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U.S. Rep. Rush Holt and U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter
Host Town Hall Meeting at MCCC May 18


Holt and students

West Windsor, N.J. -- Making higher education more affordable was among the key issues U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) and Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter addressed with Mercer County Community College students during a town hall meeting May 18 at the college’s Conference Center. Holt spearheaded the forum to provide students and faculty an opportunity to voice their views on higher education policy.

“We talk about education policy in Washington, but we can never forget that policy is about people,” said Holt. “Mercer County Community College is among the best community colleges in the nation because its faculty takes an active interest in the personal and professional development of students.  I brought Secretary Kanter here to experience just how it prepares students for the 21st century job market.”

MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue, Holt, administrators and faculty presented Kanter with a slice of Mercer life during a tour of the campus that included stops at the Culinary Center and Game Design lab.  They discussed new initiatives such as MCCC’s solar farm and Fashion/Apparel Design program which begins this fall. 

“What an impressive place you have chosen to pursue your studies,” said Kanter in her opening remarks. “I have spoken to bright and motivated students.”  Increasing the number of students who “finish what they start” by earning a degree within six years of beginning a program is a top priority for the Obama administration.

Kanter said that as part of that goal, she and Rep. Holt want to protect Pell grants, the number one financial aid tool which provides need-based grants to low-income students.  Kanter and Holt contend that students receiving these grants are far more likely to continue their schooling and graduate.







Mercer County Community College students talk with Rush Holt during a May 18 Town Hall meeting at the college.  From left are Ashley Minter, Pam Prather, Assemblyman Rush Holt, Jose Rodriguez, Alex Henry and MaryLou Llapa.
Kanter and Donohue with students
Student Alex Henry with US Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, MCCC President Patricia Donohue, and students Paul Parham and Ashley Minter.
Kanter and students
U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter speaks with students Jose Rodriguez and Paul Parham.

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