AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus (left) with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Waubonsee Community
College President Christine Sobek and Daniel J. Phelan, president of Jackson College and AACC board chair.
The U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed
Betsy DeVos as secretary of education in February. DeVos is known as a
businesswoman and philanthropist.
She’s championed K– 12 school choice,
serving as board chair of the Alliance
for School Choice. In her confirmation
hearings, though, little was said about
DeVos’ first public speech on higher
education came at the Community
College National Legislative Summit
on Feb. 16. The summit was hosted
by the Association of Community
College Trustees and the American
Association of Community Colleges.
She praised the nation’s commu-
nity colleges, calling them “nimble,
inclusive and entrepreneurial” and
“essential engines of workforce and
“You equip students for high-de-
mand fields and skilled jobs that help
grow local economies and maintain
communities,” DeVos told the audience.
Though DeVos did not offer any specifics in her speech, she acknowledged
the community colleges’ priorities for
the near future.
“I know that there are many
items on your legislative agenda,
from reauthorization of the Higher
Education Act and the Perkins Act,
to ways community colleges can help
transform the nation’s infrastructure, to allowing Pell Grants to have
flexibility in supporting students
working to graduate more quickly,”
she said. DeVos vowed to work with
community college leaders in the
By Tabitha Whissemore
CCRC invites you to an open reception
at the 97th AACC Annual Convention
When: Sunday, April 23, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Where: Hilton Riverside Hotel, Belle Chasse (3rd floor)
CCRC researchers are also presenting at eight
sessions at the conference. For more details, visit our
website at ccrc.tc.columbia.edu
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @CommunityCCRC