Advancing Racial Equity in Higher Education Attainment

Lumina’s Talent, Innovation, and Equity (TIE) initiative awards multi-year grants and technical assistance for states to promote awareness of racial attainment gaps in postsecondary education and work towards the reduction and elimination of those gaps. With this initiative, Lumina intends to promote national awareness of the need to put racial equity at the center of state postsecondary attainment agendas. Research for Action conducted a process evaluation of Lumina’s Talent, Innovation, and Equity (TIE) initiative.

This evaluation includes the first cohort of TIE states: Tennessee, Colorado, and Oregon. These states have made progress on creating policy environments conducive to increasing attainment, and state leaders have committed to closing attainment gaps for African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students. By supporting institutional exemplars and bringing together financial, community, and learning resources, the TIE initiative is intended to reduce inequitable outcomes by 5 percentage points by 2020.

This evaluation sought to 1) evaluate Lumina’s TIE initiative through a culturally responsive and racial equity lens to understand whether and how Lumina’s TIE grant shifted policy and practice in Tennessee, Oregon, and Colorado; 2) understand how state contextual factors influence state approaches to the TIE investment (i.e. goals, implementation and outcomes); and 3) develop products that communicate lessons from TIE grantees and offer recommendations that support state policymakers, and institutional leaders in constructing approaches to closing racial and ethnic equity gaps in higher education.