Innovating Postsecondary: March 2024 Carnegie Foundation Newsletter

Below is Carnegie President Timothy Knowles’s opening to our March 2024 newsletter. Join our mailing list for additional resources and recommended reads.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

While the value of a college degree is increasingly scrutinized in the public arena, it remains undeniable that a postsecondary education is a powerful lever for achieving social and economic mobility in the United States. Research has shown that not only do bachelor’s degree holders earn 84 percent more than those with just a high school diploma, but 74% of adult children with a college degree earn incomes greater than their parents, compared to 67% of adult children without a college education. 

Despite its potential as an engine of economic mobility, the benefits of a postsecondary degree continue to elude too many students from underrepresented backgrounds. These students too often encounter a confusing and cumbersome application process, a lack of community and belonging in the schools they attend, and crippling student loans after graduation. It is for these reasons (and more) that Carnegie is intent on supporting the emergence of new postsecondary models and systems, so colleges and universities are increasingly affordable and accessible and effectively leverage the extraordinary talent that exists in the nation’s most resilient communities.

To address these challenges, we are working on two important initiatives, designed to make the postsecondary sector a much more vital engine for economic opportunity:

  • The Carnegie Postsecondary Commission. In partnership with the XQ Institute, the seventeen Commissioners are catalyzing new ideas, policies and actions to transform the American higher education system and ensure college propels millions more young people into purposeful careers and lives.
  • The Carnegie Classifications. In partnership with the American Council on Education, we are modernizing the Carnegie Classifications to accurately describe the richness and multifaceted nature of today’s colleges and universities—including the introduction of a new universal Social and Economic Mobility Classification that will make visible those institutions that demonstrably accelerate educational and career opportunities for students.  

I invite you to visit our website to learn more about our postsecondary endeavors and to share this newsletter with your networks. Only with thoughtful and strategic actions, policies, and coalition-building can the promise of increased access, affordability, and meaningfully improved outcomes for postsecondary students—especially those furthest from opportunity—be realized. 

In partnership,
Timothy Knowles
President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Want to stay connected to our community? Subscribe to our mailing list below to receive our monthly newsletter!