Lumina Foundation is proud to announce a Request for Information (RFI) that is designed to solicit ideas for building the learning-based system the nation needs. We want you to suggest promising practices and identify providers—including colleges and universities, employers, workforce training entities, state systems, and consortia—that are committed to incorporating all post-high school learning into transparent credential pathways for adult learners, and particularly adult learners of color.
Frequently asked questions
Informational webinar, Nov. 13, 2018
To meet the nation’s need for talent—and to reach the goal of ensuring that 60 percent of Americans have a quality post-high school credential by 2025—providers must recognize student learning in new ways, at a scale never before seen. This RFI aims to help Lumina better understand the current landscape and to identify potential grantees. Our goal is to elevate and distinguish education providers that are leading the effort to recognize the learning gained outside traditional college courses—learning that improves persistence and completion rates among adult students. We also hope to understand the financial benefits of this work for learners and institutions and build a fiscal case for counting this learning toward degrees.
In addition to expanding the effort to recognize learning of all types, respondents may be interested in related Lumina programming. The application form will allow respondents to indicate specific interests—including, translation of non-credit courses toward credentials, efforts to support incarcerated and re-entering learners, scaled provision of competency-based education, and business model and financial reforms.
This RFI will launch a competitive process. Strong respondents will be selected for a planning award and invited to complete a comprehensive proposal for implementation funding support.
Lumina welcomes responses from colleges and universities, employers, workforce training providers, state systems, and consortia. Military-focused efforts, employer-provided or -supported education programs, and self-defined consortia of providers are also eligible.
Lumina is particularly interested in understanding how provider partnerships are working together to create clear pathways for adult learners. These may include workforce training providers and colleges and universities that are working together, private employers or intermediary organizations that help adults earn credentials, or other partnerships that expand the reach and effectiveness of pathways.
RFI responses will help us determine how colleges and universities, employers, workforce training providers, state systems, and consortia are working to recognize non-institutional learning toward further education. Reviewers will also consider the following:
- Quality – Lumina is keenly interested in learning more about providers and partnerships that can articulate how work to recognize learning from outside traditional college courses is supported by competency frameworks, transparent, assessable quality learning outcomes, skills and competencies to ensure quality, equity, and success for all learners.
- Readiness for scale—We seek to understand how efforts may be scaled to reach many learners and reach across organizations.
- Innovation – We seek partners who think creatively about how to more efficiently—and more widely—recognize the learning that adults carry with them. Providers who have taken promising, purposeful risks in recognizing and applying this learning, especially with the potential for scaling approaches across providers, are of special interest.
- Provider connections—We are very interested in learning more about efforts that leverage strong partnerships across education providers (such as universities working closely with employers or workforce training providers). We’re especially in partnerships that have begun building pipelines for adult learners and creating clearer pathways to credentials.
- Strategic integration – We also want to understand how respondents might view efforts that complement the recognition of non-institutional learning. These efforts include translation of non-credit courses toward credentials, efforts to support incarcerated and re-entering learners, scaled provision of competency-based education, and business model and financial reforms.
While the primary objective of this RFI is to help Lumina better understand the current landscape, we also hope it can help us identify potential grantees.
- Funding opportunity. Lumina Foundation will support planning awards for high-potential respondents to develop full proposals for implementation grants.
- Other benefits. All respondents will inform a new body of research into recognition of postsecondary-level learning. Particularly innovative or scalable approaches will be studied by Lumina and evaluation partners. Respondents receiving planning awards will join a network of peers and receive guidance and technical assistance at live and virtual meetings. Lumina also plans to highlight achievements gained and lessons learned from these efforts.
- Watch the webinar. 38:27
- For any questions, please contact the Lumina team at LuminaAdultLearner@luminafoundation.org. Lumina will compile questions from the webinar and follow-up questions and post a Frequently Asked Questions document online at www.luminafoundation.org/all-learning-counts.
- Interested respondents should submit their RFI response on the provided form by 12 P.M. EST on Jan. 14, 2019 to LuminaAdultLearner@luminafoundation.org.