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.
Voices of Today’s Students
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.
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement of Support for ACCESS to Careers Act
WASHINGTON (February 11, 2020) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement to express Higher Learning Advocat…
Higher Learning Advocates Endorses the Accreditation Reform Act
WASHINGTON (February 6, 2020) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement to express Higher Learning Advocate…
Voices of Reform
Moises Mendoza says, There are so many brilliant students that never make it to college because of the complicated process. If we make college more accessible the brilliant students from my high school would not only improve the college communities but also the country as a whole.
Scholar, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America
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
Mike Krause says, The perception of the average American college student is not correct, and we must ensure these shifting demographics are reflected in the policy development process. The notion that 18-year-old freshman serve as the foundation for how we view college and universities has to change.
Executive Director, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Harry Holzer says, In 2020, both a strong economy and a presidential campaign will require us to pay more attention to the many factors, like skill limitations, that currently prevent millions of US workers from improving their earnings and their access to the middle class.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Sara Goldrick-Rab says, When Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Act, it must invest in a higher education system that leverages talent in order to propel innovation, create healthier communities, and fuel a more just economy that works for all. Doing so requires a clear focus on supporting today’s #RealCollege students.
Founder of the Hope Center for College Community and Justice in Philadelphia, and Professor of Higher Education and Sociology at Temple University
Rose García says, As Congress works to reauthorize HEA, it must invest in holistic student success models that incorporate a strong anti-poverty, racial equity focus. These models must couple clear and guided pathways with comprehensive academic and financial supports. They must also connect students to public benefits, mental health services, cultural and community centers, and other campus and community resources that allow them to thrive in school and beyond.
Director of Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development at the Center for Law and Social Policy