The partnership will advance student success transformation strategies at Predominantly Black Community Colleges (PBCCs) and Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCCs) across the country.

September 7, 2021 

INDIANAPOLIS – Complete College America (CCA) announced today a $1 million grant from Lumina Foundation, a private foundation committed to racial justice and equity, to advance college completion strategies for adult Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students at Predominantly Black Community Colleges (PBCCs) and Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCCs). These institutions have a mission to foster opportunities for social and economic mobility for Black students. 

This grant from Lumina will help to advance CCA’s mission of working with states to increase the number of adults with college degrees or credentials of workplace value. Through this partnership, CCA will create a comprehensive network for all PBCCs and HBCCs to promote expertise, share resources across institutions, and promote culturally relevant learnings to all institutions.  

Lawson State Community College President Cynthia Anthony said, “both historically and predominately Black community colleges have been engines for social and economic mobility for residents in our state and across the country, seeking to make better lives for their students through unique higher education experiences. It is my hope and belief that by establishing a network for these institutions to collaborate and amplify their achievements, the contributions and impact of this sector will be more widely recognized and valued.”

Over the course of this joint venture, CCA will guide PBCCs and HBCCs to implement well-sequenced pathways that embed adult learners’ stackable credentials, including certificates and certifications already earned, into innovative and adult-centered associate degree programs, bolstering degree completion and career placement rates. 

“Advancing racial equity is at the core of what we do, and it’s time to recognize the need to invest in institutions from the PBCC/HBCC sector,” says Lumina President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “For far too long, these institutions have quietly educated 10% of students of color, but have received little visibility.  This project will support students and elevate awareness of the significant contributions by these schools.”  

The breadth of the CCA alliance – comprised of 48 states, systems, institutional consortia, and partner organizations across the United States and its territories – will ensure this two-year initiative plays a critical role in capacity-building efforts for PBCCs and HBCCs. Complete College America will support and empower institutions to implement strategies aligning academic programs, career choice, workforce needs, and credentials of value to meet the unique needs of adult learners of color. 

“Partnering with Lumina on this initiative brings into sharp focus CCA’s commitment to supporting and promoting institutions who have been largely excluded from the student success and college completion movements for the last decade,” says CCA President Yolanda Watson Spiva. “Over the next two years, CCA will work with institutional leaders to co-design strategies that will enhance their current practices and position them to support more students working to fulfill their dream of earning a credential of value.”   


Read more about the project and why Lumina and CCA are partnering to support PBCCs/HBCCs.

“A Leg Up for Diverse Adult Learners.” Inside Higher Ed