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Strategy Labs website launched to help states increase attainment

New state policy agenda reflects shifts needed to reach Goal 2025

INDIANAPOLIS–Strategy Labs, a new digital platform supported by Lumina Foundation, launched today to help states significantly increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials by the year 2025. The new platform, part of a national Goal 2025 movement, expands Lumina’s Strategy Labs to support all 50 states. It highlights Lumina’s new state policy agenda and includes actionable resources to increase educational attainment, examples of state policy successes, interactive data tools and relevant research.

“The new Strategy Labs website is a nonpartisan online hub for state policymakers, staffers, agencies and other higher education leaders working to increase postsecondary degree attainment in their states,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “This is a knowledge-sharing community where users can access information and share best practices to help them identify the policy changes needed to increase student attainment and state competitiveness in this 21st century knowledge economy.”

The Strategy Labs platform promotes Lumina’s state policy agenda, which is focused on the reforms needed to build student-centered, outcomes-based postsecondary education systems with the capacity to successfully serve more students. The core elements of Lumina’s state policy agenda for higher education are:

  1. Improve quality of student outcomes in terms of completion, learning and employment
  2. Align investments with state priorities and student needs, and
  3. Create smarter pathways for students
If we intend to dramatically increase attainment in our states, we must all set high standards and keep pursuing them.

“If we intend to dramatically increase attainment in our states, we must all set high standards and keep pursuing them,” said Indiana State Senator Luke Kenley, a featured champion on the new site. “Each state faces a different policy environment, but we can all learn from each other and we can continually evaluate and modify our approaches based on successes and shortcomings observed from across the country.”

Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce shows that two-thirds of U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2020. Yet, fewer than 40 percent of Americans are educated beyond high school today. That means the pace of attainment in most states is far too slow to meet future workforce demands.

“The economic future of each state comes down to two very basic options,” said Michele Siquieros, Executive Director of California’s Campaign for College Opportunity. “They can either accept having a younger generation that is less educated—and all the societal implications that come with it. Or, they can get aggressive about ensuring that students not only have access to a college education, but that they complete it once they get there.”

The Strategy Labs digital platform also includes: 1) 50-state interactive data tools from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and Postsecondary Analytics; 2) state attainment and policy highlights; 3) feature stories on policy champions; 4) research; and 5) daily news feeds.

“Our objective is to give state leaders online tools that provide them with the resources they need to reach aggressive attainment goals,” said Lumina Strategy Director Elizabeth Gutierrez. “By sharing the knowledge of proven policies and state success stories, we believe that state leaders will be in a better position to improve student outcomes.”

Kate Snedeker

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