When he became president, Barack Obama set an ambitious goal, calling for the country to regain its status as having the world’s highest number of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees. In his 2009 American Graduation Initiative, Obama outlined his support of community colleges and his plan to have 5 million more community college graduates by 2020. On Monday, a panel of education experts convened at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to explore in detail what it will take to reach Obama’s benchmark goal. Unsurprisingly, money topped the list during an Askwith Forum discussion moderated by Bridget Terry Long, HGSE’s Xander Professor of Education and Economics, as did the need for greater collaboration and support from various stakeholders. With students graduating from college with on average $25,000 in debt, the administration has taken aim at bringing down the skyrocketing costs, said panelist Martha Kanter, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education...
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