We work with schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions who are seeking to create holistic and systemic change, and end the cycle of bouncing from one short-term effort to the next. Our partners are willing to be challenged and to commit deeply to the work, and want to invest in a focused strategic foundation that can be sequentially and incrementally built on. We collectively aim to:
- Improve successful student transitions from high school to college or from lower- to upper-division college courses and programs.
- Improve and maintain high retention and degree attainment rates, creating pathways for student success.
- Better and more clearly articulate student learning outcomes so readiness and success are defined by students’ engagement, adaptability, and what they can dowith their knowledge, rather than just content mastery and testing.
- Equip and empower every student to pursue their passions, interests, and aspirations.
EPIC is a nonprofit consulting group that can help you close the gaps through consulting services specific to creating customized, holistic, and
sustainable practices for college and career readiness and student success. Please contact us if you would like our support in making the case for alignment, partnering with local high schools and upper division institutions, or simply to discuss how to better align your courses throughout programs.
Secure Funding for your Curriculum Alignment Efforts
If you are considering applying for funding (either as part of your annual budget process or when requesting external funds), curricular alignment can be presented as part of a strong logic model, spelling the difference between winning and losing.
If you would like to plan a curriculum alignment effort, EPIC can expertly provide you with:
- A logic model that supports curriculum alignment, which can be integrated with the logic model for your institution’s student success plans.
- Examples of how curricular alignment has proven to be effective at other colleges.
- Clear explanations about how curriculum alignment meets priorities of funders and of community colleges focused on measurable results.
- Assistance structuring the faculty/staff development and curriculum/co-curriculum development implementation steps for a project, integrating the effort with an overall plan.
- Assistance in making the case that a curriculum alignment effort is new and innovative at your college, and supported by evidence of effectiveness.
- Information needed for your budget and budget narrative. When funders and/or institutional procurement offices allow specific services to be named in the proposal for funding, EPIC would be pleased to provide information about our services for your consideration. Where procurement standards require prequalification of named providers, or competitive bidding after external funding is received, we would be pleased to compete at the appropriate time in the open bidding process for the opportunity to meet your institution’s needs.
Design your Curriculum Alignment Program
The Bridge Method is a curriculum creation/revision and alignment program designed to empower and engage instructors in the processes of
- incorporating standards into their curriculum using a quality syllabus format and
- collaborating to map and gap standards coverage across a set of courses.
This attention to a connected process improves the quality and transparency of students’ earned credentials and enhances the economic strength and on-the-job success of students earning a certificate or degree.
We can invest in student success by connecting effective curriculum and competencies through an ongoing, phased examination process. Aligned curricular pathways ensure that learning outcomes match career and educational goals. They provide confidence to students, postsecondary institutions, and employers that vital knowledge and skills are represented by a credential and may influence the success and completion rates of students.
Before implementing any process or program, it is important to identify the immediate and long-term problems you aim to address. Curriculum alignment can be a part of the solution for addressing many common problems.
The focus of an alignment effort can be as narrow as the alignment of two courses (for example, a developmental math course and the first college-credit mathematics course) or broadened to include all courses in a department or discipline.
Download the following documents to read more about the Bridge Method and how to design a curriculum alignment program.
Host a Workshop
One of the most powerful yet challenging steps to improve the connections between high school and college, and associate degree and baccalaureate degree programs, is to align standards, course content, and student performance expectations with what students will experience at the next level.
EPIC can visit your college and work with faculty and local high school teachers to:
- Deepen an understanding of alignment strategies and concepts.
- Redefine student readiness for their districts and schools, and make strategic decisions and implement them.
- Gain buy-in, shared understanding, and alignment around the goals, actions, and outcomes across districts and/or schools.
- Audit, strengthen, and connect educators’ efforts.
- Provide strategies for standards-to-curriculum and standards-to-practice alignment.
- Support successful partnerships between educational systems and institutions to make measurable improvements in the college and career readiness of students.
Learn More About the Bridge Method:
- Read about the AP® Course Audit and how lessons from over 8 years of syllabi alignment and faculty facilitation has shaped the Bridge Method.
“The collaboration between college faculty and AP teachers lies at the core of AP, ensuring rigor, relevance, and fairness. These groups work together to develop, deliver, and evaluate AP.” – 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation
- Listen to the faculty and administrators at Rend Lake College, IL as they reflect on the impact of their curriculum alignment efforts.
“The process of curriculum alignment is best viewed as a means to a set of ends, designed with a long-term view. Rend Lake faculty and district high school teachers agree that the focus on guided pathways from high school to higher education is a necessary component for assuring student persistence and success.”
- Review a case study on top-performing Valencia College.
Valencia’s experience reveals that no single strategy brings the success that the college seeks. However, central to the college’s learning-centered work. reaching back over 25 years, are processes of defining and aligning the learning experience delivered by both the curriculum and co-curriculum.
- See the impact that a strong, innovative statewide dual enrollment effort in South Carolina has on students and their futures.
“My participation in the Course Alignment Project has really opened my eyes to the preparation students get in high school. The best thing that has come out of the project is being able to work with other professors and high school teachers, and to gain an understanding of what we expect at each level.” – Dr. Amy Pope, Physics Department, Clemson University, SC
Follow the National Dialogue on Building A Learning-Based Credentialing System
In 2015, EPIC joined the Lumina Foundation almost 90 other cosponsoring organizations in calling for ways to transform our nation’s highly diverse and fragmented credentialing system into one that is student-centered and learning-based. Change is needed for several reasons: to ensure educational quality; to increase access; to better align the work of industry, education and certification/licensure agencies; to multiply the benefits of increased attainment; to reduce social inequity; and to foster individual progress that results in market-valued credentials.