The U.S. Education Department will convene four community college regional summits in the next two months to identify promising practices for increasing completion at community colleges, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today.
"Community colleges must lead the way to meeting President Obama's goal that the United States once again having the highest college attainment rate in the world by 2020," Duncan said. "All of higher education must contribute to reaching this goal - but community colleges will be the linchpin. The President has called for an additional five million community college graduates by 2020 to ensure the vitality of our nation's economy."
Titled "Challenges, Solutions, and Commitments," the four summits continue the dialogue that began in October with the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges. Dr. Jill Biden convened the summit at the request of the President to highlight the importance of community colleges.
The regional summits convened by the Department of Education will bring together 150 participants from surrounding states - representatives from community colleges, business and industry, philanthropy, labor, state and local government, and students - to explore and take to scale strategies that work in helping students succeed. Governors, mayors, or community college presidents will kick-off the summits. Each will have a different focus and be held at a community college in a different part of the country:
February 28- Community College of Philadelphia: "Transitioning Adult Learners to Community Colleges and the Workforce"
March 9 - Lone Star College System, Houston: "Successful Transfer Programs"
March 23 -Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis: "Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Employers"
April 15 - San Diego Community College District, San Diego: "Exemplary Programs for Veterans, Military Members, and Families"
"These regional summits are an opportunity to build partnerships that strengthen our community colleges, turn challenges into actions, and produce the best-educated and most-competitive workforce in the world," Duncan said.