MCCCD Chancellor and United States Department of Education convene to discuss federal initiatives and their positive impact on Higher Education

Sep, 2 2021

Arizona and American flag

For a Federal Higher Education Convening, the Maricopa County Community College District Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales hosted the United States Department of Education (USDOE), and higher education and community leaders on Sept. 1, 2021. 

"The convening today reiterated the innovations in federal policies currently under consideration that help give every college student the best chance of success," said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, MCCCD Interim Chancellor. “I am enthusiastic about our conversations today, and I thank the USDOE and leaders from across the state for joining us to further this movement."

At the virtual state convening, Dr. Gonzales and key Arizona college and community leaders discussed the various federal budgetary and policy priorities that support higher education access, affordability, and success, including:

  • the Free Community College proposal
  • Pell Grant increases
  • student completion grants

Over 50 college and university presidents, academic officers, elected officials, and community leaders joined to discuss how these federal initiatives may impact Arizona's students and promote workforce development. Attendees included higher education leaders from both universities and community colleges, chief academic officers, community leaders, and elected officials, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and City of Mesa Mayor John Giles. Eloy Oakley, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, and Amy Loyd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, led this conversation from the USDOE side to gather feedback and considerations when crafting these policies. 

The Maricopa Community Colleges are prioritizing the needs of current and future students that will contribute to their academic and personal success. The Federal Higher Education Convening is an opportunity to address increasing access and success while decreasing equity gaps.

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