Event: University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers will host a panel to discuss the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment’s recommendations for increasing college completion.
When: Monday, Feb. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Event is invitation only but open to the media.
Where: ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center, Room 205
Background: President Powers will host a panel of higher education leaders from across the state and nation to discuss the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment’s recommendations for increasing college completion. The recommendations were released last month in the commission’s “Open Letter to College and University Leaders.”
Panelists include E. Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University and chairman of the commission; American Council on Education President Molly Broad; commissioners Diana Natalicio, president of the University of Texas at El Paso; and George Martin, president of St. Edwards University. Attendees will be encouraged to participate in the conversation, broadening the discussion about higher education attainment.
UT Austin has the highest four-year graduation rate of any public college or university in Texas, about 52 percent, and is implementing a plan to increase that to 70 percent by 2016. It recently announced that it will allocate $5 million in one-time discretionary financial aid funds for four pilot programs that encourage four-year graduation among student populations who have historically been less likely to graduate in four years. Other initiatives, such as college readiness and modernizing the university’s degree pathways, are also among the strategic areas aimed to increase graduation rates.
The National Commission on Higher Education Attainment was created in 2011 in response to a White House call to increase college completion rates and restore the nation’s higher education preeminence. It includes representatives from two-year, four-year, public and private institutions from the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the Association of American Universities.