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U.S. Secretary of Education to Hold Town Hall Meeting at ACC March 8

Students invited to ask questions, share perspective on national higher education issues

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Please note: Seating is limited, and advance registration does not guarantee a spot. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department.

The Austin Community College District will host U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Thursday, March 8, for a town hall meeting at Eastview Campus. The event is designed to connect students, educators, business leaders, and policy makers for a discussion on topics including:

  • Changing trends in higher education
  • Aligning education programs with in-demand skills
  • The importance of community colleges in training America’s workforce

“It is an honor for the college to host the Secretary of Education, and we want to see a lot of students come out for the town hall,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “This is a unique opportunity for ACC students to have a voice in a national conversation.”

The event will begin in the morning with roundtable discussions with students and a tour of workforce programs at Eastview Campus with Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, the assistant secretary for vocational and adult education. Secretary Duncan will arrive in the afternoon and lead the town hall discussion on the state of higher education, the growing demand for skilled workers, and how community colleges can partner with business and industry to benefit the American economy. The town hall meeting will take place 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the Multipurpose Hall (Room 8500).

ACC students are invited to take part in the town hall meeting. Seating is limited, and prior registration (now closed) does not guarantee a spot. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The event will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department.

Interpreter services will be provided; for other accommodations, please contact John Aintablian at aint@austincc.edu at least 48 hours in advance.

The event is co-hosted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and TechNet.

What would you like to ask the Secretary of Education? Enter your question in the comments feed below.

posted in: ACC Homepage Announcements, ACC Newsroom, Current Students, Current Students Feature, Faculty and Staff News, Official ACC Press Releases


11 Responses to “U.S. Secretary of Education to Hold Town Hall Meeting at ACC March 8”

  1. Raquel Flores says:

    What is your opinion regarding the expending of funds on proffesors/teachers that are not in the right profetion and the government is still paying them without them teaching? What is your opinion for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND act that for the past decade the schools have not benefited instead has cause for children to fall behind?

  2. Jeff Pape says:

    For many years we have seen college and university costs increase at a rate far above the rate of inflation. Recently, NPR had a story discussing that student loan debt has surpassed national credit card. It almost seems the higher institution have created an oligopoly. What is the federal government, in particular, the Obama administration due to lower these costs. In my humble opinion students loans just feed the beast and create serve hardships for students in the future.

  3. jack curtis says:

    Re Neil Green’s ‘education bubble’: I wonder if the solution might be to abandon compulsory education, store all human knowledge in a computerized data-base wrapped in models & simulations for easy
    digestion, & set students (& everybody else) free to learn whatever they please via the Internet; teachers would find much work creating the knowledge-base, models, & simulations, while schools could continue in their role as baby-sitters for working-parents, & also take on a consultancy role re utilization of the knowledge-base; or would this all be too contrary to the interests of those who see
    our colleges & universities as primarily useful in turning out a higher grade of fodder for their mills & cannons?

    Could the Secretary of Education possibly comment?

    Should such a program be pursued, I would suggest that Pierson be left out of the effort, as their penchant for bilking students by bringing out a new “revised” edition of their textbooks every year,
    in which the main revision is simply a jumbling-up of the homework-problems aimed at forcing students to buy a new version of the book every year if they want to do their homework, is an abomination; which suggests that any move towards automated instruction that Pearson might make would turn-out to be an abomination as well.

    ( P.S. Should Dwight Forest find this suggestion illogical, he might take solace in the fact that I too arose in Chicago!)

  4. Joshua Freeze says:

    As with McCartney and Garza, I find it baffling that even loans have been ended to certificate programs. I am close to having to drop out because I can’t pay my rent thanks to the decision. If I were in some dodgy field with dubious value, I could understand, but sonography is a well established diagnostic field.

  5. Beverly Watts Davis says:

    Do you believe that service learning and volunteerism has a place at Austin Community College

  6. Robin Garza says:

    I have the same question as Lisa McCartney. We are having the same problem.

  7. Neil Green says:

    Secretary Duncan,

    It’s becoming pretty obvious that, with the growth in student financial aid since the 1970’s, there has been a parallel rise in the cost of education, coming to a head in the last decade. While the costs skyrocket, it seems that the only thing rising at schools is the number of administrators, all coming at the expense of true education–a raw deal for students loading themselves with debt.

    What can you and the DOE do burst the so-called ‘education bubble’, and would this administration consider alternative accreditation such as the CLA or iSkills?

  8. Charlie Duncan says:

    In Texas and across the nation, many schools receive the bulk of their funding from local property taxes. As a result, some schools are able to build extras such as multimillion dollar athletic facilities while others can’t even afford current textbooks and basic upkeep of buildings. What objections, if any, does the USDOE have to mandating and supplementing district budgets on a per-student basis so that all schools have access to equal resources for their student bodies?

  9. Dwight Forest says:

    Ms. McCartney,

    The reply to your question and insightful commentary is that Chicago-style politics of administration does not leave much room for logic.

  10. Jessica Reeves says:

    What do you believe is the most important aspect of teacher education? With a teacher attrition rate as high as we have in this country, how can we prepare future teachers to persevere and thrive within a system that they feel is often working against them?

  11. Lisa McCartney says:

    Our program is a high-demand healthcare field. Our graduates receive a certificate, but not an associates degree. We have recently seen enrollment in our program decline due to changes in federal funding of financial aid for non-degree workforce training programs. What was the rationale for the federal government to lower or eliminate financial aid for certificate programs? What can our community of educators, students, and employers do to encourage the federal government to reconsider funding financial aid for accredited, for-credit, non-proprietary, certificate programs for high-demand workforce programs?