|President Barack Obama is turning the education spotlight on community colleges, enlisting career teacher Jill Biden to preside over the first White House summit on the system of schools he's counting on to help produce an additional 8 million graduates by 2020.
While providing millions of students with skills training and a less expensive path to a college degree, these schools are challenged by climbing enrollments, high dropout rates and large numbers of students who come from high school needing significant remedial education before they can tackle college level work, officials say.
What works — and does not work — at community colleges will be topics of discussion at Tuesday's summit.
Obama is scheduled to deliver opening remarks.
The daylong exercise will involve representatives from community colleges, business, philanthropy and government in discussions about how these schools can meet the increased demand for job training and also help fulfill Obama's wish for the U.S. to become the world's top producer of college graduates by 2020.
He is looking to the nation's nearly 1,200 community colleges to turn out 5 million of the 8 million graduates his administration says will be needed to meet Obama's goal.