David L. Levinson is president of Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. He is author of Community Colleges: A Reference Handbook and general editor of Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia.
In July, as U.S. automakers were emerging from bankruptcy, President Barack Obama dramatically announced the American Graduation Initiative at Macomb Community College, some 12 miles from Detroit, calling for a massive federal investment of $12 billion in the nation's community colleges. "Not since the passage of the original GI bill and the work of President Truman's Commission on Higher Education -- which helped to double the number of community colleges and increase by seven-fold enrollment in those colleges," the president stated, "have we taken such a historic step on behalf of community colleges in America." With the goal of restoring the U.S. to its global leadership role in postsecondary degree attainment -- it's now ranked No.