May News & Updates

Issue Update: Accreditation Reform

Armed with Better Data, Will Accreditors Finally Have to Act?

In the midst of key conversations happening at last week’s NACIQI meeting, Policy & Advocacy Director Emily Bouck co-authored a blog post with Michael Itzkowitz from Third Way and Clare McCann from New America, discussing the new comprehensive completion data added recently by the Department to the accreditor dashboards. The three policy analysts argue that Outcome Measures data will provide NACIQI members with better information to guide their meetings and hold accreditors accountable for outcomes at the institutions they oversee.

ICYMI: Why Accreditation Reform Can Unlock Stronger Student Outcomes

With accreditation issues now increasingly at the center of conversations around the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and other policy proposals, Policy & Advocacy Director Emily Bouck wrote a blog post detailing more about the critical role that accreditation reform can play in promoting stronger student outcomes and ensuring a greater return on investment for the $130 billion spent on federal financial aid annually.

Want even more background? Read our latest 101 on Accreditation.

Save the Date: June 12th Policy Briefing

Inaugural Champions Network Policy Briefing

Join special guests Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Michele Siqueiros, President of the California-based Campaign for College Opportunity, for a panel discussion about the evolving needs of today’s students and solutions that are working in their states. These two leaders will share their practical insights and lessons for how policy can adapt to meet today’s students.

“Unlocking College Opportunity for Today’s Students”
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 106 (SD-106)

This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register here.

Champions Network Spotlight

Dr. Barbara Damron, New Mexico Higher Education Department

Earlier this month, we announced the creation and launch of our Champions Network, a new group of higher education reform leaders who have joined together to advocate for stronger student outcomes in postsecondary education. Every week, we’re profiling a new member of the Champions Network member and their work in higher education.

This week, get to know Dr. Barbara Damron, Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Higher Education Department. Learn more about how Secretary Damron is working to put college completion, quality, and workforce relevance at the center of New Mexico’s higher education policy agenda.

More Higher Learning Advocates News

DIVERSE: Issues in Higher Education: Higher Ed Policy Forum Encourages Action on Access, Affordability, Accountability
“Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, a nonprofit organization working to on federal policy that impacts higher education,  sees ‘an opportunity’ for conversations about what states need from the federal government as opposed to what the federal government wants states to do regarding issues of affordability.

‘Completion is an affordability issue,’ said Peller. ‘Success is an affordability issue.’”

NCAN Blog: Financial Aid Beyond the Traditional Degree: Can it Work?
Executive Director Julie Peller wrote a blog post for the National College Access Network (NCAN) discussing the importance of maintaining quality as policymakers look at ways to expand access to a broader variety of pathways and credentials using federal student aid. She writes: “The evolution of aid availability has the potential to fill a void, and in many ways is catching up to where many Americans are today. Today’s students are accessing postsecondary learning in many formats…In turn, federal policymakers are actively looking to address this need.”

The EvoLLLution: Putting Today’s Students Back at the Center of Federal Policies
In a post for The EvoLLLution, Executive Director Julie Peller writes about the importance of recognizing who today’s students really are and placing their needs at the center of federal policy. She points out how urgently a shift in higher education systems and policies is needed and highlights four ways that policymakers can give adult learners the full access and support they deserve.