LTU hosts update on Detroit Chamber’s educational attainment efforts 

SOUTHFIELD—More than 70 leaders of southeast Michigan’s education, nonprofit, and business sectors gathered at Lawrence Technological University Wednesday morning for a Leadership Council and Partner Meeting of the Detroit Talent Compact, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s effort to boost educational attainment in the region.

Marketed as “Detroit Drives Degrees,” the effort aims to boost the number of adults with a post-high-school educational credential to 60 percent by 2030, and to reduce the credential gap of people of color by 50 percent by that date as well.

Meghan Schmidbauer, senior director of Detroit Drives Degrees, presented an overview of the organization’s partners and efforts, and took a look at those efforts in the year ahead.

Amber Neher, director of student success and postsecondary partnerships at the chamber, presented an overview on giving higher education credit for experiences in employment, including management, design, military training, and professional development courses. And she asked the audience to help develop strategies for a comprehensive, regional approach to developing those standards.

Finally, Oakland University president Ora Pescovitz, co-chair of the D3 Leadership Council, presented on current perceptions of higher education–which aren’t good, according to recent survey and economic data presented in a Sept. 5 New York Times Magazine story. She challenged the Council work groups to identify ways in which these perceptions could be changed. The groups provided insights that may lead to further work in this area.

LTU hosted the quarterly meeting as part of its commitment to Detroit Drives Degrees and the Detroit Talent Compact. Attendees included leaders in education, the foundation community, and business leaders.

“Lawrence Tech pioneered evening and weekend educational opportunities for working people from the moment of its founding in 1932,” said LTU President Tarek M. Sobh. “We continue to offer innovative pathways to educational attainment for both traditional and non-traditional students, and we’re happy to be working with the business, philanthropic, and educational leaders convened by the Detroit Regional Chamber to improve the region’s economic prospects through improved educational opportunity.”

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs@LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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