Owen Williams and Arne Duncan

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ACS President Dr. Owen Williams was part of a select group of college representatives invited to attend the College Opportunity Day of Action, hosted on December 4th, 2014, by President and Mrs. Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Invited representatives of colleges and universities were asked to draw up formal statements of commitment to increase opportunities at their respective institutions.

The full text of the ACS commitment statement is as follows:



The institution above expects to produce 3,000 additional graduates by 2020 and a total of 4,500 additional
graduates by 2025.
Action Plan

ACS is in the process of identifying several strategies by which it will improve college persistence and completion within its member institutions though its 2020 Vision. ACS will pursue this goal through a multipronged approach including such strategies as:

  • Providing member institutions with strategies and incentives for reducing costs, and in turn tuitions, in order to make the education they offer more accessible for all students.
    • ACS will create competitive incentive programs for our member institutions to create new scholarship opportunities and increase enrollment of low-income students.
    • ACS will help their schools explore options for consolidating administrative services such as Information Technology or Human Resources, or for reducing costs through joint purchasing, this will encourage cost cutting and increase available funds for scholarships.
    • Bringing together the consortium’s Development officers to think as a group about funding more need-based scholarships.
  • Evaluating, disseminating, and scaling up our faculty members’ efforts to implement innovative computer-mediated teaching practices that improve student learning performance and level the playing field for students coming to college with less preparation.
    • Serving as a clearinghouse of information on innovative teaching practices, as well as providing a consortial infrastructure for deep digital collaboration, the ACS can promote the creation of more inclusive classrooms in which students from many different backgrounds can succeed.
    • Expanding ACS’ Summer Teaching and Learning Workshop, to create a centralized ACS Teaching and Learning Center that can serve as a platform for discussion about inclusive teaching practices, while saving funds that could be invested in more scholarship opportunities for students.
    • Bringing these various initiatives together for discussion and dissemination, to build consortial capacity, but also more rigorously evaluate the impact of innovative teaching practices on the experience of students from underrepresented groups.
  • Leveraging the collective power of member institutions Admissions, Enrollment, Institutional Research, and Marketing departments, the ACS can address issues of enrollment and retention for low-income students, increasing college completion rates and better preparing these students for successful and fulfilling careers after graduation.
    • Launching a collaborative study, lead by member institutions’ enrollment officers and Institutional Research officers, the ACS could better understand enrollment and retention trends for students from underrepresented groups, identifying shared concerns and best practices for creating a more diverse and inclusive campus.
    • Bringing Marketing personnel into the equation, the ACS can then craft messaging that speaks directly to low-income students and their families communicating the achievability and accessibility of a liberal arts education.
    • Highlighting initiatives within the consortium that are actively working to change the equation for low-income students in the world of higher education, ACS can test the feasibility of these programs for other member institution.


Media from the event: obama_summit_2014

Read the full report at www.whitehouse.gov