U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary Met with Harry S Truman College Students for a School Tour and a Student-Led Roundtable Discussion

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Recently (April 2022), the U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal met with City Colleges of Chicago officials and joined more than 20 City Colleges of Chicago students for a tour of Harry S Truman College.

Kvaal also joined a roundtable discussion with students, from across all seven City Colleges, about how City Colleges supported them during the pandemic and how CCC is supporting them now.

Students shared how grateful they were to have access to laptops and other technology during the pandemic. They shared how supportive and accessible their teachers remained throughout. They also thanked college leadership for access to the food pantry and mental health services then, and now.

James Kvaal formerly was president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a research and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to affordability and equity in higher education. TICAS is nationally recognized for its research and policy recommendations on student debt. He served in the Obama Administration as the deputy domestic policy adviser at the White House and deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. He led efforts to cut student loan monthly payments, hold career colleges accountable for excessive debts, and make community colleges tuition-free. He helped organize the White House Summit on College Opportunity, which featured more than 100 college presidents and other leaders committing to actions to help more students graduate from college. He also has served in senior roles in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Kvaal taught at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) aims to put every student on the path to upward mobility by giving students access to a quality education and ensures their success by providing them with the support to complete their program and move on to further education or a career. CCC is one of the largest community colleges system in Illinois. Harry S Truman College is an accredited Minority‐Serving Community Colleges serving the entire city.