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Resources by Audience: Lumina Issue Papers


How Competency-Based Education May Help Reduce Our Nation’s Toughest Inequities

November 8, 2017

This paper considers how CBE can be used to educate, equip, and empower learners who struggle in postsecondary learning programs because of who they are and where they live. Recommended starting points — places and programs — are provided throughout the paper to highlight where and how CBE providers can prioritize equity.

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A Benchmark for Making College Affordable

The Rule of 10

October 31, 2017

College affordability. Two simple words; two critically important, yet distressingly hollow words. Policymakers, college administrators, and student advocates all use this term, but no one seems to precisely define what it means or what achieving it would look like. Without a clear definition, it’s hard to measure progress toward this goal.

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Lumina State Policy Agenda


April 3, 2017

Lumina’s state policy agenda recommends ways in which states can identify, attract, and spend resources so that many more Americans can afford to earn postsecondary credentials with workplace value.

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Competency as a Currency

An Update on the Right Signals Initiative

March 23, 2017

The Right Signals (TRS) Initiative demonstrates a new credentialing model that recognizes multiple quality credentials to send “the right signals” to employers, students, and colleges about the meaning of these credentials. This report provides an early set of findings from the 20 colleges using a new tool called the beta Credential Framework.

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Report on Phase I Study

Embedding Industry and Professional Certifications within Higher Education

February 21, 2017

Lumina Foundation and the national Connecting Credentials Initiative conducted a study in spring 2016 to learn more about the practice, policies, and impacts of embedding industry and professional certifications in college and university programs.

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Outcomes-Based Funding and Responsibility Center Management

Combining the Best of State and Institutional Budget Models to Achieve Shared Goals

July 13, 2016

State governments serve as a key-funding source for public higher education. Outcomes-based funding is an alternative to other methods of state allocations to institutions, such as base-plus funding, enrollment-based funding, and early performance-centered funding. Outcomes-based funding allows states to convey and promote alignment with goals and objectives for higher education by allocating state tax dollars to institutions based on measures of outcomes.

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Using Real-Time Labor Market Information to Achieve Better Labor Market Outcomes

July 13, 2016

Understanding complex labor markets including the demand for skills is key to guiding our investments in education and training. This is especially true for community colleges responsible for preparing a significant portion of the nation’s workers. These institutions are being increasingly challenged to better align their programs of study with entire economies undergoing restructuring and with most workplaces escalating their skill requirements. Policy questions surrounding higher education funding formulas, measures of performance and institutional rating systems are all seeking more focus on labor market outcomes.

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Connecting State and Institutional Finance Policies for Improved Higher Education Outcomes

July 13, 2016

This paper provides a conceptual framework that examines the interrelationship between state and institutional finance policies, including state appropriations, tuition and financial aid. It explores how state higher education goals can be advanced through outcomes-based funding policies that provide incentives for institutional behavior, and how policies can be designed to maximize student success.

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Aligning Student and Institution Incentives in Higher Education Finance

July 13, 2016

Higher education, depending who you talk to, is a generator and transmitter of knowledge, a provider of opportunity and social mobility, a trainer of skilled workers for employers, a driver of economic development or any or all of the above. But alongside its lofty goals, it is also a big, complex $600 billion business that provides paychecks to four million people.

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Leveraging Outcomes-Based Funding Policies at the Institutional Level

July 13, 2016

Policymakers are moving to outcomes-based funding in an effort to inspire public higher education institutions to drive the transformative change required to expand access, increase graduation rates and contain costs. For outcomes-based funding to have a significant effect on student outcomes, system and institutional leaders must successfully translate these policies into action. In an effort to inform the design, development and implementation of future outcomes-based funding policies, this paper presents a real-time account of how the prospect of outcomes-based funding, and the financial incentives that have been put in place by the state of California and the California State University system, have provided a frame for California State University, Fullerton to engage and mobilize its campus community to improve student outcomes, advance the institution’s mission and achieve its strategic goals.

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