Success: Higher education attainment rates are improved significantly.


Critical Outcome


Higher education attainment rates are improved significantly.

Intermediate Outcome

Higher education uses proven strategies to move students to completion.

Intermediate Outcome

Higher education uses quality data to improve student performance and inform policy and decision-making at all levels.

Intermediate Outcome

Student learning outcomes are defined, measured and aligned with workforce needs.

Because of its focus on completion, the second high-level outcome is the most direct line to the big goal. Just over half of beginning four-year students complete higher education with a degree or credential, and success rates are even lower for two-year students. Thus, the number of graduates in the United States could more than double if those who enroll actually graduate. Lumina’s priority strategies will:

  • Advocate for the redesign, rebranding and improvement of developmental education.

  • Promote strategies that improve attainment of degrees and certificates, particularly by traditionally underrepresented students.

  • Explore the development of alternative pathways and credentials.

  • Implement stronger transfer and articulation systems that keep students moving toward completion of degrees and credentials.

  • Advocate for the use of quality data in higher education, through universal nationally linked state student record data systems that follow students to the workforce, as well as data that facilitate alignment of higher education and workforce.

  • Define and measure student learning outcomes and align them with workforce needs.

Lumina’s Achieving the Dream initiative incorporates these strategies. Lumina’s focus on Achieving the Dream over the timeframe of the strategic plan will be to assure the long-term sustainability of the initiative as well to establish and implement a plan to make it a truly national program that improves student success in community colleges throughout the nation.

In addition to Achieving the Dream, the Foundation engages in work that focuses on success, including: supporting the Data Quality Campaign, Collegiate Learning Assessment and Voluntary System of Accountability; pilot testing approaches to encourage adults who have earned some college credit to return and complete higher education; and supporting research on aligning degrees with workforce demands.

Examples of the prospective work the Foundation believes will advance its success strategies include:

  • Build public will to change the perception of the need for and value of developmental education.

  • Support research and experimentation on new types of workforce-based credentials.

  • Advocate for the creation of a national system of state student unit-record databases.

  • Support exploratory work on recognizing prior learning so adult learners can earn degrees more quickly.

  • Support research and development on international models such as the Bologna Process that may have the potential to significantly increase attainment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *