Today’s students come from all walks of life. They are parents, working adults, veterans, online students and first-generation college-goers, following many pathways through higher education. They need a system that is flexible, affordable and responsive to their needs. Federal policy must reflect who today’s students are.
Quality & Outcomes
High-quality outcomes are paramount, but current quality assurance approaches are inadequate. The nation needs a system of quality assurance based on high-quality learning and focused on students and their outcomes. Federal policy must raise the bar for quality, promote innovation and shift from inputs to outcomes.
2020 & Higher Learning Advocates
Your State’s Higher Education Profile
Our Higher Education Act (HEA) recommendations are for the critical improvements that are needed to remedy the disconnect between federal policy and the needs of today’s students, and ensure our federal higher education programs work for the current and future generations.
Higher Education Policy: 101
Complex policy issues need simple explanations. Featuring visual infographics, compact definitions anduser-friendly explanations, our 101 explainers offer policymakers, analysts and media a quick and easy to consume explanation of key policy issues in postsecondary education.
Champions Network: Bipartisan Leaders United for Today’s Students
The Higher Learning Advocates Champions Network is a group of forward-thinking state and local leaders devoted to improving quality, outcomes and affordability in postsecondary education. Learn more about how these reformers are driving student success through student-focused policies and practices at the state and local level. Discover more about the Champions Network.
Today’s Adult Students
Many adult students have different responsibilities—including work and family—on their path to a degree or credential. Sixty-four percent of students work either full-time or part-time. One quarter of students are parents, and 49 percent are financially independent. With different responsibilities, adult students need policies that cater directly to their needs.
Latest News and Resources
Voices of Reform
Charla Long says, CBE is no panacea, but done well, it can deliver a strong value proposition for students, especially those who might otherwise not have access to higher education. The key to delivering on that promise is an unwavering focus on quality and careful design. In other words, if we want to increase the number of online CBE programs anytime soon, we have to get serious now.
Executive Director, Competency-Based Education Network
Michale McComis, Ed.D. says, Change happens because need happens—and we have a need in accreditation to think about change and reform with a focus on student success
Michale McComis, Ed.D.
Executive Director and CEO, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. says, College changed the course of my life – and fueled a desire for social justice and equity in society...However, for many people, achieving the American dream still often depends on their zip code, family income, or skin color. I imagine a world where that is no longer the case – and am working to promote higher education to make that vision a reality.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.
President, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Jordan DiMaggio says, Online students are often adults, working parents, veterans, those with disabilities, and others who are often taking these courses to meet their varied needs or busy lives. They do so for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they require flexibility that traditional on-campus courses can only sometimes accommodate.
Director of Policy and Digital Strategy, UPCEA
Joey Hatch says, I’m a fervent believer in offering our citizens access to a college education that is not only affordable, but also quality, meaningful and connected to growing employment opportunities.
Retired Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Building Inc.
Chris Bustamante says, Seize the moment! Let’s not waste this opportunity to do better by today’s students by making quality and accessible online education more widely available to them, and in many forms.
Executive Director, Arizona Community College Coordinating Council