U.S. Under Secretary Of Education James Kvaal Speaks At Community College Futures Assembly Co-Hosted by ACD

February 28, 2023

DSO Communications


U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal spoke to a national gathering of community college leaders on Tuesday, February 28 at the 29th Annual Community College Futures Assembly co-hosted by the Bellwether College Consortium and the Alamo Colleges District. 

Under Secretary Kvaal’s keynote address focused on Equity and Opportunity: Community Colleges Across America. 

During his address, Under Secretary Kvaal spoke about how community colleges are critical to the education of our country and congratulated the Alamo Colleges District for recently being recognized again as a Leader College of Distinction by Achieving the Dream. 

“They [Community Colleges] are the backbone of our education system that provides millions of students the education and skills they need to succeed and they are quintessentially American institutions,” said Kvaal. “They’re practical, they’re hardworking, they’re open to everyone and they are committed to upward mobility.”

Under Secretary Kvaal also spoke about the importance of Promise programs across the country and laid out plans that the Biden Administration are taking to move the line of student success forward, including the award of American Rescue Plan higher education funds that has already supported six million students across community colleges, rural and minority-serving institutions and increasing the maximum Pell grant award. 

The address concluded with Under Secretary Kvaal speaking to the audience about the progress colleges have made in helping students succeed at higher rates. 

“Nationally our graduation rate is at 62%, an increase of eight percentage points in a decade. That’s not high enough, but that’s tremendous progress. … We want to be a wind to the back of colleges such as yours.” 

Established in 1995, the Bellwether Awards are a long-standing, respected award solely awarded to innovative community colleges. The rigorous award competition is an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly where the 30 Bellwether Finalists are invited to present their program in a final round of competition among selected peer institutions. 

The Assembly focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that are worthy of scaling and replication given their evidence-based outcomes and indicators. 

To learn more about the  Community College Futures Assembly, visit https://bellwethercollegeconsortium.com/community-college-futures-assembly/