Linda M. Thor, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, is scheduled to attend the White House Summit on Community Colleges Tuesday.
President Barack Obama and Jill Biden, event chairwoman, invited education, business and philanthropy leaders to join federal and state policymakers at the inaugural summit on the role of community colleges in meeting America’s work-force and educational goals. Biden, who teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College, has been a community college instructor for 17 years and is married to Vice President Joe Biden.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to take part in the White House summit,” Thor said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to bring together in one room and for a common purpose people who are working to advance the goal of increasing higher educational attainment and work-force training for Americans, and doing so as effectively as possible.”
Earlier this year, Obama unveiled the American Graduation Initiative, which included plans to strengthen opportunities at the nation’s community colleges. The president has set a goal for America to boast the world’s highest proportion of college graduates by 2020 and said that community colleges will play a critical role because they educate more than 8 million students a year. Obama called community colleges “one of the great undervalued assets in our education system.”
The summit will begin at 11 a.m. at the White House and conclude with a 4:30 p.m. reception at Blair House, the official state guesthouse of the president.
Participants include Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and William D. Green, chairman and CEO of Accenture. Community college students and faculty also have been invited.
White House officials encourage Americans to submit their thoughts, questions and challenges for discussion at the summit. For more information, visit www.whitehouse.gov/communitycollege.
Duncan recently appointed Thor to serve as one of 15 higher-education leaders on the newly formed Committee on Measures of Student Success, which will meet for the first time in October. The committee, created under the Higher Education Opportunity Act, will develop recommendations for two-year degree-granting institutions on compliance with new federal provisions for disclosing college graduation and completion rates.