“Significant Discussions” Designed to Increase Student Success and Completion through Curriculum Alignment

January 28, 2011

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“Significant Discussions” Designed to Increase Student Success and Completion through Curriculum Alignment

Significant Discussions

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) December 7, 2010

With a majority of entering community college students required to take remedial classes, only slightly more than 50 percent of entering students returning for a second year, and a nation putting its focus on college completion, a new document designed to help more students earn college credentials is now available from the League for Innovation in the Community College. Significant Discussions: A Guide for Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment was developed with generous support from MetLife Foundation to assist secondary and postsecondary educators and their business partners in improving curriculum alignment across these two levels of education.

Upon entering community college, many recent high school graduates require a year or more of remedial work before they can enroll in college-level courses. Improved alignment between secondary and postsecondary curriculum can eliminate the need for remediation and hasten student progress toward completion. Significant Discussions offers tools and strategies for developing partnerships, conducting a curriculum gap analysis, aligning curriculum, and assessing progress toward alignment, as well as recommendations for reducing remediation and improving student success.

“The League has learned, through project work over several years, of the need to engage secondary and postsecondary faculty and administrators in discussions about curriculum alignment so more students can successfully progress along their educational pathway,” said Gerardo E. de los Santos, president and CEO of the League for Innovation. “Thanks to MetLife Foundation and a dedicated team of project staff and participants from around the country, we feel we have an important tool educators can use to help improve student success leading to college completion.”

“Findings from the recent MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success raise concerns about how well expectations are being communicated by teachers to students and by higher education to aspiring students and their teachers,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “The guide for significant discussions is a practical resource that can help address the expectation gap.”

More than 150 individuals representing nine community colleges and their secondary, university, and business partners participated in an iterative process to develop and enhance the discussion guide. Colleges leading local discussions included Anne Arundel Community College, MD; Central Piedmont Community College, NC; Lehigh Carbon Community College, PA; Maricopa Community Colleges, AZ; Miami Dade College, FL; San Diego Community College District, CA; Southwestern Community College, OR; Sinclair Community College, OH; and St. Louis Community College, MO.

“As the League found in earlier initiatives,” said Laurance J. Warford, the project’s principal investigator, “there is a lack of accountability across our systems of education. When good local leadership is provided, collaboration among secondary and postsecondary faculty, administrators, and business representatives can really raise the level of student success across education and work systems.”

Significant Discussions: A Guide for Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment is available for free download at http://www.league.org/significantdiscussions.

About the League for Innovation in the Community College

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with more than 800 member colleges, 160 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available at http://www.league.org.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation supports education, health, civic and cultural organizations. In education, it seeks to strengthen public schools through effective teaching and leadership, and to prepare students for access to and success in higher education, particularly the crucial first year. The Foundation’s grantmaking is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. For more information visit http://www.metlife.org.


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