Postsecondary Innovation

The postsecondary sector is an essential precursor to entering a professional career. Yet it is elusive to many, especially students from minoritized and historically underserved backgrounds. Many who enter postsecondary school do not complete their degrees, and those who do often enter the job market saddled with excessive debt that prevents them from building the generational wealth instrumental to social and economic mobility. To help address these issues, the Carnegie Foundation established the Center for Postsecondary Innovation, which seeks to:

  • Significantly reduce cost as an obstacle to postsecondary access, enrollment, and completion
  • Identify, support, and grow new postsecondary models to accelerate students’ social and economic mobility
  • Improve the capacity of existing institutions and systems to increase enrollment, completion, and post-college outcomes for underrepresented student

The Center supports postsecondary leaders, scholars, and partners to build the knowledge and institutional capacity needed to ensure the college and socioeconomic success of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, and first-generation students, as well as students experiencing poverty and/or homelessness. We elevate those institutions that are serving young people well; spread and scale effective practices; catalyze others to build networks of institutions that improve together; and identify, amplify, and instantiate new and emergent models of postsecondary education that effectively serve those furthest from opportunity.

Our Center for Postsecondary Innovation partners include:

The American Council on Education to develop new and refined versions of the Carnegie Classifications to better reflect the public purpose, mission, focus, and impact of higher education

The African Leadership University and College Track to establish and evaluate a new, scalable postsecondary model in the United States, designed to create more rigorous, affordable, and experiential learning models that accelerate high numbers of underrepresented youth–from Africa and the United States–into high-opportunity careers.

The School of Education at the University of Mississippi to launch the emerging National Center on School-University Partnerships which builds on the work of the Carnegie Improvement Leadership Education and Development (iLEAD) network by developing expertise in leading improvement efforts in schools.


National Center for School-University Partnerships


Carnegie Postsecondary Commission

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Evolving with the Times: A Q&A on the New Carnegie Classifications

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