Education Department to Continue Conversation on Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce

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Following a number of discussions on the role of community colleges, the U.S. Department of Education is hosting a series of webinars over the coming months to focus on community colleges. These webinars will build on the President’s recent State of the Union address, particularly its focus on strengthening the American workforce through targeted investments in higher education.

The Department hosted the first webinar, “Community Colleges and Employer Partnerships,” last month. Building on the success of this webinar, the second installment of the series will take place on March 26 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will be themed “Improving Alignment between Secondary and Postsecondary Career and Technical Education.” This event will expand on the Administration’s focus to strengthen the alignment between high school and college for students, and it will highlight efforts to ease students’ transition from high school to college and careers.

The webinar will feature Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education; Kathy Hughes from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University; Jeremy Varner from the Iowa Department of Education; Lauren Wintermeyer from Santa Barbara City College; and Rashid Davis from Pathways in Technology Early College High School to discuss their work and respective roles in developing successful strategies to build robust connections between community colleges and high school. Members of the press who are interested in registering for the webinar may visit: .

The Department’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education will continue to host webinars over the coming months. Future topics include promoting college and career readiness for low-skilled adults and promising approaches in developmental education. To access research and read more about the President’s initiatives involving community colleges, visit and follow the link for the Virtual Symposium papers.