Pasadena City College Announces Commitment to Expand College Access at White House Event

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Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Dr. Robert Miller, interim superintendent-president of Pasadena City College, joined President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden, and hundreds of college presidents and higher education leaders on Thursday to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.The White House College Opportunity Day of Action – the first ever – highlighted the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits in an effort to support students across the country to help reach the Administration’s goal of leading the world in college attainment.“It is a humbling experience to be asked to represent our faculty and staff at our nation’s capital,” Miller reported from the event, which was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. “As I participate, I will reflect on the quality of our great college and the miracles performed every day by our students, faculty and staff. PCC continues as one of the greatest colleges in the nation. And this tribute is further evidence of this fact.”Thursday’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.PCC, one of the few community colleges nationwide selected to attend the event, answered the President’s call to action with an ambitious, long-term goal to increase its growth in conferring degrees. That commitment includes:“The College was excited to see the White House’s call for commitments,” said Dr. Ryan Cornner, PCC associate vice president of Strategic Planning and Innovation. “The White House’s efforts to increase access to higher education and to increase the number of students completing degrees fits with PCC’s mission and Educational Master Plan.“The college is confident in its ability to meet this ambitious commitment,” Cornner added. “It will build on the great work already occurring on campus with programs and activities such as First Year Pathways, the Pasadena Academic Career Trust, e-STEM, and ongoing efforts in curricular re-design. PCC has a legacy of excellence and its dedicated faculty and staff continue to innovate and develop programs that meet the needs of the 21st century student.”The President also announced new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college.Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile.In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has also increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.Thursday’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on Jan. 14, 2014.For more information on the White House College Opportunity Day of Action, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/colllegeopportunity. For more information on PCC’s commitment to the President’s call to action, please contact Cornner at a (626) 585-7553 or by email at [email protected]last_img read more