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  • Conditions to be met to Participate at the Meeting of College Leaders at White House
  • Posted By:
  • Staff Admin
  • Posted On:
  • 12-Dec-2013
  • A meet is scheduled shortly for college leaders at the White House called for by our President. There is however a condition that comes with this offer. Anyone wishing to participate in this meeting must commit themselves to helping low-income students. Goals set by them towards this must be submitted in writing.

    The summit will be held for an entire day and about 140 participants are expected to attend. Participants will be from various fields such as higher education, state governments, business and city and philanthropy.

    Details of the meeting continue to take shape even as the White House does not want to divulge any information. Even the participants were not keen on sharing details of their commitment and are hush-hush about what they are planning to announce.

    According to what the White House divulge, participants are required to set generic goals that encompass aspects such as increase in low-income student enrolment, success rate of remedial education and enhanced support services for students in the form of student advice and counselling.

    The meeting aims at addressing the possibility of success-related partnerships for new students across sectors such as high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions. In order to participate in this meeting, colleges have to make a strong commitment towards making quantifiable improvements.

    Examples of dramatic achievements were described by the White House in the materials that accompanied the invitation. Some of the achievements suggested to be emulated by colleges include remediation and double-digit increase in pass rates of remedial course students.

    As suggested in the past, colleges should also enhance the enrolment of students who are eligible for Pell Grant. Before the meeting, the participating colleges must send in their response to the commitments proposed by the administration through the form given along with the invitation. The invitation says that some of the goals will be publicly highlighted in the meeting.

    We know that for our President, higher education is a premium issue. For several years, he has been striving to bring down rising tuition fee and has been motivating colleges to enhance rates of degree completion.  This current move seems to be strengthening the foundation laid by Obama to turn around higher education and get more students to graduate.

    In a recent speech, Obama said that he and his wife Michelle were creating a campaign that would help low-income students successfully graduate. The invitation says that the meeting is being coordinated by the US Department of Education in cooperation with the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council. The night before the meeting, the administration officials will be joined by a group of college presidents at a smaller event.

    Among other issues, the issue of ‘undermatching’ will be discussed by the officials. This issue is about less selective colleges being attended by highly prepared students. While this is certainly a concern, some feel that there are other vital issues such as controlling college costs and boosting graduation rates must take priority. There is however no doubt that the administration continues to show unprecedented interest in higher education and we can only hope this leads to positive results.


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