News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

President Obama Talks Higher Education At UT

By Ben Philpott, KUT Radio

Dallas, TX –

President Barack Obama outlined his goals for higher education at U-T Tuesday (8/9) during a brief trip to Texas. Ben Philpott of public radio station KUT reports on the President's remarks.

The President delivered a speech with an ambitious goal of producing 8-million more college graduates by 2020.

President Obama: So, college affordability is the first part of the strategy we're pursuing. The second part is making sure the education that's being offered to our college students - and in particular, our community college students - is preparing them to graduate ready for a career. Institutions like the University of Texas are essential to our future. But so, too are our community colleges - a great, under-appreciated asset that we should value and support."

Stephen Kinslow, president of Austin Community College, says there have been new efforts recently to help schools like ACC - not only become a stronger bridge from two to four year schools, but also to help increase the community college's role in providing job training.

Stephen Kinslow: But it begins with everyone who's involved in public policy and in legislative advocacy to really get focused on the role of education as that primary vehicle to build a stronger and more prosperous middle class."

Byron McClenney is with UT-Austin's College of Education, and spent more than three decades as a community college executive. He sees programs like those offered by Mr. Obama on the UT campus having a better chance of succeeding, not because what the policy will or won't do, but because higher education seems to be a high priority among all parties and with both state and federal governments.

Byron McClenney: And what I'm seeing now is for the first time in my career, an alignment. The stars are aligning like I've never seen them.

President Obama's speech at UT was his one policy stop in Texas. He spent lunch in Austin raising about one million dollars for the Democratic National Committee, with an additional stop in Dallas to raise money for Democratic Senatorial candidates.

Reporting for KUT News, I'm Ben Philpott.