Kirsten Aspengren with Jessica Lindl

Kirsten Aspengren with Jessica Lindl, COO of Collective Shift/LRNG, at the LRNG Launch Party in Washington, DC.

As Aristotle said, we are “by nature a social animal.” We thrive on connections and partnerships. If this is true, and I do believe it is, then shouldn’t we be doing more to promote those partnerships across the chasms between K–12 and higher education?

I am encouraged by the joint statement this month from the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees that they will be collaborating with Higher Ed for Higher Standards “to promote and support strong partnerships between community colleges and high schools to help them implement more ambitious K–12 standards and assessments to increase students’ college readiness.”

I was humbled earlier this month while attending the Lumina-sponsored Connecting Credentials National Summit in DC. Hundreds of people representing K–12, higher ed, educational organizations, foundations, and the workforce came together to work toward increasing quality, transparency, and connectivity of postsecondary credentials. The connections I made at the summit were powerful, and I am convinced that now, more than ever, our education systems need to come together to build bridges that will connect the academic rigor that takes place in one course to that in the next course. Whether we are educating students in the specific skill set of a trade or training students to think critically and be prepared for life, the academic partnerships we create and nurture will better support all students toward success.


Kirsten Aspengren, Director of Curriculum Alignment