During his March 10 visit to Georgia Tech, President Barack Obama for the second time held up the College of Computing’s online MS in Computer Science (OMS CS) program as an example of the kind of innovation needed by the United States to address the rising costs of higher education.
After an introduction by Tiffany Davis, a third-year aerospace engineering student, the president greeted the Yellow Jackets, naming Georgia Tech as “one of the finest technical institutes in the world.” Throughout his speech, Obama elaborated on the value of higher education—and particularly the value of a Georgia Tech education, saying that “it’s been established time and time again that Georgia Tech is one of the best bargains around.”
The president outlined the increasing importance of “using technology to help students learn at lower costs.” Echoing comments he first made in August 2013, Obama again praised the continued success of the College of Computing’s OMS CS degree program, proclaiming, “We are partnering with schools like Georgia Tech on innovative ways to increase the value [of higher education], like your online master’s program in computer science, which costs just a fraction of the price of an in-classroom program.”
*****Watch the full speech, here. OMS CS is mentioned at the 1:15:00 mark.*****
The President welcomed distinguished guests, including Georgia Tech alumnus and U.S. Navy Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, a 1978 honors graduate in aerospace engineering and the current vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Obama held to his speech’s theme of “Making College More Affordable” by unveiling his plan for a “Student Aid Bill of Rights.” His plan outlined four basic principles to protect individuals who take out student loans to pay for their educations. He also spoke about his recent proposal to provide free community college for qualified students.
The day before, Cecilia Muñoz, White House director of the Domestic Policy Council, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia Tech provided a fitting setting for the president’s announcement. “[Georgia Tech] students have high job placement rates,” the newspaper reported, “the school’s ‘promise program’ offers debt-free educations to qualified in-state students, and it’s among the first major universities to offer a master’s degree in computer science exclusively online. Georgia Tech’s online offering could serve as a model to help reduce the cost of education, [Muñoz said].”
*****Watch the president’s 2013 speech, here. OMS CS is mentioned at the 32:24 mark.*****