Lumina Foundation Awards the Yes We Must Coalition $200,000

November 2014

The Yes We Must Coalition is grateful to Lumina Foundation for a grant of $200,000, in their words, “to support the growth and programming of a new higher education leadership community.” The funding is being used over the 18-month period ending April 2016 to add two part-time positions (Program Manager and Operations Manager) to the Coalition, support more time for the Coalition’s president, and support planning for a members-only Working Institute to be held in November 2015.

The members-only Working Institute was initially envisioned at the Coalition’s national conference in Chicago in April 2014, for which Lumina and the Kresge Foundation were key sponsors. This new grant enables us to plan a program to effectively address three important areas of concern identified at the conference:

  • How can we more effectively fulfill our most fundamental responsibility, the successful education of our students, by increasing and re-thinking pathways to completion across our institutions?
  • How do we create financial models, including models for financial aid, to lower student debt and stabilize institutional financial health?
  • How do we best prepare our students for successful employment and careers from the start of their time at college through their graduation and beyond?
  • Promising practices from Coalition members will be featured throughout the Institute, and resources from outside the Coalition will be brought in to help members shape both individual campus and cross-institutional plans for enhancements in each area.

The success of the Institute will contribute significantly to collaboration among Coalition institutions and to the degree completion success of the low-income and 1st generation students we serve. We are grateful that Lumina Foundation has chosen to encourage and provide funding for our efforts.