Lumina: same goals, new strategies

Lumina Foundation’s new strategic plan for 2013-2016 describes new ideas for ways to reach the foundation’s goal:   60 percent of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials by 2025.  The plan calls for:

Creating new models of student financial support that make college more affordable, make costs more predictable and transparent, provide incentives to increase completion, and align federal, state and institutional policies and programs.

Creating new higher education business and finance models that significantly expand the nation’s capacity to deliver affordable, high-quality education—supported by public finance and regulatory policies that create incentives for, and remove barriers to, innovation.

Creating new systems of quality credentials and credits defined by learning and competencies rather than time, clear and transparent pathways to students, high-quality learning, and alignment with workforce needs and trends.

Lumina plans to spend $300 million over the next four years.

“There hasn’t been enough progress on the attainment agenda,” Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president, told Inside Higher Ed.

Lumina will also continue to push completion-related efforts at both the state and federal levels. And the foundation’s leadebbrs said federal policy would be crucial in shaping a modern higher education system necessary to encourage the 23 million additional degrees and meaningful credentials needed to hit 60 percent attainment.

They pointed to a desperate need for strong leadership at the federal level on questions about the structure of student aid, quality assurance and accreditation, and the alignment of workforce development and higher education.

Lumina wants to make it easier for students who’ve learned on the job, online or on their own to earn credits for competency.  Officials also are keeping an eye on “emerging forms of credentialing, like certificates issued by massive open online course (MOOC) providers,” notes Inside Higher Ed.  Lumina will add certificates to its Degree Qualifications Profile, which “attempts to establish what constitutes a valuable college degree.”


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