• A Generational Challenge: State Postsecondary Education

    Policies to Support Economic Recovery and Individual Opportunity

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  • Purposeful Data Systems:

    A Strategic Approach for Policymakers

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  • HCM Strategists Releases New Policy Brief on Providing

    Supports for Non-Tuition Student Expenses

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  • HCM Strategists Launches New Education Policy

    Series Addressing Issues Caused by COVID-19

    Learn How >

  • Check State Plans: Promise to Practice

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  • Promising Policy: Driving Better Outcomes

    and Equity in Education

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We are
HCM Strategists

HCM Strategists provides support and strategic guidance to help clients form policy priorities and advance organizational success, driving impact in K-12 and postsecondary education and connecting learning and work. We are a group of policy advocates and strategists who are committed to working toward equitable and meaningful change. We are seasoned experts who bridge the gap between public policies and the people they affect.

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Connecting Learning and Work
PRACTICE

HCM Strategists is dedicated to helping students chart a purposeful path through K-12 education to postsecondary and into their careers. This means ensuring that students today possess the skills required to meet the demands to be successful in the modern workforce. Both students’ and employers’ needs are rapidly changing, and through collaborative research, public policy, and partnerships with our diverse network, the HCM team is uniquely qualified to create innovative, impactful initiatives that help bridge the skills gap between employer and employee.

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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.

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Postsecondary
PRACTICE

HCM Strategists works to make postsecondary education more effective and accessible for a larger number of people. Whether starting as a policy change for a single institution, a multi-campus system of colleges, a large employer, a federal program or an entire state, innovative thinking can go a long way toward meaningful change. The HCM team has an unparalleled set of relationships in 50 states as well as with national employers, polling organizations and civil rights and student organizations. Our broad reach means better traction for policy priorities.

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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.

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K-12
PRACTICE

HCM Strategists is dedicated to improving student achievement from kindergarten through the 12th grade and especially for low-income and minority students who have historically been underserved by the system. Our team has decades of experience in the education space, serving at the highest level of government and philanthropy, and we have a vision to bring innovative and positive change to the K-12 environment alongside partner organizations that share our mission.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Why I work with HCM

I believe in living with purpose, authenticity, integrity and simply doing the right thing for others.  It’s simply the right thing that the playing field be leveled, so everyone has the opportunity and access to a great education.  It’s simply the right thing that patient’s voices be heard and that people have access to quality health care. Complex solutions are required to enact these simple concepts, and I love being part of an organization that brilliantly influences policy to drive people to simply do the right thing.

-Karen S. Levin

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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  • 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.

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