The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced grants totaling $7.7 million to twenty-nine organizations in sixteen 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 students who succeed in postsecondary education by 2025: preparation of students academically, financially, and socially for success beyond high school; an increase in college completion rates; and an increase in institutions' capacity to serve more students. Grant recipients include New York City-based Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which was awarded more than $1.5 million for its work to foster postsecondary collaboration and alignment around the design and implementation of the Common Core State Standards; the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C., which received $817,200 to apply the Tuning process — a faculty-led approach that uses input from students, recent graduates, and employers to establish criterion-referenced learning outcomes and competencies — to the discipline of history; and the National Student Clearinghouse in Herndon, Virginia, which was awarded $544,300 to enhance student-level data to better track postsecondary education outcomes and concurrent enrollments.
The foundation also awarded $500,000 to the Denver-based Education Commission of the States to move states from information sharing and networking to the adoption of proven statewide remedial education policy and practice reforms; $350,000 to the Institute for College Access and Success in Oakland, California, for nonpartisan research, analysis, education, and outreach; $200,000 to iMentor in New York City to enable students across the country to be paired with mentors who can provide the support they need to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and be successful in today's workplace; and $50,000 to the Southern University System Foundation in Baton Rouge to help increase the number of African-American males with bachelor's degrees.
"Keeping college within reach for all Americans is a value that we strongly believe is of great importance to our nation," said Lumina Foundation president and CEO Jamie Merisotis. "By striving to reach our Goal 2025 of increasing the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025, the U.S. will remain economically competitive on the global stage. Our grants this quarter reflect Lumina Foundation's ardent belief that Goal 2025 is not just a dream, it's a necessity."