Lumina believes it is time to fundamentally rethink our national approach to student financing. Only through substantive redesign can we assure that tuition and financial aid resources are used to support the success of the much larger number of students needed to reach the nation's attainment goals. This launch of the comprehensive policy papers is an early step in that redesign effort.
In 2013, Lumina Foundation developed and released a set of design principles to guide the Foundation’s work in this area. The principles were unveiled in a Huffington Post blog authored by Jamie Merisotis.
Instructional processes must begin and end with students ― with “learners and what they learn.” This idea—of shifting the focus away from an institution-centric construct and toward understanding and meeting the needs of students—is absolutely central. This concept must be the central driver in the effort to redesign higher education for the 21st century. Indeed, fundamental redesign is a must—because the traditional higher-ed model is simply insufficient to our needs as a society. That’s not a criticism of any institution, individual or mindset. The fact is, the current system lacks the capacity and the flexibility to properly serve the millions of additional students who must be served if we are to meet the nation’s attainment goals.
Clearly, we need a revamped system: One that puts students firmly at the center by building it around pathways based on learning … one that challenges everyone to be accountable for the success of students … all types of students, in greater numbers than ever before, especially those who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education—low-income students, first-generation college attenders, minorities, and adults. We need a system that requires transparency and cooperative effort, one that encourages innovation by rewarding actual outcomes, not mere process or effort or good intentions.
We’re convinced that change—that fundamental redesign in higher education ― is a necessity. And we’re just as convinced that faculty must embrace that change, and lead it.
Read more about how faculty can lead the redesign process in a keynote speech by Jamie Merisotis at this year's National Assessment Conference: