March 25, 2021
On March 2, Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s previous Commissioner of Education, became the Secretary of Education under President Joe Biden.
Cardona’s background as a public school teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, plus his doctorate in education and experience as a state education commissioner, helped make for a smooth appointment and confirmation process. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called Cardona “eminently qualified” during his confirmation hearing on February 3.
While he’s new to the role, here’s what college students and student loan borrowers may be able to expect from Cardona during his tenure.
Education Background and Policy Priorities
Cardona spent his public school teaching years at an elementary school and became a school and district leader at the K-12 level. While he doesn’t have specific experience overseeing higher education policy, as a first-generation college student, he often discusses the importance of supporting first-generation students and ensuring young people have an opportunity to attend college.
Four points Cardona discussed during his hearing related to higher education priorities include:
A focus on community colleges. Cardona said he was concerned about the drop in enrollment at higher education institutions during the pandemic, particularly at community colleges. He told senators that his priorities include “strengthening this nation’s best-kept secret: community colleges.”