Obama Endorses Community College Reform

Sunday, July 12, 2009
It's a very big day for the nation's community colleges. In today's Washington Post, our president praises them, and calls for additional funding to support their work. In particular, President Obama writes, "We can reallocate funding to help them modernize their facilities, increase the quality of online courses and ultimately meet the goal of graduating 5 million more Americans from community colleges by 2020."

On Friday I spent the morning speaking with staff from the U.S. House of Representatives Community College Caucus, and was impressed by the significant turnout and detailed questions they asked. Then, TIME magazine moved on a substantial piece noting the importance of the 2-year sector as well.

This thing has legs. It's a very exciting time.... Let's hope that the President's ability to connect community colleges not only to job training but to his goals for increasing degree attainment continues. An integrated agenda will pay off.

NOTE: On July 14, 2009 the President will announce a proposal for $12 billion in support for community colleges, to enable them to produce an additional 5 billion graduates over 10 years. This is a remarkable turn of events.


New York Times, "A Boon To Two-Year Colleges, Affirming Their Value", July 14, 2009
NYT, "Obama Attacks On Economy and Seeks Billions For Community Colleges", July 15, 2009
Derrick Jackson, "Community Colleges' New Clout", Boston Globe, July 18, 2009
David Brooks, "No Size Fits All", New York Times, July 19, 2009
Cap Times, "UW-Madison profs help shape bold initiative for community colleges" July 20, 2009