A quick glimpse at headlines from the fall of 2017 reveals the rapidly changing political, economic, social and technological environments in which colleges and universities are operating:
- “The Bermuda Triangle of Credit Transfer”
- “A New High-Tech Learning Center Changed How These Professors Teach”
- “Analysis: States’ Interest in Outcomes-Based Higher Ed Funding Grows”
- “Initiative Seeks to Overhaul Academic Advising”
This evolving landscape inspires some policy questions: as innovative institutions seek to eliminate equity gaps in student success and degree completion, how can state leadership and effective policy support institutions in navigating new challenges and leveraging opportunities? How can state policymakers support institutional transformation to improve student outcomes?
To provide insight into these questions, a group of organizations crafted a set of policy briefs as part of the Frontier Set initiative, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Frontier Set itself is a select group of colleges and universities, state systems and supporting organizations committed to significantly increasing student access and success, and eliminating racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment. The authors of these policy briefs received grants to serve as Policy Partners to the Frontier Set and to advance those institutions’ work through policy, advocacy and communications supports.
Frontier Set Policy Partners
The Policy Partners’ work was coordinated and supported by HCM Strategists. The policy briefs profiled here are applicable across state environments and may serve as jumping-off points for states to make meaningful policy changes to enhance or implement innovative student success initiatives.
Over the course of the coming months, the Frontier Set Policy Partners will publish a series of blog posts to serve as glimpses of the formal policy briefs that will be published in the first quarter of 2018. Check back to learn more!
What is the Frontier Set?
The nation faces an urgent need for more individuals to have some form of education after high school. A leading labor economist estimates that unless current trends change, the economy could face a shortfall of up to 11 million credentialed workers by 2025. As such, there is a growing pressure for colleges and universities to increase access and success and eliminate disparities in attainment amid a backdrop of resource constraints. The Frontier Set campuses and systems were selected for their demonstrated ability to improve student outcomes through innovation, as well as for their commitment to continued improvement, transparency about their efforts, and shared learning with other institutions. Find more context and the full list of Frontier Set institutions here.