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
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates Submits Comments on Improving our Nation’s Workforce System
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2021) — Today, Higher Learning Advocates submitted comments to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in response to a re…
Higher Learning Advocates Applauds Support for Today’s Students in President Biden’s Discretionary Budget Request
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2021) — Today, President Biden released his proposed FY2022 budget request, which we are thrilled to see includes several wins for today’s…
Higher Learning Advocates Comments on the American Jobs Plan
WASHINGTON (March 31, 2021) — Today, the Biden Administration announced the American Jobs Plan, which includes significant investments in workforce training, b…
Voices of Reform
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
Emily Bouck says, To equip students with the skills for workforce success and respond to the pressures of economic disruption, we need a system of higher learning that enables students of all ages and family circumstances to seamlessly continue, return to, and complete their education.
Policy & Advocacy Director, Higher Learning Advocates
Melanie D’Evelyn says, Our belief is that the same policy innovations that meet business needs can also increase educational equity and success across the region. Initial results are promising.
Director, Detroit Drives Degrees
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.
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
Jillian Klein says, As the country works toward economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are at least 10 million unemployed Americans, many of whom are looking to higher education as a pathway to their next career step. Now more than ever, adult learners are keenly aware of the return of investment they receive from higher education—and expecting it quickly.
Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Strategic Education, Inc.