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November 1, 2005


SPRINGFIELD - For every 100 students who enter ninth grade in Illinois, 28 will not finish high school, and only one in five of them will receive a college degree by age 24.

Two-thirds of Illinois graduating seniors in 2002 left high school unprepared, or only minimally ready, for the academic rigors of the college classroom. But approximately half of them went directly on to college.

Needy college students face a growing "MAP gap" - the difference between Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants and their tuition and fees. For community college students, MAP covers just three-quarters of their tuition and fees; for public university students, 63 percent.
Eighty percent of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. require a minimum of a two-year college degree. The fastest growing populations in the U.S. are those with the lowest academic achievement rates.

More than 200 Illinois lawmakers, state government officials, business executives, and higher education leaders will gather November 9 for a Higher Education Summit to discuss these and other pressing issues facing the state and its system of colleges and universities.

The Summit is sponsored by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 600 North State Street in Chicago.

"There are many challenges, as well as opportunities, facing higher education today," James L. Kaplan, Chairman of the Board of Higher Education, said. "The Higher Education Summit will give state leaders and the higher education community a valuable forum to discuss these issues and their implications for the state and our colleges and universities."

The Summit will feature several nationally recognized experts, legislators and other state leaders, college and university presidents, and business executives. Richard Stephens, senior vice president for human resources at The Boeing Company, and a member of the National Commission on the Future of Higher Education appointed recently by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, will deliver a luncheon keynote address.

Presentations and panel discussions involving legislators and others will examine several issues of concern to the state and its higher education system, including:

  • The critical role that postsecondary education plays in preparing people - young and old, traditional students and adult learners - for a workforce that is increasingly unforgiving of the under-educated.
  • The pivotal connection between financial aid for low-income students and access to higher education.
  • The need for a more expansive view of education - the P-16 notion that education extends from preschool to grad school - to ensure that high school graduates are ready for college, that new teachers are well-prepared to enter K-12 classrooms, and that underrepresented groups have access to collegiate opportunities.
  • A panel discussion featuring higher education leaders in the General Assembly and college and university presidents will conclude the Summit with reflections on lessons learned and next steps to pursue.

Speakers and panelists for the Summit include:

  • Legislative participants: Senators Edward Maloney, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee; Miguel del Valle, Bradley Burzynski, Christine Radogno, Kwame Raoul, and Richard Winkel Jr., and Representatives Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee; David Miller, chairman of the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee; Bill Black, Will Davis, Roger Eddy, and Michael Bost.
  • Dennis Jones, President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, and an expert on demographics and the value of higher education in the modern economy.
  • Paul Lingenfelter, President of the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
  • Roderick Chu, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.
  • Nicole Barry, Deputy Director of the national Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
  • Randy Dunn, state Superintendent of Schools.
  • Elliot Regenstein, Director of Education Reform for the Office of the Governor.
  • Jennifer Presley, Director of the Illinois Education Research Council.
  • Stanley Ikenberry, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois.
  • Jeffrey Mays, president of the Illinois Business Roundtable.
  • Anne Ladky, Executive Director of Women Employed.
  • Beverley Anderson, Provost at Chicago State University.
  • Judith Flink, Executive Director, Student Financial Services, University of Illinois at Chicago, Vice-Chair, Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
  • J. Robert Barr, former Chairman of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
  • Ashley Dearborn, a student at Wright College and student commissioner for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
  • Adam Howell, a student at Eastern Illinois University.
  • Danielle Gaines, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Father John Minogue, member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and former President of DePaul University.
  • College and university presidents include: Jonathan Astroth, Heartland Community College; Al Bowman, Illinois State University; Stuart Fagan, Governors State University; Father Michael Garanzini, Loyola University of Chicago; Charles Middleton, Roosevelt University; Christine Sobek, Waubonsee Community College.

Don Sevener



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