Transforming America’s Community Colleges
In order to renew America’s status as the world’s leader in college attainment, the federal government needs to transform America’s community colleges and equip them for the 21st century. A new report by University of Wisconsin Assistant Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab and co-authors from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings argues that this long-overdue investment should establish national goals and a related performance measurement system; provide resources to drive college performance towards those goals; stimulate greater innovation in community college policies and practices to enhance the quality of sub-baccalaureate education; and generate data systems that can track student and institutional progress and performance over time.
On May 7, the Metropolitan Policy Program hosted a discussion on this new report with the lead author, Goldrick-Rab. Cecilia Rouse, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, was a featured panelist. LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow; Senior Policy Officer Tom Dawson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and former commissioner for the Indiana Commission on Higher Education, Stanley G. Jones, discussed the paper’s findings and implications. Alan Berube, senior fellow and research director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, delivered introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, the panelists took audience questions.
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