AERA Centennial Lecture Series Spotlights College Access and Success in Los Angeles
AERA Centennial Lecture Series Spotlights College Access and Success in Los Angeles

Bridget Terry Long
(Harvard Graduate School of Education)

January 2017

On January 11, AERA held its third Centennial Lecture and Discussion Forum in Los Angeles with Bridget Terry Long of Harvard University as the featured lecturer. Held at the Music Center at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with an audience of 270 and several hundred online viewers, Long sparked an engaging conversation with expert commentators and attendees on college access and success.

  • Watch the full Los Angeles Lecture and Open Forum here
  • View a photo gallery of the event here

Long’s talk, titled “Supporting College Student Access and Success: Making Sure Hard Work Pays Off,” focused on the promise higher education holds in regard to helping individuals achieve economic and social success while also providing numerous public benefits. Long spoke about the roadblocks students face and how research exposes these challenges and highlights the policies and programs that are effective in improving postsecondary outcomes.

“Part of the frustration, though, in working with students is just too often we see that that hard work doesn't pay off,” said Long, Academic Dean and the Saris Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Whether it be forms, or processes, or tests, things that oftentimes are not even related to their education or their learning, they get derailed.”

“The frustration with that unmet potential that so many of our students have is that they are doing what they are supposed to and their families are working hard, but somehow the opportunity of education and what it can provide just eludes them,” Long said.  

The lecture was followed by a “living room style” open forum, where experts on higher education access joined Long on stage and offered initial comments directed to identifying issues for audience consideration and discussion. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez (Southern California Public Radio) moderated the discussion, with Audrey Dow (The Campaign for College Opportunity), Juana Hernandez (Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce), and James T. Minor (California State University) serving as commentators.

The AERA Centennial Lecture is a national, six-city series promoting public engagement and fostering new conversations between the education research community and policy and practice sectors across the country.

The fourth lecture in the series will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. Deborah Lowe Vandell (University of California, Irvine) will deliver a lecture on “The Opportunities and Challenges of Early Child Care and Education.”

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