Education economist Thomas R. Bailey, one of the leading US authorities on community colleges, visited Santiago in May, ahead of taking over his new post as Teachers College’s President on July 1. While in the country, he held a series of discussions on the challenges of technical-professional education in both the US and in Chile. A 27-year TC faculty member, Bailey is the George & Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education and the founding Director of the Teachers College's Community College Research Center (CCRC).
Among his many activities, Bailey participated in a seminar at VertebralChile, an association of professional and technical training institutes, where he gave a talk on “The Dynamic Role of Higher Education for Employability and Professional Careers”. He also visited the Fundación Luksic, an NGO that works to improve teaching practices in Chilean schools. During this visit, he explained the role of community colleges in the United States, a subject on which he has written extensively, and the challenges facing technical-professional education, including on-the-job training, in order to adapt to today’s changing times.
In 2010, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed Bailey as chair of the Committee on Measures of Student Success, which developed recommendations for community colleges to comply with completion rate disclosure requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
The experts attending the meeting at Fundación Luksic included TC alumna Martha Kluttig, who coordinates the research division at Mide UC; Cristián Lincovil, from the Education Ministry’s Executive Secretariat for Technical-Professional Education; José Cárdenas, the head of the Education Ministry’s implementation of Chile’s new State Technical Training Centers; Claudia Peirano, President of Fundación Oportunidad, and Fundación Luksic’s Executive Director Montserrat Baranda.