with support from
NROC Webinar featuring the
The Significant Discussions Project, with generous support from MetLife Foundation, is based on the recognition that misalignment of curriculum among secondary schools, community colleges, universities, and employers creates barriers to student success, and that collaborative discussions about curriculum alignment across educational sectors are often random and voluntary. Further, few systems are in place to institutionalize or incentivize collaborative work to improve alignment. One highly significant exception is the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, which requires that secondary, postsecondary, and business partners collaborate in the development of programs of study.
The major emphasis on increasing student success, particularly in the community college, has been strengthened by the current administration’s call for a steep increase in the number of students who complete a postsecondary degree or other credential. Private foundations have also challenged educators to increase college completion with an emphasis on minority and low-income students. In this environment, as colleges seek innovative, effective strategies to facilitate student completion, curriculum alignment is a promising area for helping ensure student success.
Throughout 2010, the League for Innovation has led the Significant Discussions Project, with the goal of developing a Significant Discussions guide designed to facilitate discussions between faculty and administrators in secondary and postsecondary institutions that would lead to curriculum alignment between these institutions. Based on effective practices identified from participating pilot community colleges, and including supporting materials that can be widely used or easily adapted for use, Significant Discussions: A Guide for Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment is available for free use by community colleges and their partnering institutions and organizations.
Project Participants. Nine community colleges, each with at least one partnering secondary school, were selected through an application process to participate in developing and piloting the Significant Discussions guide:
Review Panel. In addition to the nine colleges, a national review panel with expertise in various levels of education reviewed and provided feedback on the Significant Discussions guide as it was developed.
In Significant Discussions: A Guide to Aligning Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum, the League for Innovation in the Community College (League), with support from MetLife Foundation, engaged community colleges and their secondary school partners in an iterative process to develop a handbook for holding curriculum alignment conversations. This guide, freely available on the League website (www.league.org/significant discussions), is designed to help decrease the need for remediation, thus allowing a significant portion of community college resources currently used in developmental courses to be reallocated to college-level courses or other academic support services.
The second Significant Discussions project, Significant Discussions: Auditing Major Projects to Aid Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment in Math and Promote Student Readiness, Retention, and Completion, builds on the Significant Discussions guide and focuses on developmental math and student success. The project includes (1) an audit of major projects and initiatives on math and student success, and (2) development of examples of aligned curriculum in math. These two project elements are described in the paragraphs that follow.
Project Participants. The nine community colleges that participated in developing the Significant Discussions guide are the college participants in this project. Each college is working with at least one partnering secondary school.
Cynthia Wilson, email@example.com
Vice President, Learning and Research
League for Innovation in the Community College
HOME | SEARCH | SITE
MAP | iStream | LEAGUE STORE | WEBMASTER