Haslam to participate in White House college summit

Bill Haslam

PICTURE BY MARK HUMPHREY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Richard Locker, The Commercial Appeal

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam will participate in President Obama’s second College Opportunity Day of Action Thursday in Washington, along with the President, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and education and business leaders.

The governor’s office said the conference will bring together colleges and universities, business leaders, nonprofits and others who are committed to supporting more college opportunities for students across the country.

Haslam is expected to detail his Tennessee Promise initiative, which will provide two years of free community college for high school graduates starting next fall with the high school class of 2015.

Dr. Tristan Denley, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents, will also participate, discussing approaches to help increase college completion rates among students. Denley designed and implemented the “Degree Compass” software program using predictive analytics to help students select courses they would most likely complete.
In January, the President and First Lady joined over 140 college presidents and other education leaders to announce commitments to expand college opportunity at the first ever White House College Opportunity Day of Action. Thursday’s event will build on the commitments announced in January, with over 300 college presidents and other leaders launching initiatives in new areas.

This event will focus on building networks of colleges around promoting completion, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, and increasing the number of college graduates in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

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