Southern Maine Community College Hosts U.S. Department of Education Senior Advisor | Events

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Southern Maine Community College Hosts U.S. Department of Education Senior Advisor
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Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) will welcome Greg Darnieder, Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, for a two-day visit to the College as part of a listening tour on college access in northern New England.

Darnieder will be visiting SMCC to learn about the College’s efforts and successes in increasing access to higher education, especially in rural areas, which have contributed to SMCC’s status as the fastest-growing community college in New England. Other topics during the two-day visit will include college readiness, particularly in mathematics, and dual enrollment in both high school and college.

“This visit from the U.S. Department of Education is an extremely valuable opportunity for us to share our many successes in increasing college access, not only SMCC but across Maine, but most importantly to work with Senior Advisor Darnieder in seeking solutions to the barriers that remain,” said Dr. Jim Ortiz, SMCC President. “Maine has the lowest rate of college degree holders in New England and these efforts to improve access and success in higher education are critical to our economic future.”
As part of the visit, SMCC has invited a broad array of College partners and Maine educators to participate in meetings with Darneider including: public high school leaders, teachers and guidance counselors, adult and technical school educators, higher education partners, lawmakers, and non-profit directors who share commitment to increasing access to higher education.
Greg Darnieder and SMCC President Jim Ortiz will also travel to Bonny Eagle High School on Monday afternoon, to tour one of SMCC’s many Satellite Sites where high school teachers double as college professors and offer SMCC courses after school and in the evening.  The visit will culminate in a discussion with higher education partners, legislative leaders, and non-profit directors on the statewide efforts to improve college access and success.
Darnieder was previously responsible for establishing the Department of Postsecondary Education and Student Development and for designing and implementing an assortment of postsecondary, academic, financial, and social support programs.  These duties included enhancing the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) infrastructure around postsecondary education and establishing supportive services at every CPS high school.  In addition, he was responsible for building university, corporate and civic partnerships to enhance college access.  As such, he was named the director of the Department of College and Career Preparation with the CPS, a newly formed department that consists of the Department of Postsecondary Education and Student Development and the Department of Education To Careers.  In 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, named Darnieder the Special Assistant to the Secretary for College Access at the U.S. Department of Education, where he currently serves.
What:  Visit by Greg Darnieder, US Department of Education Senior Advisor on College Access for Secretary Arne Duncan
Where: SMCC Campus, McKernan Center
When: All day Monday, November 8 and Tuesday November 9 until 12:30 pm
Southern Maine Community College empowers students to respond to a changing world and enhances economic and cultural development in Southern Maine by providing a variety of educational opportunities and partnerships.

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