Tuesday, March 30, 2010

President Signs H.R. 4872; Announces Community College Summit Led By Dr. Biden

Today at Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) Alexandria campus, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. H.R. 4872 represents a significant infusion of funds for higher education, including annual Pell Grant program funding increases and new competitive career-training grants, which will be available to community colleges. ACCT has created a summary of the education-related provisions within H.R. 4872. The summary can be found at: http://www.acct.org/HR4872%20Summary.pdf

ACCT issued a statement in response to the signing of H.R. 4872, which is available at: http://www.acct.org/2010_ACCT_Statement_HR_4872_03-29-2010.pdf.

Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Second Lady and professor at NOVA introduced the President. President Obama noted during his remarks that “we need to invest…in our students. We need to invest in our community colleges. We need to invest in the future of this country. We need to meet the goal I set last year and graduate more of our students than any other nation by the year 2020.”

President Obama also said, “And because community colleges like NOVA are so essential to a competitive workforce, I’ve asked your outstanding professor, Dr. Jill Biden…to host a summit on community colleges at the White House this fall. And we’re going to bring everybody together, from educators to students, experts to business leaders. We are going to bring everybody together to share innovative ideas about how we can help students earn degrees and credentials, and to forge private sector partnerships so we can better prepare America’s workforce and America’s workers to succeed in the 21st century.” ACCT will continue to provide updates on the summit as the planning for the event progresses.

Additionally, with the signing of the bill, the White House released a fact sheet on the Community College and Career Training Grant program. According to the fact sheet, community colleges could apply for funds to do the following:

  • Work with businesses: Colleges could build partnerships with businesses and the workforce investment system to create career pathways through which workers will earn new credentials and promotions through step-by-step, worksite education programs that build essential skills. Colleges will work closely with employers to design training that is relevant to the local labor market and likely to lead to employment and careers.
  • Create education partnerships: Colleges could work with other educational institutions to expand course offerings and promote the transfer of credit among colleges.
  • Teach basic skills: Colleges could improve remedial and adult education programs, accelerating students’ progress and integrating developmental classes into academic and vocational classes.
  • Meet students’ needs: Colleges could offer their students more than just a course catalog through comprehensive, personalized services to help them plan their careers, stay in school, and graduate.
  • Develop online courses: Colleges could create open online course materials such as interactive tutors.
The fact sheet can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/100326-community-college-fact-sheet.pdf

President Obama’s and Dr. Biden’s remarks can be found online at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-and-dr-jill-biden-signing-health-care-and-education-reconciliatio

Full video of the event can be viewed at: http://www.c-span.org/flvPop.aspx?src=project/health/health033010_obama.flv&s=57.077&e=2252.05&live=N&pop=Y&srv=fms.c-span.org&remote=N

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