Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and James Cole Jr., general counsel, delegated the duties of deputy secretary, will participate in the annual National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Arlington, Virginia. The theme of this year’s conference is “HBCUs: Promoting Excellence, Innovation and Sustainability.”
At 9:15 a.m. EDT, Lhamon will join a discussion on a panel titled “Education and Justice: Bridging the Gap Between Law Enforcement and the HBCU Community.” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will moderate this panel.
At 10:45 a.m. EDT, Cole will moderate a panel discussion on excellence, innovation, and sustainability at HCBUs.
Breakout sessions will include: building sustainable partnerships; framing new pathways to science, technology, engineering and mathematics; strengthening access and opportunity; removing gender barriers in STEM, responding to the needs of non-traditional students; and responding to issues of diversity and inclusion.
The Obama Administration has worked to expand college opportunity to more students, particularly for non-traditional, low-income, and underrepresented students. During this Administration, enrollment in college for black and Hispanic students has increased by more than 1 million. Meanwhile, more students are graduating from college than ever before — with over 27 million college degrees and credentials awarded since the President took office.
In addition, the Obama Administration has made unprecedented investments in higher education innovation with its ground-breaking First in the World program, which has invested $135 million to support colleges and universities in developing and rigorously evaluating new approaches that can expand college access and improve student learning, while reducing costs for students and families. The goal of this investment is to expand knowledge about what works to increase college completion rates for high-needs students and help America move from 13th in the world in college attainment back to number one, a position the nation held a generation ago. The Department also is supporting 15 experimental sites to explore and evaluate policy changes that may help to support the success of low-income students, such as through competency-based education programs and enhanced loan counseling for borrowers.
The conference will be livestreamed here.