tour blog. To receive media advisories, press releases, notifications about postings to the blog, and other special updates during the tour, subscribe to the Department’s Education Drives America e-mail updates by clicking here.