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Chancellor to Attend White House Summit 


Linda M. Thor, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, will be among the nation's higher education leaders attending the Oct. 5 White House Summit on Community Colleges.

President Barack Obama and Jill Biden, who is chairing the event, invited education, business and philanthropy leaders to join federal and state policymakers at the first-ever summit on the role of community colleges in meeting America's workforce and educational goals. Biden, who teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College, has been a community college instructor for 17 years and is married to Vice President Joe Biden.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to take part in the White House summit," Thor said. "It is a wonderful opportunity to bring together in one room and for a common purpose people who are working to advance the goal of increasing higher educational attainment and workforce training for Americans, and doing so as effectively as possible."

Earlier this year, President Obama unveiled the American Graduation Initiative, which included plans to strengthen opportunities at the nation's community colleges. The president has set a goal for America to have the world's highest proportion of college graduates by 2020, and said that community colleges will play a critical role because they educate more than eight million students a year. He called community colleges 'one of the great undervalued assets in our education system."

The summit will begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 5 at the White House and conclude with a 4:30 p.m. reception at Blair House, the official state guesthouse of the president of the United States. A guest list has not been released, although Mrs. Biden has said participants will include the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Melinda Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and William Green, chairman and CEO of Accenture. Community college students and faculty also have been invited.

The White House has said it would like Americans across the country to submit their thoughts, questions and challenges for discussion at the summit. More information about ways to participate is available at .

Thor was recently appointed by Secretary Duncan to serve as one of 15 higher education leaders on the newly formed Committee on Measures of Student Success, which will meet for the first time in October. The committee was created under the Higher Education Opportunity Act to develop recommendations for two-year degree-granting institutions on how to comply with new federal provisions for disclosing college graduation and completion rates.


Posted Sept. 28, 2010