Moraine Valley Community College President Sylvia Jenkins joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education and K-12 leaders on December 4 at the White House College Opportunity Summit. She came away with a feeling of appreciation that the Administration has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting efforts to provide students with pathways to a college education.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action was established to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help the U.S. reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

“To involve community colleges in this discussion speaks volumes of President Obama’s understanding that we need many higher education options for people to choose from. Giving community colleges that level of support and recognition is very meaningful,” Dr. Jenkins said.

Participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dr. Jenkins said the role of Moraine Valley in this initiative is what the college’s mission has always been: “We are a campus that has open-door access to the 400,000 people in our communities, to the state of Illinois and to the U.S. to provide these opportunities to anybody who comes to our door. Everybody’s responsibility is to help student’s complete their goal here. As the President noted, ‘Access to college is important, but completion is critical. The economy of America depends upon it.’”

She added, “I feel good that Moraine Valley is well respected and is known for how well people are treated when they come here. We have excellent faculty and staff. They understand our purpose. We continuously have faculty development and staff development projects where the focus is student learning, student retention and completion. We reach out to business leaders and the community to participate in our efforts and to share with us what we should be doing to help students be more successful.”

For more information, contact Mark Horstmeyer, director of College Relations at Moraine Valley, at (708) 974-5275 or