Indianapolis—Lumina Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $10 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Lumina’s grant making reflects the Foundation’s commitment to three primary areas:

Preparation—Students are prepared academically, financially and socially for success in education beyond high school;

Success—Higher education completion rates are improved significantly; and,

Productivity—Higher education productivity is increased to expand capacity and serve more students.

“Lumina is working to make a robust case for Goal 2025: 60% of Americans must hold high-quality college degrees, certificates and other credentials by the year 2025,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation President and CEO. ”The 60% threshold is important because degrees, certificates and all types of high-quality credentials matter. A massive amount of research, going back many years, shows that increasing attainment is critical for two key reasons: economic prosperity, and social/cultural vitality.”

Preparation (2 Grants)

American Council on Education (Washington DC) $485,100 to execute plans and activities in ACE’s new Department of Leadership and Lifelong learning that will broaden outreach to multiple student populations by exploring improved public service campaigns, media outlets and events for the pre-collegiate populations.

George Washington University (Washington DC) $61,600 to continue the study of high school exit exams in 26 states, the Council on Education Policy of high school exit exams will generate research and policy recommendations to support student access to and success in post-secondary education.

Success (11 Grants)

American Public Media (St. Paul, MN) $500,000 to examine higher education in America through public radio documentaries, news magazine broadcasts and online narrative stories.

Association of Community College Trustees (Washington DC) $10,000 to support the Association of Community College Trustees’ symposium, Achieving Student Success, on October 9-10, 2012.

Bipartisan Policy Center, Inc. (Washington DC) $50,000 to explore ideas for reforming the nation’s workforce system. The BPC will complete a report with recommendations for future research areas and activities, to be disseminated to foundation supporters involved in this project: the Joyce, Ford, Charles Stewart Mott, Hitachi and Lumina Foundations. This work contributes to Lumina’s public will-building strategy and interest in closer alignment of postsecondary education and workforce in support of Goal 2025.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Stanford, CA) $1,500,000 to scale up and further field-test two developmental math pathways to advance the success of community college students. CFAT is leading a major reform effort addressing the nation’s serious developmental math problem. Over the past two years, this work has created and piloted two new math pathways (Statway, Quantway), with the goal to decrease students’ time in developmental math and support student success in their academic and career pursuits.

Center for Community Change/Young Invincibles (Washington DC) $150,000 to support the launch of the “Campaign for Young America” designed and conducted by the Young Invincibles, Inc. The campaign uses various methods to actively engage college students in creating a student-centered, flexible, competency-based, and affordable higher education system that meets the demands of a 21st century economy

Complete College America (Zionsville, IN) $500,000 to continue its mission of improving attainment of certificates and degrees through influencing state policy and behavior. This work with CCA represents a partnership that will increase degree attainment for Lumina’s populations of interest—returning adults, students of color, first generation college-going students, and low income students.

Corporate Voices for Working Families (Washington DC) $260,000 to increase the number of employers that promote employee efforts to complete a high-quality degree or credential. Corporate Voices will explore and document effective ways U.S. employers can help advance workers’ college success and completion goals.

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (Chicago, IL) $1,000,000 to help make LearningCounts.org a self-sustaining enterprise that will providee prior learning assessment resources to adult learners. The work will focus is on developing a self-sustaining, ongoing enterprise through expanding strategic partnerships, bringing employers on board as partners, creating a noncredit version of the online preparatory course for use by Workforce Development/Community Service, enhancing student service and administrative components and conducting research with focus on documenting the number of adults who earn college credits through PLA and who accelerate degree completion.

Georgetown University (Washington DC) $3,200,000 to support the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s mission to strengthen the alignment of postsecondary education and workforce via research and technical assistance. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has become a respected research center and “go-to” source of expertise across the political spectrum. This grant will advance the second generation of the Center’s work to strengthen the alignment of postsecondary education and workforce via research and technical assistance.

Jobs for the Future, Inc. (Boston, MA) $600,000 to draw lessons for allocating resources at colleges and universities from use of real-time Labor Market Information (LMI) to select community colleges and comprehensive four-year institutions in six states (CA, IL, KY, ME, NY and TX). This exploratory work, building on an earlier grant to JFF to contract with Burning Glass has the potential to advance Lumina’s strategies around expanding the use of quality data, exploring and promoting new approaches to credentials and improving higher education productivity in states and systems.

Washington Monthly Corporation (Washington DC) $500,000 to produce and publish cutting-edge journalism that improves understanding of issues related to increasing higher education attainment.

Productivity (2 Grants)

The Public Agenda Foundation (New York City, NY) $1,072,000 to advance institutional partnerships among public flagship institutions exploring newer approaches to delivering higher education by continuing to study conditions of uptake among faculty members of innovative academic practice that provides high-quality education and lower cost to more than 400,000 students at institutions participating in the Texas Higher Education Leadership Consortium; exploring the potential of new learning models that rely on assessing students’ achievement of competencies in place of “seat time;” and exploring faculty attitudes toward Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile.

Western Governors University (Salt Lake City, UT) $30,000 to determine effective fundraising strategies for a scholarship program aimed at increasing adult completion of online degrees.


Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.

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