Teachers College, Columbia University

Second Lady Jill Biden to Speak at Teachers College for 20th Anniversary of Community College Research Center

Dr. Biden’s speech to be followed by distinguished panel on the future of community colleges

New York, NY (November 1, 2016)Dr. Jill Biden, a community college educator and the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will be the featured speaker at an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) on Thursday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. at Teachers College, Columbia University (Broadway between 120th and 121st streets) in Manhattan.

As Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Biden has been a leader of the White House’s efforts to improve college access and affordability. She hosted the first White House Summit on Community Colleges in 2010, and she talks about community colleges as she travels around the country, at venues as diverse as late-night talk shows and the Democratic National Convention.

“We’re honored to have such a forceful and effective advocate for community colleges participate in our 20th anniversary celebrations,” said Thomas Bailey, the founding director of CCRC and the George & Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College.

Dr. Biden also teaches English full-time at a community college in Virginia. Her speech is titled “Community Colleges: America’s Best Kept Secret is Out—Now What?”

CCRC’s anniversary celebration will take place in the Joyce Berger Cowin Auditorium, where Dr. Biden’s keynote will be followed by a panel discussion on the future of community colleges.

Panel participants will include: City University of New York Chancellor James Milliken; Spencer Foundation President Michael McPherson, who is co-chair of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education; and Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline, State University of New York (SUNY). The panel will be moderated by Thomas Bailey.

CCRC, the leading independent authority on two-year colleges in the United States, was founded at Teachers College in 1996, when little was known about two-year public colleges, despite the fact that they enrolled nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates. The center conducts research on new strategies and innovations to improve community colleges and helps shape the efforts of colleges and states as they strive to provide an excellent education to all students and prepare the workforce of tomorrow.

CCRC’s research on community colleges has served to generate and inform a renewed interest in these essential higher education institutions, as it continues to make vital contributions to higher education research, policy and practice.

Registration for the free, public event is required and the registration page is here. Members of the press who would like to attend should contact Elizabeth Ganga, 212-678-3394 or ganga@tc.edu; or Patricia Lamiell, 212-678-3979, lamiell@tc.columbia.edu.


The Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University, conducts research on the major issues affecting community colleges in the United States and contributes to the development of practice and policy that expands access to higher education and promotes success for all students.

Founded in 1887, Teachers College, Columbia University, is the first and largest graduate school of education in the United States and is perennially ranked among the nation’s best. Through its three main areas of expertise—education, health and psychology—the College is committed to disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, the preparation of dedicated public service professionals, engagement with local, national and global communities, and informing public policy to create a smarter, healthier, and more equitable and peaceful world.