U.S. Department of Education Announces New Public Engagement Efforts to Improve College Value and Affordability
- Created on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 16:57
- Written by IVN
Washington, DC - In order to gather public input about the Obama Administration's proposals to address rising college costs and make college more affordable for American families, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing new details today about its plan to engage stakeholders over the coming months.
In a Federal Register notice published today, the Department announced that it will host four public forums across the country. These forums will coincide with the Department's upcoming Request for Information (RFI) to ask experts to weigh in on methods for creating a college ratings system that would better inform students and encourage institutions to improve.
"One of the best ways to address the challenges to our higher education system is through shared input," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "We plan to engage as many stakeholder groups and individuals as possible to help us develop proposals that are useful to students and take into account the diversity of America's colleges and universities."
The open forums are designed to offer the opportunity for members of the public to provide feedback and input on the Department's proposals, as well as to hear the views of others. The four forums will take place:
- On November 6th at California State University, Dominguez Hills
- On November 13th at George Mason University
- On November 15th at the University of Northern Iowa
- On November 21st at Louisiana State University
Specific details about each public forum will provided later, and posted online here: www.ed.gov/college-affordability
In addition to hosting the forums, the Department will continue to plan and participate in outreach events like roundtable discussions, town hall conversations, and meetings with key stakeholders. Since the President's announcement in August of a new college value and affordability plan, Secretary Duncan and department officials have participated in events across the country to hear suggestions and concerns. Officials have met in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C, with groups including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Historically Black Colleges and University Presidents' Board of Advisors, the American Council on Education, student leadership associations, independent college groups in Massachusetts and California, and over the next few weeks will meet with community colleges, business leaders, parents, faculty, and others.
In the coming weeks, the Department will also formally ask data experts and researchers to weigh in on the college ratings system through an RFI. Early next year, the Department will host a technical symposium where external experts can engage in further discussion and deliberate on these issues in greater depth. The Department will then publish a summary of the recommendations that were developed as a result of the RFI and the symposium, as well as other resources identified by external experts participating in the symposium, on the Department's college affordability Web site, www.ed.gov/college-affordability. The Department will use the feedback it receives to inform the development of proposed college rating metrics, which it will share in the spring for public comment.
If you wish to testify and use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339 for more information.