Caperton to Step Down as College Board President in 2012

Mar 25, 2011, 11:33 ET from The College Board

RESTON, Va., March 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a meeting of the organization's Board of Trustees, Gov. Gaston Caperton announced his intention to step down as president of the College Board effective June 30, 2012. A formal search for a new president will be launched in the coming months, and the process will be led by Paul W. Sechrist, chair of the Board of Trustees.

"The College Board was founded to expand access to higher education and we devote each and every day to advancing excellence and equity in education," said Caperton. "I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work on these important issues with such a talented and dedicated staff and board. During a time of great economic crisis, I am especially proud of the work we have done to open the doors of college to underserved students and I am committed to continuing this important work for the next 15 months."

Sechrist said, "We are profoundly grateful for Gaston's leadership, under which the College Board has experienced tremendous growth and success. It was with deep regret that the Board of Trustees accepted his decision to step down. Over the past decade, the College Board has grown from an assessment company into a thriving, mission-driven organization and a leader in the effort to transform education in America. We look forward to continuing to build on Gaston's work in the next decade and beyond."

Caperton was appointed the eighth president of the College Board in 1999. Under his leadership:

  • College Board membership has grown from 3,664 educational institutions to 5,912.
  • The College Board has more than doubled the number of students it serves – from 3 million in 1999 to over 7 million last year.
  • Over the past decade, the number of low-income students taking AP® has tripled.
  • The College Board provided more than $30 million in fee waivers and services for the class of 2010 – 1 out of every 5 students who took the SAT® received a fee waiver.
  • The Advocacy & Policy Center was launched in 2010 to merge policy, research and real-world practice to develop innovative solutions to pressing challenges.
  • The Advanced Placement Program® has cemented its reputation as the gold standard in American education – nearly doubling the number of students who succeed in AP since 2001.
  • The SAT has been dramatically changed with the introduction of a writing section to evaluate students' college and career readiness – part of the College Board's focus on writing as a critical skill for the 21st-century economy.
  • The College Board Standards for College Success™ were developed to drive rigor in American schools.

Caperton's vision has also recognized globalization's influence on education. He initiated a new series of AP world language and culture courses and embarked on an historic education exchange program with the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in China. Known as the Chinese Language and Culture Initiatives, the program supports the growth of Chinese language education in U.S. schools, and builds a solid foundation for the AP Chinese Language and Culture course. The program also sends Chinese teachers to U.S. schools for one to three years, and sends delegations of U.S. educators to China to learn about its education and culture.

Caperton's work on behalf of students, teachers and schools has been recognized with numerous awards, including 10 honorary doctoral degrees. In 1996, he received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award for his tireless efforts to introduce technology into the classroom, and in 2007 he received the prestigious James Bryant Conant Award from the Education Commission of the States, in recognition of his leadership and significant contributions to the quality of education in the United States.

Caperton was governor of West Virginia from 1989 to 1997. During his two terms in office, he upgraded classroom technology; supported an aggressive school-building and renovation program; and raised teachers' salaries in West Virginia from 49th in the nation to 31st. He was also among the first governors in the country to recognize technology's potential to revolutionize learning. By the time he left office, West Virginia public schools had added more than 18,000 computers, and more than 400 schools were connected to the Internet.

The College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success – including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

SOURCE The College Board