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White House Announces Summit, New Efforts to Boost College Access

Building on its efforts to expand college opportunity for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students, the White House has scheduled a summit Dec. 4 focused on K-12 and higher education partnerships to improve college persistence and completion.

The announcement was made in a blog post Aug. 13 by Celicia Munoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council.

The event follows a summit in January at the White House on college access and a meeting at Harvard University in late July that focused on strategies to improve college advising by school counselors. On July 31 and Aug. 12, smaller gatherings of higher education, school district, and nonprofit representatives met with administration officials to discuss college readiness and remedial education issues.

On Wednesday, the administration also unveiled new commitments to improve college opportunity from the public and private sectors, supplementing pledges made at the earlier summits. (Last week, I blogged on some of the recent progress reported.)

Among the new commitments:

• Fourteen community colleges will implement strategies, such improving curricular alignment and student supports, to help students who enter college academically underprepared and in need of remedial education;

• The Khan Academy will focus on technology-based solutions to help college students in developmental math;

• The U.S.Department of Education will open a new Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness to expand research and evaluation of college-readiness efforts. It will be led by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College and by MDRC, a social policy research organization, with an initial funding of $10 million.

• Ohio will replicate the City University of New York's StudAccelerated y in Associate Program to provide extra supports to 2,000 community colleges students in the state.

Following up on earlier commitments, this fall the White House will coordinate a series of events specifically for groups that promised to broaden participation in science, technology, engineering and math for underrepresented communities, according to Wednesday's announcement.

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