College Forum College Forum June 2011 : Page 1

YEAR MIAMI DADE COLLEGE OBAMA ADDRESSES CLASS OF 2011 President Encourages Graduates to Preserve the American Dream n the opening of his address to Miami Dade College’s Class of 2011, Pres-ident Barack Obama touched on a central tenet of the College’s mission. “Opportunity changes everything,” said Obama. “America will only be as strong in this new century as the opportunities that we provide you – the opportunities that we provide to all our young people.” Obama delivered the keynote address to students at the recent com-mencement exercises for North Campus and MDC West, one of five cer-emonies at which more than 14,000 students received associate and bachelor’s degrees. The U.S. President praised Miami Dade College for being one of the top colleges in the nation, with one of the largest and most diverse student bodies. Lauding MDC for its greater than 90-percent job-placement rate in graduates’ fields of study, Obama called community colleges “critical path-ways to the middle class” that arm students for success in the 21st century. “That’s why I’ve made community colleges a centerpiece of my edu-cation agenda, along with helping more students afford college,” Obama explained. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done in community Continued on Page 12 f orum I IN REVIEW June 2011 • Volume 15 • Number 3 MDC Makes American Dream Come True for All Students Miami Dade College will offer its unprecedented American Dream Scholarship, which covers its in-state tuition and fees for the first two years of col-lege, to all of Miami-Dade County’s hardworking, newly g raduated high school seniors who want a quality education but could not otherwise afford it. The American Dream Scholarship is a vital safety net that picks up where other aid and scholarships leave off, ensuring that bright, qualified students have the means to continue their education. “To fully par ticipate in our current economy, a high school diploma is not enough, even though it is a necessary first step,” said College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón in a letter to local principals regarding the scholarship. “The question is not whether students should go to college, but how can we make it happen.” MDC is achieving this dream thanks to the com-munity’s record-breaking efforts of raising millions of dollars for the 50th anniversary of Miami Dade College, which star ted as a junior college on scrub land and now, as the nation’s largest in-stitution of higher learning, serves more than 174,000 students. “Miami Dade College truly changes lives,” added Padrón. “Doctors, eng ineers, law-yers, police officers and other profession-als started their journeys toward successful careers at Miami Dade College.” To qualify for the scholarship, graduat-ing seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA must show they are college-ready. The unprecedented, aptly titled schol-arship is the most recent effor t in M DC’s long history of providing the opportunity for an outstanding educa-tion to everyone. In its five decades, Miami Dade College has served nearly 2 million students in its more than 300 programs and ma-jors, including seven bachelor’s degrees.

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