Municipal Leadership for Postsecondary Success

With support from Lumina Foundation for Education, the YEF Institute has launched a two-year initiative to engage cities in efforts to help young adults complete postsecondary education.

The Municipal Leadership for Postsecondary Success initiative will stimulate and strengthen local collaborations to increase the rate and shorten the time within which residents finish higher education with a degree, certificate, or other credential.

Increase Cities' Capacity to Reach Postsecondary Success Goals
Municipal leaders are increasingly aware that the competitiveness of their workforce - and in turn, the strength of their local economy - depends on the level of education residents attain. The new NLC initiative will strengthen cities' capacity to mobilize community stakeholders around shared goals for increasing local higher education completion rates. Through this initiative, the YEF Institute will:

  • Deepen the awareness and engagement of mayors and other municipal leaders in setting aspirational goals, helping students overcome barriers to postsecondary completion, and in celebrating successes and achievements;
  • Strengthen local partnerships among cities, schools, workforce development agencies, employers, community-based organizations, and institutions of higher education, including community and technical colleges;
  • Disseminate new tools and resources that document promising practices; and
  • Promote cross-city exchange through peer learning opportunities.

Directly Engage Local Leaders
As key lessons emerge from local officials' efforts, the YEF Institute will identify and share effective strategies with cities and towns across the nation through a new online Resource Bank, a series of Municipal Action Guides, and other resources. These promising practices will derive from three important Lumina Foundation-supported activities led by the YEF Institute:

  • Select up to 15 members of the Mayors' Education Policy Advisors Network (EPAN) - which embraces the 75 largest cities in the nation - to participate in a new Postsecondary Success City Action Network.
  • Host a Leadership Academy on postsecondary access and success for teams from 12-15 cities.
  • Host a Mayors' Institute on Children and Families focused on postsecondary access and success for three to four mayors, senior staff members, and key community partners.

Support for NLC represents one of many targeted grants to achieve Lumina Foundation's Big Goal: Increase the higher education attainment rate in the United States to 60% by 2025. While the foundation's mission focuses on both student access and success in higher education, its emphasis is on attainment, defined as completing associate and baccalaureate degrees and credentials.

Support from Lumina Foundation directly leverages and complements the Communities Learning in Partnership initiative, a YEF Institute partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through which four cities are implementing large-scale postsecondary success strategies through 2013.