Posts Tagged ‘Harris Miller’

The following letter was sent earlier this week from APSCU President Harris Miller to Dr. Jill Biden regarding the White House Summit on Community Colleges.  While APSCU believes this is a step in the right direction, it is important that Washington not overlook private sector colleges and universities if we are to fulfill President Obama’s goal of the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020:

Dear Dr. Biden:

Congratulations on convening the first Community College Summit.  Your deep commitment to higher education is clear, and your leadership gives those of us who work in higher education confidence that our future workforce is in caring hands.  From business leaders, to lawmakers, to community college administrators and students, your Summit will bring together a diverse and impressive array of stakeholders – all of whom are committed to improving and enhancing higher education.

But one group is missing: the 3.2 million students and the more than 250,000 employees who populate private sector universities and colleges.  We are sorry about this missed opportunity, but we stand ready to support you, President Obama and Vice President Biden and to help attain the goal of the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Our institutions provide paths forward for students who, in many cases, have no other options.  Most students at our schools do not conform to the profile of a traditional student.  For example, 76% are financially independent of their parents; 47% have dependent children; 28% work full time; and 63% are age 24 or older.  Before the discussion turns overly abstract, we should remember the faces and stories of aspiring students.  There are countless examples of people, unable to find success within the traditional educational system, who have turned to private sector colleges and universities — and flourished as a

As you know, our schools work closely with the employer community to ensure that their faculty, curricula and facilities are preparing students for meaningful careers.  Last year, 54% of all new allied health workers and 10% of nurses received their degrees, diplomas, or certificates from private sector colleges and universities.  Though in 2008 our sector represented only 8% of higher education students (we have now climbed to 12%), 15% of all degrees and certificates were awarded by our institutions.  This positive outcome is because our schools focus so intently on outcomes for their students—getting the degree and getting the job.

On September 29, 2010, over 2,000 students rallied on Capitol Hill with lawmakers from both parties to tell their inspiring stories of their time at private sector colleges and universities.  Progressive Democrats and Conservative Republicans—at a time of election-year partisanship—joined hands and stood with these students.  We must follow these students’ lead and together find a way forward.

The millions of students in private sector schools deserve the same attention and encouragement as those students in other postsecondary institutions.  Please don’t forget to include our students in future White House discussions of how best to prepare our future workforce for the 21st Century.  Only by joining forces will we help our country regain its global leadership in higher education and allow many more Americans to achieve their dreams.

APSCU contact: Bob Cohen.

 

From: http://www.career.org/iMISPublic/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Newsletters1&CONTENTID=21401&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm