Foundation Organizes Community-Focused U.S. College Attainment Campaign

Career College Central summary:

  • With a cohort of 20 U.S. cities and their metropolitan regions leading the way, the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has launched a community mobilization campaign aimed at helping residents in selected metropolitan areas increase their attainment of postsecondary education and training.
  • The campaign, which will conclude at the end of 2016, will cover 75 American cities that will be partnered with Lumina and other national organizations to enact local action plans to “increase the percentage of high-quality credentials” by residents living in those communities. A coordinating organization in each of the chosen cities are receiving $200,000 to support their efforts to increase the number of residents with a college degree or certificate that’s expected to connect them to employment.
  • In recent years, Lumina, whose philanthropic mission exclusively focuses on advancing American higher education, has established as a national priority the goal to help bring about a 60 percent postsecondary degree and credential attainment rate among American adults by 2025. Currently, 38 percent of American adults have an associate’s degree or higher.
  • “There are many national and global experts that have made the point that the success of communities and metropolitan areas is increasingly derived from the skills and talents of the citizens in those communities,” said Lumina Foundation president and chief executive officer Jamie Merisotis in a recent conference call to reporters.
  • “We know that local communities derive the most direct benefit from increased attainment, including a better talent base from which to create economic activity, more civically and socially conscious citizens, and a higher equality of life,” he said.
  • Merisotis explained that research evidence has confirmed that among metropolitan “regions with high concentrations of people who are well-educated and those who work in specific fields like health care, technology and other fields for which postsecondary education is a prerequisite, these communities tend to have the highest levels of economic development.”

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