ACTs new chief executive officer is enthusiastic about heading an organization that is helping lead reform in education and workforce development.
This is a very important time in ACTs history relative to education and workforce development in America and within the global economy, said Jon Whitmore, who assumed his new role on September 1. A confluence of issues offers ACT an opportunity to respond with innovative programs and services that meet needs worldwide.
Among these issues are developing more rigorous academic expectations, as defined by the Common Core State Standards; dramatically increasing the number of people who graduate from high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges, as called for by President Obama and education experts; and retraining people who have lost their jobs or who are underemployed, as a result of the economic downturn and a demand for higher-order work skills.
All these factors come together to make this an exciting and challenging time to be at ACT, said Whitmore. Dick Ferguson and ACTs staff have developed a highly effective not-for-profit organization that is well poised to have a significant and positive impact on these important issues.
Whitmore looks forward to working with ACT staff in advancing the organizations mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.
Issues affecting education and workforce development are changing rapidly, and it will take a robust organization to anticipate and manage that change, he said. With its research and resources, ACT can contribute greatly to efforts that improve the quality of education and workforce training.
Whitmore brings many years of executive experience and a strong track record of success to his new role. He comes to ACT from San Jose State University, where he had been president since 2008. Previously, he served as president of Texas Tech University from 2003 to 2008, and as provost of The University of Iowa from 1996 to 2003. He also has held faculty and administrative positions at The University of Texas at Austin, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and West Virginia University. He holds a PhD in theatre history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA and BA in speech, both from Washington State University.
Throughout his career, Whitmore has led teams in major strategic planning initiatives. Among the accomplishments he views as most satisfying are improving sustainability at San Jose State University, increasing the graduation rate and the quality of academic programs at Texas Tech University, and helping to create the first new academic college in 60 yearsthe College of Public Healthat The University of Iowa.
Whitmore foresees great things happening at ACT in the future and looks forward to leading an excellent team that will accomplish them. Ive always believed that the keys to greatness in any organization are quality people working together to solve problems. A big part of my new role will be empowering ACTs staff to further advance the important work that needs to be done in our country and worldwide.
ACT-tested U.S. high school graduates appear to be making slow but steady progress at becoming ready for college and career, according to ACTs annual Condition of College and Career Readiness report for 2010.
The 2010 ACT test results show a growing percentage of students meeting all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, an increase of 1 percentage point over last year and 3 percentage points over five years ago. This has occurred as the population of ACT-tested graduates has grown to new levelsup by 30 percent since 2006and become more diverse.
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