December 5, 2011 – UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski joined President Barack Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and a select group of higher education leaders at the White House today for a discussion on college affordability and productivity. And later this week, Dr. Hrabowski will be a featured panelist at Governor Martin O’Malley’s 2012 Symposium on Job Creation.

Both events demonstrate that the university’s innovative practices in teaching, research and entrepreneurship are widely respected models for promoting student success and creating a thriving economy.

President Obama has set a goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates of any country in the world by 2020. The engagement of college leaders in a frank policy discussion today takes that college-completion push to a new level. Dr. Hrabowski participated with a group of leaders that also included University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, the heads of the New York and Texas university systems, and the presidents of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

UMBC’s graduates are less likely to leave college with debt than their counterparts nationwide, and they are more likely to pursue advanced degrees. More African-American bachelor’s degree recipients go on from UMBC to earn Ph.D.’s in the STEM fields than from any other predominantly white university in the country. And redesigned courses at the university, in chemistry and psychology for example, have increased pass rates, increased average grades and dramatically reduced the number of students needing to repeat courses.

On Friday, President Hrabowski will join the Governor, business leaders and policy makers to discuss higher education partnerships that support innovation, company start-ups and job creation.

To read more about innovation at UMBC, please visit www.umbc.edu/innovate.

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