The Obama administration will continue to make improving community colleges a priority, despite the president's plan to call for a net freeze on some federal domestic spending over the next three years, Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said on Wednesday.
"We are committed to making community colleges better and more accessible to students across this country," Ms. Biden said in remarks at a forum about those institutions held by the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington.
Ms. Biden, who teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, joined Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education at the U.S. Education Department, in emphasizing the importance of two-year colleges in achieving President Obama's goal that the United States have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The president has called on community colleges to produce five million more graduates by then as part of the plan he announced last summer to spend $12-billion over 10 years to improve programs, courses, and facilities at two-year institutions.
The Center for American Progress also released three reports on Wednesday that it said are meant to highlight ways the nation could better use community colleges to generate economic opportunity. The reports look at ways community colleges could become more student-centered; build partnerships with businesses, government programs, and nonprofit groups that have helped nontraditional learners; and promote apprenticeships.