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Miami Dade College Participating in First-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges on Oct. 5

MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón invited to attend and two MDC students are featured in special Summit video

Washington, D.C., October 1, 2010 - The White House has announced that Dr. Jill Biden will convene the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges on Tuesday, October 5, 2010.  President Obama asked Dr. Biden to chair this event to highlight the critical role that community colleges play in developing America’s workforce and reaching our educational goals. Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón who has worked closely with the administration will attend and participate. In fact, Dr. Biden and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made their first official visit to an institution of higher education to MDC in March 2009.

Other leaders invited to attend include Secretary Duncan; Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen; Melinda Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and William D. Green, Chairman and CEO of Accenture.

The Summit is an opportunity to bring together community colleges, business, philanthropy, federal and state policy leaders, and students to discuss how community colleges can ensure that we have the most educated workforce in the world, so that American businesses can compete in the global economy and that we can achieve the President’s goal of leading the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.  Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing segment of America’s higher education system enrolling more than eight million students each year. This Administration is making historic investments in a series of new innovations and reforms to expand and strengthen opportunities at America’s community colleges. 

The Summit will also enable Americans across the country to submit their thoughts, questions and challenges for discussion as part of the Summit dialogue. The White House has set up a number of ways for the public to participate in the Summit online at Community college students are encouraged to submit their stories about how community college has changed their lives.  Educators, administrators, students and stakeholders can also participate in an online dialogue about improving community colleges for the future.

As a lifelong educator and community college instructor for the past 17 years, Dr. Biden knows that community colleges are uniquely positioned to graduate more Americans with the skills that businesses and the economy will need to compete in the 21st century.  Since coming to the White House, she has visited successful job training and completion programs as well as student support programs at community college campuses throughout the country. 

“Community colleges are a key part of our economic vision for the future,” said Dr. Biden. “I see firsthand the power of community colleges to change lives every single day I am in the classroom. I am proud to be part of an Administration that recognizes the value of a community college education and is working to make it more accessible to students across this nation.” 

The Summit announcement video features current community college students, including two from MDC, as well as community college graduates. To watch the video, please go to:

Individuals highlighted in the video include: 

  • Alexandra de Armas, student, Miami Dade College
  • Bill E. Green, CEO of Accenture, graduate of Dean College
  • Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, graduate of Spoon River Community College
  • Jim Lehrer, PBS Newshour, graduate of Victoria Community College
  • Sobers Brooks, student, Miami Dade College
  • Anthony Whitmore, student, Lorain County Community College 

Details about media credentialing and logistics for the Summit on Community Colleges will be released at a later date.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Summit media contact: Annie Tomasini, Press Secretary for Dr. Jill Biden and Deputy Press Secretary for the Vice President, 202-456-2881;

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.