Look Out Disney, Here We Come!

The EPIC Bridge the Divide team is off to the 35th annual First-Year Experience and Students in Transition Conference in the City That the Mouse Built (Orlando) from Feb 21–23. Once an educator, always an educator, so I ask you to please indulge me as I provide a short history lecture: The FYE National Resource…

Convergent Consensus

Tools for Collaboration: Convergent Consensus

In the context of education, the word “collaboration” may conjure up images of small groups of students working together to solve a problem. Or we may think of multiple stakeholders discussing options for school improvement. But we may be less likely to think of teachers collaborating to assess student work, using a common scoring guide…

Kirsten Aspengren presenting Sauk Valley keynote

Sauk Valley Keynote – A Smashing Success

Kirsten Aspengren, EPIC’s Senior Director, was the keynote speaker at the PASS College and Career Summit held at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, IL. PASS (Partnership Advocating Student Success) is an initiative to create partnerships between Sauk Valley Community College and area high schools, vocational centers, institutions offering adult education, regional offices of education, and community members who…

SouthCarolina_Toolkit

Analyze, Align, Partner: A Look at South Carolina’s College and Career Readiness Toolkit

In 2014, the Center of Excellence for College and Career Readiness was established at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, as a professional development initiative funded by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The Center of Excellence’s primary function is to work with teachers and students around the state to improve students’ readiness…

Proficiency-Based Teaching and Learning: Supporting Teachers and Helping Students Show What They Know

Proficiency-based teaching and learning (PBTL) is a systems-level approach to teaching, assessing, and grading students, with the goal of allowing students to demonstrate proficiency with an explicit set of standards. The knowledge and skills required to demonstrate proficiency in a content area are developed and mapped out by teachers, marking a clear path through the…

UNDA-logo-Crest-only

Education Down Under

Earlier this month, I traveled 9,196 miles (14,800 km) to Fremantle in Western Australia to attend the Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE), which parallels the American Educational Research Association (AERA). I presented research papers on factors that limit American student access to International Baccalaureate programmes and ways to evaluate measures of metacognitive skills…

Carmen Gelman and Mary Catherine Swanson with two of Swanson's former students

AVID National Conference Adventures

Several of us on the Epic School Partnerships team just returned from the AVID National Conference in San Diego where we not only had an opportunity to learn from some great educational leaders but had a chance to meet up with old friends, explore new ideas, and collaborate with new folks. Both our founder Dr.…

Redesigning America's Community Colleges

Do Students Have Too Many Choices?

In an October 1st, 2015, Washington Post blog about choices, Jay Matthews talks about the community college as a popular starting point for college entrants. However, the numbers that follow are alarming. For every 100 new students at community colleges, only 16 will have earned an associate degree or certificate after three years. After six years, just…