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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Administration Spotlights Community Colleges

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August 18, 2014

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Administration Spotlights Community Colleges

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education held a meeting with community college leaders from around the nation to discuss improving college opportunities, particularly related to best practices in college remediation.

Since his State of the Union address in January, President Barack Obama has focused a large amount of his domestic efforts on improving access to postsecondary education for every student. So far, those efforts have included updates to Department of Labor grant programs to incentivize apprenticeship programs, Vice President Joe Biden's review and recommendations for improvement of federal job training programs and the Department of Education's recently announced waivers for competency-based education programs.

Last week's event provided an opportunity for community colleges to "discuss efforts to strengthen developmental education and explore effective strategies to improve success for students in need of developmental education," as well as share new commitments they've made to increasing enrollment, persistence and completion rates. While no new grants or programs were announced during this meeting, the Obama Administration did announce several upcoming efforts to continue the dialogue on postsecondary opportunity.

A few of their upcoming initiatives include:

  • hosting the second College Opportunity Summit in December to emphasize building strong partnerships between K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions to improve postsecondary persistence and completion
  • continuing the Department of Education's commitment to STEM education through a series of events showcasing best practices in STEM education and discussing the challenges in moving students into STEM fields of study
  • growing the list of individual community colleges and non-profit organizations who have made financial and institutional commitments to improving student postsecondary readiness and success

ACTE is continually working with the department to ensure that CTE is a constant presence in any discussion of best practices in postsecondary retention and completion. As part of that work, ACTE will be represented at an upcoming department event on moving STEM forward in CTE, being held as a part of the department's commitment to STEM.

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