Carnegie Classification Will Get a New Home—and Influence From Lumina

October 09, 2014

The Lumina Foundation's framework for defining the key elements of a college degree is still a long way from being widely used in higher education.

But the Degree Qualifications Profile—or DQP, as Lumina calls it—will be used to "inform" the next edition of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, scheduled for release in 2015. That news came on Wednesday as Lumina rolled out the latest version of the DQP, which is meant to define the range of skills and knowledge students should gain in earning associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is transferring responsibility for the classification system to Indiana University at Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research. The classification will still carry the Carnegie name, according to a news release.

It's not a complete surprise that the classification system would go to Indiana. Alexander C. McCormick, who was a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation from 1998 to 2007, is now senior associate director of the Center for Postsecondary Research. Mr. McCormick is also director of the National Survey of Student Engagement.

At the same time, the center has been awarded $500,000 by Lumina to "update and enhance" the classification system to "reflect and accommodate an evolving higher-education landscape," according to the news release.

The transfer of the classification system came with very little money, so the center asked Lumina, which is based in Indianapolis, for financial support, said Victor M.H. Borden, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana. Mr. Borden will run the classification program for the center.

Lumina's interest in the classification system stems from its goal of designing a new national credential framework that would include not only degrees but also certificates, licenses, and apprenticeships.

The 2015 revision will not, however, contain any major changes. "Given that the DQP is still being fleshed out in many ways," Mr. Borden said by email, "the prospects of any immediate impact are minimal."