South Carolina Alignment Project

The South Carolina Course Alignment Project

Project Goals

With the implementation of this statewide project, South Carolina has taken a leading national role by addressing the critical issue of improving K-16 alignment. An aligned K-16 system is one with clear, sequential expectations for students at each level. Holding all students to these expectations enables them to continue to learn throughout their lives by preparing them for success in postsecondary education, the workplace, and society.

Regional workshops bring instructors together

In February 2014, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) and EPIC invited SC CAP participants to regional workshops. Educators from high schools, 2-year colleges, and 4-year universities discussed ways that their respective institutions work to create better transitions between high school and postsecondary levels. Using concepts from Dr. Conley's model of the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness, participants discussed ways that they can encourage students to take ownership in their learning.

One of the ways to do this is to foster independent problem solving by challenging students with meaningful and authentic performance tasks. Participants in the workshop discussed ways that performance tasks could be integrated into the paired course curricula that currently exist. One possible goal for the coming year is to update the current course curricula.

In an effort to improve alignment between high school courses and entry-level college courses, teachers and administrators across South Carolina work together to ensure a seamless transition for students. The goals of the project are to:
  • Improve high school graduation rates, reduces the need for remedial instruction in college, and improves college retention and graduation rates;
  • Uses a state-wide framework that supports local solutions;
  • Strengthen faculty resources by creating regional networks of professional educators who can share ideas, collaborate, and modify their current policies and practices as they learn how to prepare all students for postsecondary success; and
  • Create clear pathways between high school and college coursework to reduce curriculum redundancy between high school and college.
Participants use each other as content resources in their regional consultant groups and teach paired courses together. These courses are intentionally designed as a sequential curriculum between the senior year of high school and the freshman year of college.