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Lumen Learning Partners with Howard University to Improve Educational Outcomes for Students of Color

Collaboration aims to identify best practices and create courseware with nation's leading historically Black research university to support students' academic excellence and eliminate race and income as predictors of student success

Cathy Hughes Screening 03-2022

WASHINGTON -  Lumen Learning, a leading provider of teaching and learning materials focused on improving student success, affordability, and access, today announced a partnership with Howard University's Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment (CETLA) to develop courseware to increase the effectiveness and cultural relevance of Lumen's solutions for Black students as well as Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students across the United States.

After successful previous engagements, Lumen Learning is partnering with Howard University in Washington, D.C. to learn from Howard's rich history of success supporting Black students. Howard is one of the nation's leading historically Black research universities and highly sought-after institutions for students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

Through this partnership, Howard's faculty and CETLA staff are providing information that will be crucial to Lumen Learning as it develops equity-centered learning solutions for its new statistics course and platform.

"Our partnership with Lumen Learning is helping to address learning experiences and environments for underrepresented students, with an intentional focus on students of color," says Morris Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment. "I am confident the insights we're learning in partnership with Lumen will provide direction for enhanced courseware design leading to more equitable outcomes for underserved students who are participating in gateway courses, such as Introduction to Statistics."

To date, Lumen has gathered broad and varied feedback on its courseware development process through its partnership with Howard, from addressing actual courseware features and how faculty and students might use them, to discussing best practices for supporting faculty through the implementation of new teaching tools. Insights from faculty and CETLA staff on how to create inclusive and supportive student learning environments are informing the way Lumen designs specific features within the new platform. The collaboration with CETLA has helped Lumen understand how it can build features to share timely information about students' engagement within the course, simplifying the process of identifying students who may need additional support.

"We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with the renowned faculty and staff at Howard University to create future courseware that will meet and exceed the educational needs for all students," says Kim Thanos, co-founder and CEO of Lumen Learning. "Howard has long led the field in creating learning experiences that engage and empower Black students, with inspiring results. Having Howard's voice at the table is instrumental to guide our design processes, creating solutions that incorporate and build on Howard's expertise. This is central to our goal to improve outcomes for all students in key gateway courses, and to ultimately eliminate race and income as predictors of student success."

"We have gained tremendous insights from our partnership with Howard that have been instrumental in helping us create courseware that will support unprecedented learning for all students," says David Wiley, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning. "When we collaborate with students and faculty, incorporating their input into our courseware from the very beginning of the design process, we dramatically increase the likelihood of creating something that will support success for both faculty and students."

Lumen Learning was recently awarded a significant grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their work in creating and implementing new courseware for Introduction to Statistics that focuses specifically on eliminating race and income as predictors of success for students. Lumen has established partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions across the United States. Lumen Learning is working with Howard University's faculty and CETLA staff, who are providing guidance and direction for its statistics course and platform.

Additionally, Lumen Learning has partnered with Rockland Community College in New York and Santa Ana College in California to open student user testing centers on their campuses, allowing Lumen to gain valuable insights and work directly with their target student demographic in co-creating relevant courseware materials.



About Lumen Learning

Since 2012, Lumen Learning has partnered with colleges and universities to support teaching and learning innovation with a focus on improving affordability, access, and student success.

Lumen Waymaker and OHM digital courseware provide evidence-based learning design and data-driven content improvements to increase learning and student engagement using open educational resources (OER).

Lumen Circles provide faculty professional development to build skills and advance teaching practices. Grounded in research about how to increase learning and student success and delivered through peer-based virtual learning groups, Lumen Circles provide a supportive setting for faculty to expand their capabilities for teaching in dynamic educational environments.

Over 500 institutions across the U.S. are using Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at lumenlearning.com, and visit our course catalog at lumenlearning.com/courses.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media Contact:

Brittany Bailer; brittany.bailer@howard.edu