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Recognizing learning outside of the classroom: Lumina Foundation awards $3.5 million in grants for “All Learning Counts” initiative

Destiny Gomez will soon begin a post-high school program to earn her welding certification. Read more about post-high school training happening in the Rio Grande Valley in Down on the border, student success is no borderline issue.

INDIANAPOLIS – Lumina Foundation is releasing $3.5 million in grants to nine organizations committed to building clearer pathways to degrees and other credentials for adults, especially for people of color and Native learners. Lumina’s All Learning Counts initiative will support organizations working to ensure that knowledge, skills, and abilities gained outside formal higher education—through work, military, and other experiences—can be recognized and applied toward programs that lead to credentials of value.

The recipients, from a nationwide pool of 78 applicants, are: District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, Mi Casa Resource Center, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Nicolet College, SUNY Empire State College, the University of Maine System, the University of Wisconsin System and Virginia Community College System. 

“Through All Learning Counts, we are recognizing exemplars who want to ensure many more Americans will have skills they need to thrive by earning college degrees, certificates, and industry certifications,” said Haley Glover, the Lumina strategy director who will provide leadership for the grant program. “We need to think in new ways about the recognition of learning after high school. We must see that all college-level learning, regardless of how and where it is gained, can be applied toward meaningful post-high school credentials.”

High-quality learning takes place in all kinds of settings these days, not just in between institution walls

“High-quality learning takes place in all kinds of settings these days, not just in between institution walls. Whether it’s on the job, in the military or behind bars, the learning obtained should be validated,” said Danette Howard, Lumina’s chief strategy officer and senior vice president. “We cannot assure people live their most thriving lives if we continue to make it so hard for them to find their way into, through and out of a postsecondary system.”

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