Inflexion is a nonprofit consulting group that strives to help educators better equip students for success. Inflexion, formerly called the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), was founded in 2002 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of College and Career Readiness.

In November 2017, the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) changed its name to Inflexion as we shifted from a focus on state and federal policy to one of direct partnerships with educators. Our new name is inspired by educators who prioritize a culture that truly supports students as they develop the skills needed to become lifelong learners. Learn more about the Inflexion Approach.

Our decision to make this change—to traverse this inflection point in our group’s trajectory—was driven by a passion to actively partner with forward-looking educators who want to develop environments where students can show what they can do with their knowledge, rather than just master content or do well on a test. As Inflexion, we are thrilled to continue our journey to ensure all students graduate ready for college, career, and life.

group staff photo
2017: EPIC becomes Inflexion

2014: EPIC Board of Directors hires Matt Coleman

EPIC’s board of directors identify a need for EPIC to redirect our work to focus on school-based efforts and district-level work, and hire Matt Coleman to lead this effort as EPIC’s Executive Director.

2014: Dave Conley retires from EPIC

In October 2014, Dr. Conley left EPIC in order to devote more time to innovative design work through his consulting company, EdImagine.

2014: Dr. Conley publishes Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core: What Every Educator Needs to Know

2010: Dr. Conley publishes College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School

2009: Creating College Readiness

EPIC profiled 38 U.S. high schools with proven success in preparing students for life after graduation.

2007: Redefining College Readiness

Dr. David Conley suggests that “college readiness” include Key Cognitive Strategies, Key Content Knowledge, Academic Behaviors, and Contextual Skills.

2005: Dr. Conley publishes College Knowledge

2002: Dr. David Conley founds the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC)
Our Founder
David Conley

Dr. David Conley

Inflexion, formerly known as the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), was founded in 2002 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization by Dr. David Conley, a nationally recognized leader in the field of College and Career Readiness.

In the late 1960s, after spending two years in a community college transfer program, Dr. David Conley was accepted at the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated from Berkeley with a deep commitment to education, which he viewed as the engine and vehicle by which society can address issues of social injustice. His driving goal became empowering people to fulfill their potential in a society that treats them with dignity and respect. Dr. Conley spent seven years cofounding, codirecting, teaching at, and administering two public alternative schools where he engaged in the radical redesign and rethinking of education. Here he discovered that each student in these schools (most of whom had been previously categorized as failures) had a talent or interest that was not immediately apparent but could serve as a way for them to own their learning and succeed after high school.

Dr. Conley has continued his commitment to education with 20 years in the public education system as a teacher, building-level and central office administrator, and state education department executive. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder, before joining the University of Oregon faculty in 1989, where his ongoing research has focused on reshaping the relationship between high schools and colleges. In 2002, he founded EPIC to continue his passionate commitment to bridging the divide between educational systems, enabling more students to be ready for successful learning beyond high school. In October 2014, after more than 45 years as a full-time educational leader occupying multiple roles, Dr. Conley reduced his appointment at the UO and retired from EPIC in order to devote more time to innovative design work through his consulting company, EdImagine. Dr. Conley continues to work as a consultant with Inflexion, focusing on strategy development and special projects.

Development of the Four Keys
 Dr. Conley’s Four Keys to College and Career Readiness model incorporates over a decade of research on what it takes to succeed in college and career. This research includes:
  • the development of a proficiency-based college admissions system developed for the Oregon University System,
  • a national study on college readiness standards sponsored by the Association of American Universities,
  • multiple analyses of entry-level college courses sponsored by the College Board and others,
  • college and career readiness standards developed under the sponsorship of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and subsequent studies of their validity relative to college and careers,
  • a study of career preparation programs sponsored by the National Assessment Governing Board,
  • and two major studies sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the alignment of the Common Core State Standards to college and career readiness.

Inflexion is currently building and innovating on top of Conley’s defining work, and specifically on the Four Keys model to make these insights actionable in schools, preparing students not just for college readiness, but for each of their life’s transitions. In today’s connected world, it’s no longer just what you know. That’s why we firmly believe readiness and success should be defined by students’ engagement, adaptability, and what they can do with their knowledge. We help districts and schools create learning communities with the right systems and supports so that all students are graduating truly ready for college, career, and life.

Past Projects