The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education has announced the launch of a program that will award up to $8 million in grants over the next four years to support large-scale efforts aimed at increasing degree completion among adults who have already earned some college credits.
Through the Adult Degree Completion program, Lumina will expand its efforts to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. To date, Lumina has worked to achieve that goal by identifying and supporting effective higher education practices, advocating for public policy changes, and using its communications and convening power to build the public's awareness of the need for change.
The economic downturn has already funneled hundreds of thousands of Americans age 25 and older into postsecondary education — a trend that is likely to intensify as the global knowledge-based economy demands workers with ever-higher levels of education and training. Lumina argues that the adult-learning boom must be embraced — and degree-seeking adults encouraged — for the United States to return to a position of global leadership in college degree attainment.
"Given demographic trends and attainment rates among young adults, it is highly unlikely that the nation can meet its growing need for college-educated workers by focusing primarily on recent high school graduates," said Lumina president and CEO Jamie P. Merisotis. "All states need to increase the postsecondary participation and success of adults, many of whom have some college credits but lack a degree."