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Resources by Strategy: Higher Ed System Redesign


Who is Today's Student?

Today’s student is struggling to navigate an outdated system

February 12, 2019

When thinking of typical college students, most of us envision 18- to-21- year-olds fresh out of high school taking classes full-time on a sprawling campus. That is no longer true: full-time, 18- to 21-year-old students now make up just a third of the college population. Today’s students represent a new reality.

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Infographic: Today's Students

2-page infographic

February 12, 2019

Think You Know the Facts? Today's College Students Are:

  • Balancing Multiple Responsibilities
  • Older and More Racially Diverse
  • Financially Support Themselves... And Often Struggle to Make Ends Meet
  • Less Likely to Graduate

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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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Mobility Report Cards

The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility

February 2, 2017

New research sponsored by the IRS and funded by a group of foundations, including Gates, Russell Sage, and Robert Woods Johnson uses IRS and National Student Loan Data System data to look at earnings of graduates between the ages of 32 and 34. The authors calculated a “Mobility Index” to measure the success of every college and university in the United States in moving students from the lowest 20 percent of incomes to the highest 20 percent.

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Connecting Service Years to Academic Credit

A Guide for Higher Education

December 14, 2016

A blueprint for creating a service year program and five models in use at different institutions for incorporating a year of national service into credit-bearing academic 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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