The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced grants totaling $5.4 million to nine nonprofit education organizations in five states and the District of Columbia.
The grants will support organizations working to produce one of three outcomes the foundation believes will help boost the number of Americans with high-quality degrees by 2025: preparation, of students academically, financially, and socially for success beyond high school; success, defined as improved college completion rates; and productivity, defined as institutions' capacity to serve more students. Grant recipients include the Washington, D.C.-based National College Access Network, which was awarded $777,900 to help KnowHow2GO state networks increase the number of prepared low-income students and students of color entering college; the Center for Community College Student Engagement, which received $450,000 to identify and support the implementation of high-impact practices that increase degree completion in community colleges; and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, which was awarded $400,000 to boost awareness and use of LearningCounts.org.
The foundation also awarded $1.5 million to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools to transform its accreditation process and $1.1 million to New York City-based Public Agenda Foundation to expand its capacity to support state-level productivity efforts in five states. In addition, the Campaign for College Opportunity was awarded $350,000 to improve college access and success in California's community colleges and universities by setting goals and priorities for increased educational attainment and implementation of new student transfer rules among public colleges and universities.
"These projects will help the United States grow, focus, and redefine what higher education means in 2011 as we move toward Goal 2025," said Lumina Foundation president and CEO Jamie Merisotis. "[Namely], our collective effort to have 60 percent of Americans holding high-quality college degrees or credentials by the year 2025.