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White House Announces Second Summit on College Access

Seven months after the White House hosted a well-publicized summit on expanding college access, it announced on Wednesday plans for a second gathering, to be held December 4.

According to a White House statement, the aim of the second summit will be to “build on the work” of the first one, “while launching initiatives in new areas.” It continues: “This year’s summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage college going, and supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students.”

To prepare for the previous summit, more than 100 institutions committed to new programs designed to enhance access for low-income students. At the event, 140 leaders of colleges, nonprofits, and businesses participated in small-group discussions, while also hearing from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. College leaders interviewed by The Chronicle said they left inspired to act on the issue of access.

But the summit also had its critics. Some community-college leaders said their sector was underrepresented, while leaders in the for-profit sector had similar complaints.

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