Community colleges strive to meet standards of American Graduation Initiative
In 2009, President Obama founded the American Graduation Initiative. The plan was enacted in order to give the U.S. the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
Obama recognized that community colleges would be a large factor in this plan. He asked for these schools to produce an addition 5 million graduates by 2020. This number includes individuals who earn their certificates or associate's degrees as well as those who graduate from a four-year program.
While many Americans choose to attend community college, according to a Pearson Foundation study, in 2010 about one in six of these students either dropped out or seriously considered dropping out within the first few weeks of classes.
In order to give further support to community colleges, the administration created the Community College Challenge Fund in addition to the initiative. This provides schools with grants for innovation and expansions.
Community colleges across the country are still working to increase graduation rates. Illinois' Elgin Community College, for example, recently held a "Signing Day" with the support of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and the Community College Completion Corps, according to Courier News. The event encouraged students to sign a pledge that they will complete their associate's degree or certification.
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