The foundation, which aims to increase the college attainment rate to 60% nationwide by 2025, awards grants to organizations who focus on one of three key areas: student academic, financial, and social preparation for college; student success in college; and higher education productivity. The foundation awarded 15 grants total this quarter—two in preparation, 11 in success, and two in productivity.
The largest grant awarded in the “preparation” category was $485,100 to Washington, D.C.,-based American Council on Education. The grant will allow them to broaden outreach to various student populations through public service campaigns, events, and paid media exposure via its new Department of Leadership and Lifelong Learning. Another grant was issued to the George Washington University Center on Education Policy to continue its research on high school exit exams.
Many large grants were issued for organizations that fall under the “success” category. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce was awarded $3.2 million in order to continue its research and boost technical assistance on the correlation between postsecondary education and the American workforce. Stanford, Calif.-based Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was awarded $1.5 million to amp up its testing of two math programs designed to speed up completion time for community college students. Chicago-based Council for Adult and Experimental Learning was awarded $1 million to make LearningCounts.org a self-sustaining tool that will provide prior learning assessments to adult learners and, in turn, increase the number of adults who earn college credit through prior learning assessments.
The Public Agenda Foundation, based in New York City, was awarded $1.072 million to increase and improve partnerships and productivity among the public universities participating in the Texas Higher Education Leadership Consortium. The grant will provide for exploration of new learning models that assess competencies rather than “seat time.” Western Governors University, a university built on the competency model, was awarded $30,000 to determine fundraising strategies for a scholarship program aimed at increasing adult online degree completion.