The National College Access Network (NCAN) hosted its 15th Anniversary Conference at our nation’s capitol this past week. During a period where public education has been affected by politics and heavily dependent on government aide, there was no better place to discuss the future welfare of post secondary education in the United States. The four-day event consisted of several exhibits, great speakers, and numerous workshops covering such topics as increasing college access, using social media in college access, and branding a college access program.
Congressman Chaka Fattah (pictured left), representative of the 2nd District of Pennsylvania, spoke on one of the bigger issues in education, the achievement gap. Congressman Fattah emphasized that he did not believe there to be an achievement gap, but rather an opportunity gap. According to Fattah, this opportunity gap exists because of the high percentage of students that are being taught by teachers that have little to no experience in the subject that they are teaching. Furthermore, Fattah believes an undergraduate degree can no longer be the ceiling in terms of measuring success but instead the floor upon which we build on.
On a more political note, Under Secretary Martha J. Kanter talked in depth about the recent and future initiatives coming from the Department of Education. Most notable was the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which was included in the health care and education reconciliation act that passed on March 21, 2010. SAFRA aims to allocate funding to several areas in education including: community colleges, pell grants, and HBCUs.
To get more information on NCAN events or to join the NCAN network, send an email to email@example.com.
“Ignorance will always cost more than education” – Congressman Chaka Fattah
photo source: NCAN