UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla was among more than 100 university leaders who took part in an education summit Thursday at the White House, where President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama announced an initiative to expand college opportunities.
The Obamas invited the leaders of nonprofits, foundations, state government offices, businesses and schools to discuss how to make college more affordable.
"There is clearly energy in this room that is thrilling and motivating, as we're all focused on the same goal," Khosla said.
The president has lamented the rising cost of a college education, which keeps some young people in debt well into their 30s. In California, college seniors were estimated to be carrying an average debt of $20,269, according to the Project on Student Debt.
"We need to do more to make sure rising tuition doesn't price the middle class out of a college education," Obama said. "While we don't promise equal outcomes, we have strived to deliver equal opportunity."
Michelle Obama told the audience that they want to make the U.S. the global leader in graduation rates by 2020.
Khosla said UCSD was committed to expanding access programs aimed at area high schools and community colleges, providing outreach and teacher professional development to give underrepresented students a better chance to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math courses.
The university also will strengthen and expand the Chancellor's Associates Scholarship Initiative, which guarantees cost-free access to education for 100 low-income students from the San Diego region each year, the chancellor said.
UCSD also plans to establish a transfer guarantee program and make "significant investments" in programs and personnel for student retention and placement programs, Khosla said.
—City News Service