Prairie State College Announces Commitment to Expand College Access at White House Event

CHICAGO HEIGHTS—(ENEWSPF)—December 4, 2014. Today, Prairie State College (PSC) President Dr. Terri L. Winfree 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 Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’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.

Dr. Winfree is attending the event along with Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, president of Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) and Dr. Elaine Maimon, president of Governors State University (GSU). They are representing the Chicagoland Alliance for Degree Completion and the commitment that was made to increase the number of students who attain degrees from their respective institutions over the next 10 years. PSC and MVCC are two of the partners with GSU in the Dual Degree Program. Through that program and the efforts of each individual institution, the goal is to increase the number of new graduates.

“PSC has committed to increase the number of students who obtain degrees over the next 10 years working collaboratively with other colleges in our region. I am excited to be part of this national celebration of college access. It reinforces what Prairie State College does on a daily basis – providing college access. We offer opportunities for students to obtain an associate degree, transfer to a four year institution, or gain the skills needed for employment,” said Dr. Winfree.  

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.


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