RTC Announces Commitment to Expand College Access at White House Event

  • Published Thursday, December 4, 2014

RENTON, Wash. – Today, Renton Technical College and President Steve Hanson will join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President Obama’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

As part of the initiative, Renton Technical College has committed to building upon, and scaling its successful instructional strategies in Reading Apprenticeship and Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) across all degree program areas. According to college President Steve Hanson, “our commitment includes a new effort to maintain an exemplary completion rate while increasing the number and percentage of students who complete associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at RTC.”

Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile.

In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

 

For more information, see:

White House Press Release
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/04/president-and-first-lady-s-call-action-college-opportunity

The Aspen Institute Press Release
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/news/2014/12/04/top-us-community-colleges-commit-collectively-graduating-nearly-50-percent-more

 

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Direct all media inquiries to:
Di Beers
Renton Technical College
Phone: 425-235-2426
Email: dbeers@rtc.edu