December 2011

Lumina Foundation  Goal 2025: Read the strategic plan.

Merisotis addresses higher education productivity at White House meeting and Congressional hearing

To meet the nation’s economic and social needs, we must increase the number of high-quality degrees and certificates produced, at lower costs per degree awarded, while improving access and equity for the least well-served populations, according to Lumina President Jamie Merisotis. Merisotis delivered this message about higher education productivity during a private meeting between President Obama, university leaders and higher education experts earlier this month. Read and listen to Merisotis’ Nov. 30th testimony on college costs and productivity at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

Adult students key to college completion goals

This video compares Texas to the nation in college access, degree-attainment, affordability, postsecondary credentials needed for future workforce requirements and projected degree gaps. The video is part of Lumina’s productivity work to help states deliver higher education in new ways and at lower costs to students and taxpayers.


Critical Outcome 1: Preparation

Policy | Back on track

Policy barriers can hinder efforts to prepare off-track and out-of-school youth for college and career success, contends Dropout Recovery Is National Recovery, from Jobs for the Future. The policy brief explains how state and federal policy changes can enhance the work of youth-serving networks, community colleges, and others to get disengaged youth back on a college track.

Readiness | Common Core aligns with existing standards

The Common Core State Standards are on par with existing state, university, and international standards and, in some content areas, are more rigorous, says Lining Up: The Relationship Between the Common Core State Standards and Five Sets of Comparison Standards, from the Educational Policy Improvement Center. The report notes that alignment is only the first of several steps needed to ensure students are prepared for college and careers.

Research | Survey highlights CC trends

Nearly four in 10 community college students were unable to enroll in a college course this semester because of full classes, according to the Pearson Foundation Community College Student Survey. Study findings also show that more than half of community college students who recently graduated from high school say they were unprepared for college.

Attainment | Californians’ perceptions of higher ed

What value do Californians place on getting a college degree? Fifty-percent say it’s necessary for success in today’s workforce, according to Californians and Higher Education, from the Public Policy Institute of California. The survey finds that 49 percent of Californians believe their state will face a shortage of college-educated residents needed for future jobs.

Data | Education tax credits, deduction benefit undergrads

Nearly half of American undergraduates reduced their college expenses by an average of $700 by taking advantage of an education tax credit or tuition and fees deduction, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Critical Outcome 2: Success

Policy | State data systems show progress

States have made progress in building data systems to inform education policy, according to a new report from the Data Quality Campaign . But more must happen to ensure the information is used effectively. Data for Action 2011 shows several states continue to struggle with the 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use and that 38 states are not adequately matching or sharing data between colleges and the workforce.

Persistence | College completion in SREB states

College enrollment is rising for more racial and ethnic minorities in the 16-member states of the Southern Regional Education Board, but degree completion remains a challenge, according to the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, 2011.

Effective practices | Study examines education crisis of Latino males

Men of Color: Ensuring the Academic Success of Latino Males in Higher Education from the Institute for Higher Education Policy highlights programs and practices that are raising degree attainment for Latino males. The brief also includes a detailed “blueprint” to help communities and institutions develop new programs, or augment existing ones, to get Latino males to and through college and into the workforce.

Equity | Report: Education inequality & income

College entry, persistence, and degree completion rates have been steadily growing between children of high and low-income families over the past 70 years, according to Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Policy | Engaging the ‘student voice’ in policy reform

Conversations on higher education policy rarely involve individuals for whom the debates are about: students. Including More Student Voices In Higher Education Policymaking, from the Center for American Progress , suggests that giving students a voice in higher education decision-making could help federal, state and institutional policymakers focus on tuition, financial aid, and quality of college courses.

Critical Outcome 3: Productivity

Information | Going the distance

The Internet offers opportunities to reduce higher education costs and help more students–especially working adults–achieve a college degree or credential. According to a 2011 survey of online learning, from the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board , the number of students taking at least one online course in 2010 exceeded 6 million, a 280-percent increase from 1.6 million students in 2002. Some 65 percent of higher education institutions now consider online learning integral to their long-term institutional strategies, the study says.

Policy | Targeting incentives for degrees

The latest edition of College Productivity’s Tracking Momentum newsletter reports on the progress of states to implement higher education funding models that reward institutions based on performance outcomes such as student learning and degree completion.

Affordability | WICHE reports tuition, fees increase by 13%

The average tuition and fees in 2011-12 at public four-year institutions in the 15-state region of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education increased by 13.7 percent ($856) from one year ago for resident undergraduates, and 12.7 percent ($980) for resident graduates. Read more in Tuition and Fees in Public Higher Education in the West, 2011-2012.

Insight| Snapshot of higher-ed trends in the West

Benchmarks: WICHE Region 2011, from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, shows western states progress in improving college access, degree attainment and affordability.

Outcomes | Assessing student learning

Catalyst for Change, from the Council of Independent Colleges and the Collegiate Learning Assessment Consortium , presents findings from a seven-year pilot project involving 47 private colleges that voluntarily used a standardized student learning measurement to assess and improve institutional accountability and performance.

Degree attainment | College offers best chance for employment

A college education remains the best way to attain a middle-class job and wages, contends a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Career Clusters concludes that while decent jobs still exist for high-school graduates, there are not enough to go around. The report examines 16 industry “clusters” expected to offer the best prospects for employment.


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Goal 2025 Critical Outcomes
1: Preparation
2: Success
3: Productivity


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