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​​Contact: Ann Hatch
214-378-1819; ahatch@dcccd.edu​

For immediate release — Sept. 9, 2015

​Dr. Joe D. May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.

(WARREN, Mich.) — The White House rolled out a new campaign Wednesday afternoon supporting the America’s College Promise program, which seeks to provide a tuition-free community college education to all responsible students in America. To move the program forward, the White House has appointed a group of leaders in higher education, business and government to serve on the new College Promise Advisory Board, including Dr. Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.

The new advisory board will be chaired by Second Lady Jill Biden — who helped President Barack Obama announce the new Heads Up grassroots campaign for America’s College Promise — along with honorary co-chair Jim Geringer, former governor of Wyoming.

May is one of four community college chancellors or presidents serving on the board, along with representatives including: Martha Kanter, former U.S. under secretary of education; Dr. Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges; Dr. Noah Brown, president of the Association of Community College Trustees; and others.

“I am honored to join Dr. Biden and the other members of the College Promise Advisory Board as a representative for the Dallas County Community College District and other two-year institutions across the country,” said May.  

DCCCD’s chancellor added, “I fully support efforts at the national and state levels to provide a tuition-free community college education to responsible students who will use the credentials they earn to learn excellent job skills and enter the workforce or who transfer to a university and continue their education to earn a bachelor’s degree.  I believe, as President Obama said yesterday, that we must rebuild America’s middle class and provide an education that will teach the skills our students need to start their careers and earn a living wage.”

The mission of the advisory board, to spread the free community college program “far and wide,” will be done, according to the White House, by “leveraging the power of a robust, cross-sector engagement strategy throughout the campaign.” The advisory board will work closely with seven key sector-based leadership committees, together advocating for a debt-free community college education and also for degree and certificate completion for responsible students. 

The College Promise Campaign will “mobilize an influential, diverse, broad–based and growing network to educate the public, elected officials, community and state stakeholders, and the media on the benefits of the College Promise, emphasizing high-quality community college education.”

President Obama said during his announcement at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., that “higher education shouldn’t mean taking on a lifetime of debt.” He added, “I want to bring down the cost of community college to zero.”

The College Promise Campaign will promote America’s College Promise programs as it advocates for strengthening the federal government’s investment in post-secondary education. Several states, including Tennessee, have started to implement programs that provide two years of tuition-free community college for responsible students.

The new Heads Up grassroots effort that supports the College Promise Campaign was designed to create a culture which celebrates community colleges, giving students, faculty, business leaders, elected officials, families and friends the tools they need to spread the word about the value and impact of community colleges on the future of America.

In addition to grants that provide “live and learn” opportunities for students as well as the formation of the College Promise Advisory Board, the President also discussed the need for more apprenticeships; the earning power of students who receive post-secondary credentials such as associate and bachelor’s degrees; and the importance of new and flexible job skills for a changing, global job market and economy.

For more information, contact Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs by email at ahatch@dcccd.edu or by phone at 214-378-1819.

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