Armstrong President Linda Bleicken Participates in White House Roundtable
On Friday, March 26, Armstrong Atlantic State University president Linda Bleicken took part in a roundtable discussion at the White House in Washington, D.C., with two dozen fellow presidents from state colleges and universities, as part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) Council of State Representatives. Dr. Bleicken represents the state of Georgia on the Council.
The White House invited the AASCU Council to discuss the responsibility public colleges and universities have to help make college affordable and to contribute to student success and completion. The subject is closely linked to the Obama administration's agenda to increase the number of Americans with higher education credentials from the current level of 43 percent to 60 percent by 2020. Representing the administration were the Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz; Zakia Smith, senior advisor for education; Deputy Education Secretary Tony Miller and the Director of the Office of Public Engagement Jon Carson, among others.
“Student success and fostering a supportive learning environment are Armstrong's top strategic goals and key components of the University System of Georgia's Complete College Georgia higher education completion plan. Efforts at both the federal and state level support these goals,” said Dr. Bleicken. “The AASCU meeting at the White House provided the opportunity to tell the administration that we are working successfully to contain costs, while at the same time enhancing our students' achievement levels in a tough budget environment.”
Efforts already in practice at Armstrong and in the University System of Georgia that enhance affordability include online degree programs, shared services and facilities and campus work programs that help defray tuition costs. Key among the meeting's results was the agreement that the federal government must continue to work with state colleges and universities to keep costs manageable through continued support for Pell funding and other programs so students can achieve a higher education.