• HCM’s Kristin Hultquist Testifies Before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)

    Read More >

  • A Generational Challenge: State Postsecondary Education

    Policies to Support Economic Recovery and Individual Opportunity

    Read More >

  • Purposeful Data Systems:

    A Strategic Approach for Policymakers

    Read More >

  • HCM Strategists Releases New Policy Brief on Providing

    Supports for Non-Tuition Student Expenses

    Read More >

  • HCM Strategists Launches New Education Policy

    Series Addressing Issues Caused by COVID-19

    Learn How >

  • Promising Policy: Driving Better Outcomes

    and Equity in Education

    Learn More >

We are
HCM Strategists

HCM Strategists is a public policy and advocacy consulting firm committed to working with clients that share our passion for reducing disparities and lifting lives through education and training opportunities. HCM works across the political aisle and in communities across the country. We are a group of former senior presidential and gubernatorial staff, state agency and college leaders, teachers and non-profit advocacy leaders. We are committed to removing barriers and transforming how education is delivered. Our work focuses on developing sound public policy, aligning teaching and learning practices and advancing meaningful accountability and equitable strategic financing. HCM works to support leaders and organizations that prioritize the voices and outcomes of Black, Hispanic, Native American, recent immigrant, low-income and adult students. 

+ Learn More

Connecting Learning and Work
PRACTICE

HCM is committed to improving equitable education outcomes through sound public policy for adults needing reskilling and upskilling in a rapidly changing, skills-based economy. Our work consists of research and analysis, advice and counsel, public policy support and network cultivation and management. The HCM team works on behalf of consumer learners with community and technical colleges, non-profit organizations and local and state agencies. We also work closely with employers to support a learning ecosystem based on competencies, transparency and upward economic mobility.

+ Learn More

Analyzing Middle Skills Jobs and Education Requirements

Over the past several years, increasing the attainment level of U.S. citizens has dominated education-related policy discussions and decisions. Projections have revealed that ensuring workers are educated for middle as well as high skills jobs is essential to accomplishing these goals. While there doesn’t seem to be a consistently adopted method of identifying middle skills jobs, there is general agreement that they require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. It is also accepted that this can include more informal modes of education, such as on-the-job training.

+ Full Case Study

Postsecondary
PRACTICE

HCM Strategists works to make postsecondary education more affordable, racially equitable and workforce relevant for more Americans.  We work with institutions,  multi-campus systems,  networks of employers, providers, non-profit organizations, states and philanthropies.HCM provides clients with an unmatched level of policy acumen and relationship management. The HCM track record on postsecondary education includes changes in federal and state policies, aligned efforts of diverse advocacy organizations, and improved budgeting, planning and advising practices. The postsecondary team specializes in state advocacy, policy, finance and business model transformation, portability of credit policies and practices, equity-minded strategic planning, management and governance. 

+ Learn More

Outcomes-Based Funding: Driving Outcomes for Students Through Aligned Funding Models

Most state postsecondary education finance policies are not well aligned with states’ pressing need to increase student access, success, attainment and equity — with shortcomings reflected in real costs to students, taxpayers and the economy. That reality, combined with a challenging fiscal climate, has fueled a resurgence of interest in and state action regarding funding policies, which tie a portion of state appropriations to metrics that gauge institutional performance on various indicators. Building on the lessons of early performance funding efforts over the past 35 years, more than two-thirds of states are currently developing or implementing outcomes-based funding (OBF) policies — but they vary widely in quality, scale, maturity and sustainability. HCM Strategists is advancing the development, implementation and analysis of sound OBF policies that better align state funding with state student success goals and prioritize completion and equity.

+ Full Case Study

K-12
PRACTICE

HCM Strategists is dedicated to improving student achievement from early childhood through the 12th grade, especially for low-income, Black, Hispanic and Native American students who have historically been underserved by the system. HCM works to ensure that schools are held accountable for learning through high expectations and public transparency and that all students have access to high-quality teachers and learning experiences. Our team has decades of experience in education, government and philanthropy. We have the vision to bring innovative and positive change to the K-12 environment alongside partner organizations that share our mission to transform learning.

+ Learn More

Partnering with Learning Heroes to Create School Report Cards That Meet Parents Where They Are With Information They Can Use

HCM has been privileged to work for and partner with Learning Heroes on an unprecedented body of research for the past three years on parent mindsets and education. Learning Heroes is a leading non-profit focused on equipping parents to support their child’s success in school and supporting state education agencies, school districts and advocacy organizations in meeting parents where they are. Our research consistently shows a gaping disconnect between parents’ perception of their children’s academic performance and actual student achievement — with 90% believing their child is performing at or above grade level as opposed to the 38% proficiency identified by NAEP. This disconnect is partially due to lack of access to information parents want and need to be effective educational advocates for their children.

+ Full Case Study

Why I work with HCM

I do not take lightly the opportunities education can afford. Every person, regardless of their background, deserves the opportunity to be a contributing member of society. Equitable, accessible and rigorous education can be the great equalizer. My work helps ensure that students across the country have access to an educational system that does not just exist, but rather is designed to ensure they succeed. My work advocates for students, like my nephews (African American men), who often are not served well by the current system. One day at a time, one student at a time, one equitable policy at a time, my work (piece by piece) is helping change the lives of students.

-Cristen Moore

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I grew up in one of the poorest and least educated cities in the United States. I have seen first-hand how transformative education can be for someone, but unfortunately, not everyone has equitable access to educational opportunities. I do this work for my community and the many others like it that have been marginalized and are too often forgotten. I do this work so that when we say that America is the land of equal opportunity, one day we might be right.

-Elizabeth Salinas

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

As a special educator for 9 years, I witnessed firsthand the problems that plagued our public school system and the effect they have on students. My students are the ones who continue to inspire me the most. In my classroom, I felt hopeless, knowing I was unable to create the change they needed to be given a fair shot, and that I had no choice but to accept the broken system would fail them. I do this work to change the situation for students like mine in the hopes of giving them a voice to create the opportunities and change they need to open the door to a better future. 

-Erica Gray

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I am driven by the belief that all people should have the ability to pursue life to the fullest – to dream without false boundaries – and to have the ability to realize and achieve those dreams on equal footing.

-Jeffrey Stanley

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I believe education affords opportunity and breaks down societal barriers. I’m inspired and encouraged by my colleagues and clients who are committed to improving access and equity by challenging the status quo.

-Jessica Collis

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I work with HCM because of the people. Both the people at the client side of our work–the patients and students that HCM strives to serve each day, as well as the people within the firm–those committed to taking on the hard issues, because they matter. I am proud to work with those who are passionate and genuine in their drive to make the world a better place. 

 

-Jessica Hunt

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

Reflecting on nearly 50 years of postsecondary and policy experience, I am most grateful for the educational opportunities I have been afforded and awed by the scientific and technological advancements I’ve witnessed. I am terribly saddened, however, that the benefits attributed to education and innovation have not been accrued by large segments of our society.  Daily I am inspired by so many in the field who remain focused on closing these equity gaps and with deep resolve work to forge relationships and understanding in hope my grandchildren will enjoy a future that includes opportunity and prosperity for all.

-Jimmy Clarke

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

My life has been greatly enriched by my educational opportunities so I love that HCM Strategists works tirelessly to provide those opportunities to as many people as possible.

-Kaitlin Bressler

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

My elementary education background helps drive me by reinforcing the importance of offering opportunities to help students achieve success. The support amongst colleagues reminds me that navigating the education field is best accomplished together and that as a team we can help build a better platform for future students and educators to begin their journeys.  

-Katie Lynne Morton

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I founded HCM because I believe in the power of solutions that integrate effective storytelling, rigorous analysis, sharp insights and politically sensitive strategy. I am proud of our big-hearted, big-brained team.

-Kristin D. Hultquist

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

My passion for postsecondary policy work stems directly from the belief that, while our postsecondary system is often held up as a beacon of opportunity and the “great equalizer,” it is in fact one of the key societal systems that creates, reinforces and perpetuates economic and social stratification. My goal is to change the system to ensure access to and success in postsecondary learning for those who have historically been excluded from the system, and through that work, deliver on the promise of equitable opportunity. 

-Lara Couturier

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

All students deserve an equitable playing field — that is the guiding principle from which I start my work each day. Until we can ensure that all students have the same opportunities and support to access and complete postsecondary education, with all of the choices and benefits that education confers, our work will never be done. I am proud to be part of a team that shares this belief and strives daily to remove barriers, effect change, and help students reach their goals. 

-Linda Baglia

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

The two key drivers for my work are 1) my disdain for unequal outcomes that play out based on basic human differences like race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, and 2) my conviction that the solutions requires everyone coming together to fix them. My training and heart are in political social work practice where we work at a policy level to address these problems and give voice to those not considered to be the majority. These systemic and historic problems don’t change overnight and require the long-term commitment of people across sectors and segments – however defined – to work together to find common ground with common vision and purpose to forge a path toward equality.

-Malia Sieve

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I am passionate in my belief that the greatest opportunity for betterment in a person’s life comes from the ability to learn a profession and acquire advanced skills.  At times we can forget that education exists for the benefit of the student, not the institution.  And challenging the status quo is an uphill battle where the steps forward can seem small. But I believe that every success we have in making education more accessible and degrees more attainable brings people, regardless of background, one step closer to an opportunity for a better future.   

-Martha Snyder

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

“HCM is a change-making company that I am proud to work for. We provide our clients with high-level strategic advice in the areas of state policy, strategic financial planning, funding formula development and implementation and financial aid. I enjoy seeing the work we do in education help real students and communities in need.”

 

-Scott Boelscher

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

I believe that public policy can improve people’s lives if it is based on research, evidence and experience. I also believe that public policy is necessary to address equity gaps that will never be closed without focused effort. That is why I founded HCM Strategists – to help create public policy that improves everyone’s ability to receive a high quality education and healthcare.

-Terrell Halaska Dunn

+ Read More

Why I work with HCM

As a first generation college student who benefited from federal support services such as Upward Bound, Pell grants, SEOG and work study as well as institutional resources, I am committed to insuring that other learners have the same benefits and opportunities to reach their goals. My passion and purpose everyday is to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Our policies and practices at all levels should provide for access, opportunity and success for all.

-Toya Barnes-Teamer

+ Read More

Our
Process Works

Our fundamental and method-driven process delivers results through three basic principles. We align organizations that have similar goals, advocate on their behalf through our exceptionally knowledgeable and resourceful team members, and then advance meaningful outcomes through the strength of our initiatives.

+ Learn More

  • ALIGN.

    PARTNERSHIPS
    HCM brings together those who share a common belief in commitment to change for racial equity and economic mobility outcomes in K-12, postsecondary education and connecting learning and work.

  • ADVOCATE.

    RESOURCES & TOOLS
    HCM strategically uses our team of experts, existing relationships, grassroots engagement, data, creative thinking, communication and other resources and tools to advocate for change.

  • ADVANCE.

    OUTCOMES
    HCM is committed to advancing real change, whether that is a public policy, clear communication and advocacy, connecting learning and work or student engagement.

Scroll Up