New Guide Addresses Curriculum Alignment

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To the Editor:

Jordan E. Horowitz’s recent Commentary (“High School to College: The New Alignment,” Jan. 3, 2011) speaks to an issue of particular concern to community colleges, which recognize fully that many recent high school graduates require a year or more of remedial work before they can enroll in college-level courses. To address this issue, the League for Innovation in the Community College, with support from the MetLife Foundation, led a one-year project to develop a practical guide for aligning curriculum across secondary and postsecondary institutions.

Throughout 2010, more than 150 individuals representing nine community colleges and their secondary, university, and business partners participated in an iterative process to develop and enhance the discussion guide. The resulting publication, “Significant Discussions: A Guide for Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment,” is now available for free download at www.league.org/significantdiscussions.

Through projects focused on successful student transitions, the league has found that improved alignment between secondary and postsecondary curriculum can eliminate the need for remediation and hasten student progress toward certificate or degree completion. The “Significant Discussions” guide offers tools and strategies for developing partnerships, conducting a curriculum-gap analysis, aligning curriculum, and assessing progress toward alignment, as well as recommendations for reducing remediation and improving student success. This resource can help secondary and postsecondary faculty hold the “courageous conversations” Mr. Horowitz says are required for aligning high school and college curriculum.

We at the league invite your readers to examine the “Significant Discussions” guide, and to open or join a conversation with their local community college counterparts about aligning curriculum to help improve learning, opportunity, and success for their students.

Gerardo E. de los Santos
President and Chief Executive Officer
League for Innovation in the Community College
Phoenix, Ariz.

Vol. 30, Issue 18, Page 24

Published in Print: January 26, 2011, as New Guide Addresses Curriculum Alignment
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