Obama Praises Bunker Hill Community College Program at White House Summit
Friday, January 17, 2014
Bunker Hill Community College’s work with low-income students earned praise from President Barack Obama at a national gathering of education leaders yesterday at the White House. Referring to the need of low-income students to prepare for college-level work, Obama said, “Bunker Hill is addressing this by giving more incoming students the chance to start catching up over the summer before their freshman year.”
BHCC President Pam Y. Eddinger was among a select group of approximately 100 college and university presidents, along with higher education leaders, philanthropists and nonprofit organizations, invited to attend a summit on education at the White House. View President Obama’s remarks at bhcc.mass.edu/white-house-summit. The BHCC reference is at 16:28.
“We are pleased that President Obama acknowledged the work being done at Bunker Hill Community College to help students succeed,” said Eddinger. “This work is in line with Mass. Higher Ed. Commissioner Dr. Richard Freeland’s goals in the statewide Vision Project.
The key to the success of these programs and future expansion is our collaboration with the Boston Public Schools and local school districts such as Malden, Somerville and Revere.”
The event was intended to secure pledges from college presidents to do more to increase college access for low-income and minority students. “BHCC will more than double the scope of the Summer Bridge program to serve at least 900 students this year,” said President Eddinger, referring to the program praised by Obama.
Launched in 2012, the Summer Bridge program assists approximately 350 students a year.
The program helps entering students prepare for college-level work in English and math through eight-week courses and three-week intensive “boot camps” in reading/writing and math held in the summer before they begin their studies. Since the need for this assistance is more pronounced among entering students of color, Summer Bridge also plays a part in closing achievement gaps.
About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.