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Lumina Foundation works to support quality education for more Americans, ensuring a prosperous society

The drive toward sustainable development – really, the effort to address any complex issue – ultimately boils down to people power. Effective, constructive action is always fuelled by thoughtful, informed, well-prepared individuals. In short, talent is ultimately what drives change. At Lumina Foundation, the mission is to increase America’s talent level. They do this in the simplest and surest way possible: by increasing education attainment among all Americans – especially for non-white populations and others who are not well-served by existing systems of education and training.

A specific goal in sight

Lumina pursues its mission in a targeted way, working toward a quantifiable, time-limited goal. Specifically, by 2025, they aim for 60 percent of the nation’s working-age population (ages 25-64) to have a college degree, certificate, or other quality credential beyond high school. Today, that figure is about 52 percent nationally. Lumina defines a ‘high-quality’ credential as one that leads to employment and further educational opportunity. To increase the number of people with the necessary knowledge and skills for today’s jobs, fundamental change is required. In short, society needs a new system of higher learning, designed to serve today’s students and equip them for the challenges of tomorrow, such as climate change and increased urbanisation.  In Lumina’s view, such a system must offer all of the following:

– Clear, flexible, and affordable pathways for students to follow as they seek education and training. – Credits and credentials that are defined, not by the amount of time spent in class or on task, but by the actual learning and competencies that students demonstrate. – Assurance of quality learning that aligns with current workforce and industry needs and will help people adapt to the needs of the workplace of the future. – Incentives for students and institutions that help boost educational attainment and increase fair and just outcomes.

Lumina is committed to reducing inequality across racial and ethnic groups, recognising that historic, persistent societal factors have helped create an education system that affords less opportunity to many student populations and demographics. Their work aims to reorient the system so that it broadens opportunity, shares resources, and empowers all students for success.

A multifaceted approach

It won’t be easy to build this new system. And that’s why Lumina takes a multifaceted approach to its work. Through publications and speaking engagements, their executives and staff provide thought leadership on critical issues related to education, talent development, social equity, and other topics. It also awards grants – in the range of $50 million annually – to support nonprofit organisations and education. It provides and offers research and data to government officials and policymakers who shape and implement the policies that affect talent development. Using its status as an independent foundation to serve as an honest broker, Lumina convenes leaders and experts at meetings and events to form active partnerships that can bring about change. Finally, through its social investment entity, Lumina Impact Ventures, the foundation invests directly in companies that are developing innovative ways to broaden educational opportunity. It is Lumina’s firm belief that, through its work and that of its partner organizations, the nation’s talent level will rise, and the United States will be better equipped to build a strong, sustainable future. To find out more visit:


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