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MDC President Tabbed for College Board’s New Advocacy & Policy Center Advisory Committee

Eduardo J. Padron

New York, April 15, 2010 - Building on a distinguished 110-year history of connecting students to college success and opportunity, the College Board announced the creation of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. Designed to help transform education in America and increase the number of students who earn a college degree, the Center will make critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today.

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center will focus on issues related to college preparation and access, affordability and financial aid, and admission and completion. Miami Dade College (MDC) president, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, has been selected to serve on the Center’s advisory committee, with other national education leaders, to help shape the agenda and develop sustainable long term priorities that will have a substantial positive impact on the direction of education in the United States.

Drawing from the experience of the College Board’s active membership, which consists of education professionals from more than 5,700 institutions, the Advocacy & Policy Center will work to ensure students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in and graduate from college, with a special focus on underserved populations – especially low-income students, students of color, and first-generation college students.

“Education is the foundation for achieving a better quality of life, economic prosperity and greater opportunity,” said College Board President and former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton. “Now more than ever, practical, research-based solutions are needed to improve our education system and enable millions more students to graduate from college prepared for 21st-century success. The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center is dedicated to helping fill that need.” 

The Advocacy & Policy Center, with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recognizes that too many students are falling through the cracks as they move along the preschool to post-secondary education pipeline.  According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. is one of the very few countries where younger adults are less educated than older adults.  In fact, for younger adults between the ages of 25 and 34, the U.S. ranks only 10th in the world in the proportion that has completed either a two- or four-year degree. Immediate action is required to reverse this fall from the top ranks of countries with a college-educated workforce.

“In today’s global economy, it isn’t just an education but a college education that is necessary to compete and succeed,” said William “Brit” Kirwan, chair of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center Advisory Committee, and chancellor of the University System of Maryland. “The effect of diminished access has a devastating impact on the lives of individuals seeking advancement through education and on our collective hopes for advancing our society's interests and welfare. The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center is dedicated to developing innovative approaches and solutions to the most pressing issues facing education today.”

The Center draws on the College Board’s active membership of education professionals from institutions across the education spectrum, experience with district and school reform models, and extensive reach into schools and colleges. Its reach extends to students, parents, educators and policymakers – individuals and groups not just interested in transforming education in America, but invested in it. 

The College Board will also rely on the Advocacy & Policy Center Advisory Committee of distinguished and engaged scholars, educators, policymakers and business leaders from around the nation to further the vision of the Center. From Charlie Reed in California, chancellor of The California State University and Raj Vinnakota, co-founder and managing director, The Seed Foundation in Washington, DC to Dr. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College in Florida and other key leaders, the Center’s advisory committee will help shape the agenda and develop sustainable long term priorities that will have a substantial positive impact on the direction of education in the U.S. 

“Each year thousands of Florida students and their parents are affected by the decisions of educators, policymakers and elected officials. The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center is uniquely qualified to address an urgent need for coordinated leadership and collaboration with education stakeholders, bringing together the innovative ideas, research and hands-on experience that will lead to fundamental, systemic reform,” said Dr. Padrón. 

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. We make critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today. 

Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón

President, Miami Dade College

An American by choice, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón arrived in the United States at age 15. Since 1995, he has served as president of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America. Recently, he was named one of “The 10 Best College Presidents” in the nation by TIME magazine and “Floridian of the Year” by Florida Trend magazine. Under Dr. Padrón’s leadership, MDC has received national recognition as a catalyst for social change and for the marked difference it has made in student access and success through pace-setting initiatives. Dr. Padrón is highly regarded by his peers and was the first community college president to serve as chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He also serves on the boards of the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, among others. In fact, five U.S. Presidents have appointed him to important panels during his four decade career. Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Florida and is a graduate of Miami Dade College.

To learn more about The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, visit http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/.

The College Board media contact:  Stephanie Coggin , 212-713-8250,    communications@collegeboard.org

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist




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