Summit Overview

The National Legislative Summit is the premier community college advocacy event in Washington, DC, bringing together more than 1,000 community college leaders. The event shines a spotlight on the importance of our nation’s community colleges for Congress and the Administration.


The National Legislative Summit is designed to inform and educate community college leaders on federal policy issues that impact postsecondary institutions and students. National Legislative Summit participants will hear from members of U.S. Congress, leading political analysts, and other high-profile speakers about the current climate in D.C., recent elections, and legislative issues impacting community colleges.

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Participants also have the opportunity to network with fellow community college leaders and meet with their U.S. representatives in Congress to advocate for their support for community colleges and their students.

Featured speakerS
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First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden

Dr. Biden is a lifelong community college advocate, teaching English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C. to serve as Second Lady in 2008, she was a professor of English at Delaware Technical Community College for 15 years.


As the Obama-Biden Administration focused on recovering from the 2008 economic recession, Dr. Biden worked to underscore the critical role of community colleges in the nation’s economy. She hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama and led the Community College to Career Bus Tour to highlight industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. She also became the honorary chair of the College Promise National Advisory Board, leading the effort to make community colleges free for hard-working students.


At the NLS, she will address the Biden-Harris administration's higher education efforts to over 700 community college leaders and advocates from throughout the United States.

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Dr. Miguel Cardona

U.S. Secretary of Education

Miguel A. Cardona is the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education. Secretary Cardona has dedicated his career to serving students, educators, and families as an elementary school teacher, school principal, district administrator, and, most recently, as commissioner of education for the state of Connecticut. Secretary Cardona’s focus on equity and excellence for all learners has driven his work at all levels of the education sector. Secretary Cardona has led the federal government’s effort to support states in reopening America’s public schools for in-person learning amid the recovery from the pandemic, moving from only 46 percent of schools open when President Biden took office to nearly 100 percent of schools open today. Under Secretary Cardona’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Education also has distributed historic funding through the American Rescue Plan to support K-12 schools and colleges and has granted more than $13 billion in student loan forgiveness.


Secretary Cardona earned a bachelor’s degree at Central Connecticut State University as well as a master’s degree and doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut. Secretary Cardona and his wife Marissa are the proud parents of two children who attend public school.


Read more about Secretary Miguel Cardona in the fall 2021 issue of Trustee Quarterly magazine.


Major Garrett

FOR 30 YEARS, MAJOR GARRETT has reported from the front lines of the nation’s pressing issues, doggedly chasing and breaking news stories. He has covered Congress for two major magazines and served as White House correspondent for three television networks. He is now the Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News, and was the network’s chief political reporter covering the 2016 Republican race for the White House. In 2020 he was one of the first national correspondents to focus on voting procedures, voting integrity, and voter turnout. A truly non-partisan reporter, Major is available to speak and moderate panels on the state of politics today, the inner workings of Congress, and the role of the media. His humorous, direct, and dynamic speeches call upon personal anecdotes from his time on the Hill, well-built relationships with top political players, as well as tales from the presidential campaigns he’s crisscrossed the country covering. He has worked for the White House teams of both CNN and Fox News and has worked with other outlets including U.S. News and World Report, Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, and Mother Jones.


Martin J. Walsh

U.S. Secretary of Labor

Secretary Martin J. Walsh was sworn in as the 29th Secretary of Labor on March 23, 2021. A lifelong champion of equity and fairness, and a proud product of the City of Boston, Secretary Walsh leads the U.S. Department of Labor with a strong connection to working people, and a commitment to creating an economy that works for all.


Following his time as a Massachusetts State Representative, Secretary Walsh spent the last seven years as the Mayor of the City of Boston. While mayor, he led the creation of close to 140,000 jobs and helped secure a statewide $15/hour minimum wage, paid sick leave, and paid parental leave. He established Universal, high-quality Pre-Kindergarten for all children, and free community college for low-income students.


Secretary Walsh was a national leader in the response to COVID-19, getting PPE to first responders and nursing homes; funding emergency child care for healthcare and frontline workers; halting evictions and providing rental relief; and setting up multiple funds to help small businesses survive. His work early in the pandemic to pause construction and establish safety requirements has been lauded as a model by both unions and employers alike.


Born and raised in the neighborhood of Dorchester by immigrant parents, Secretary Walsh is driven to ensure our nation's economy works for everyone. Secretary Walsh is a survivor of Burkitt lymphoma and is a proud member of the recovery community who has worked to expand addiction treatment throughout his career. While working full-time as a legislator, he returned to school to earn a degree in Political Science at Boston College.


Great way to get educated on federal policy issues and to meet with our congressional delegation on priorities of community colleges.

Amazing - There were so many great learning takeaways.  The opportunity was fantastic and I learned an incredible amount.  The personal development was one of the greatest experiences I have had.

Great event, dynamic times in the industry, so good to get close to the decision makers.

Schedule at a Glance


2 | 5 | 2022

9:00AM - 11:00AM ACCT Finance and Audit Committee Meeting

9:30AM - 11:30AM ACCT Member Communications & Education Committee Meeting

10:00AM - 12:00PM ACCT Governance & Bylaws Committee Meeting

1:30PM - 3:30PM ACCT Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Meeting

2:30PM - 3:30PM ACCT Trustee Advisory Committee Meeting (by invitation only)

3:30PM - 5:30PM ACCT Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Meeting


2 | 6 | 2022

8:30AM - 11:00AM ACCT Board of Directors Meeting

9:00AM - 5:00PM Registration


10:00AM - 4:00PM New Trustee Academy**


11:00AM - 4:00PM Advocacy Leadership Academy

1:00PM - 2:30PM AACC/ACCT Executive Committees Meeting (by invitation)

3:30PM - 5:30PM ACCT State, Province & Territories Coordinators Network Meeting


3:30PM - 6:00PM ACCT Regional Nominating Committees Meeting (by invitation)


2 | 7 | 2022

7:00AM - 2:30PM Registration

8:00AM - 9:00AM Opening General Session

9:15AM - 10:30AM Community College Priorities Session

10:00AM - 12:00PM Roundtable Seminar for Community College Lawyers

11:30AM - 2:00PM General Session and General Session Luncheon*

2:15PM - 3:15PM Student Trustee Advisory Committee Meeting

2:15PM - 3:15PM Policy Focus Sessions

2:30PM - 3:30PM ACCT Advisory Committee of Presidents Meeting (by invitation)

3:30PM - 4:30PM Student Session

3:45PM - 4:45PM Asian, Pacific Islanders and Native American Trustees Meeting

3:45PM - 4:45PM African-American Trustees Meeting

3:45PM - 4:45PM Association of Latino Community College Trustees Meeting

4:00PM - 5:30PM Corporate Council Roundtable Meeting (by invitation)

5:30PM - 6:30PM National Capital Reception


2 | 8 | 2022

7:00AM - 10:00AM Registration

7:30AM - 9:30AM State Breakfast Meetings

9:00AM - 10:00AM General Session

Morning and Afternoon Visits to House, Senate and Executive Branch Offices

5:30PM - 6:30PM Rural Colleges Reception

7:00PM - 9:00PM Capitol Awards and Entertainment Banquet


2 | 9 | 2022

8:00AM - 9:15AM General Session Breakfast*

Morning and Afternoon Visits to House, Senate and Executive Branch Offices

10:00AM - 10:45AM Rural Colleges Day General Session

11:00AM - 1:00PM Rural Colleges Day Breakout Sessions

1:15PM - 2:00PM Rural Colleges Day General Session

The Community College National Legislative Summit is presented by the Association of Community College Trustees in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges.

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