Wednesday, October 6, 2010
CNN is reporting that President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced additional, private funding for cash-strapped community colleges in an effort to bridge the growing degree gap between the United States and other nations.
The announcement came at the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges. According to CNN, President Obama said that the United States' decade-long decline from first to ninth in the world in the percentage of young people holding college degrees "not only represents a huge waste of potential; in the global marketplace it represents a threat to our position as the world's leading economy."
According to the White House, the aim of the summit is to explore ways to reach the President's goal of an additional 5 million community college degrees by 2020, and to discuss community colleges' role in developing the U.S. work force.
One private funding initiative comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, as we blogged on Monday, plans to invest $34.8 million over the next five years for a program called Completion by Design. The money will come in the form of grants to groups of community colleges that come up with new ways to make the college experience more responsive to the needs of today's students.