Reston, VA – The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center today announced the launch of the Affinity Network, to build and strengthen connections between K–12 and postsecondary education systems and facilitate successful transition from high school to college. The Network will bring together educators and administrators from across sectors to tackle a new critical issue each year that requires K-12 and postsecondary systems to work together in order to find solutions.
More than 100 participants from 17 institutions (school districts, two-year and four-year higher education institutions) and six states (Georgia, Washington, Oklahoma, Indiana, Maryland and Nevada) gathered at the inaugural convening of the College Board Affinity Network, held on April 15 and 16 in Reston, VA. The College Board worked with HCM Strategists on organization of the initiative.
Affinity Network members who include directors of curriculum and instruction, teachers, counselors, academic deans and department directors, professors, vice presidents of enrollment, vice presidents of academic affairs, and vice provosts, began to address key questions around the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS were created to ensure that students graduate from high school ready to enter and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remediation.
“To succeed, the Common Core State Standards will require integrated and aligned K–12 and postsecondary policies and practices. The Affinity Network is designed to help participants work to support CCSS implementation with the active engagement and full partnership between higher education and K-12 sectors’, said Christen Pollock, Vice President for the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.
Specifically the group will focus on answering the following questions:
- How could the Common Core State Standards result in changes/shifts in the alignment of high school exit expectations with postsecondary entrance expectations? And what supports (legislative, institutional, research, resources, conversations, etc.) need to be in place to successfully accomplish this alignment?
- How could the Common Core State Standards impact the design of remedial education courses on college campuses?
Through the Affinity Network, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center provides expertise, curates and customizes content, and translates research for Network participates to enable them to make informed decisions and generate inspired ideas and solutions.
“This group is uniquely positioned to create best practices, but more importantly, participants have the ability to implement solutions in their states,” said Tom Rudin, Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Advocacy and Development at the College Board.
Each year the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center will select educators and/or administrators across sectors to join the Network. Participants are invested in a key issue and have the expertise and/or knowledge to arrive at workable solutions. Moving forward, participants will meet face-to-face; and will communicate via an online community. Each cohort will work intently for 9-12 months; after which the Center will identify a new issue and new Network participants.
Participants in the first cohort represent the following institutions:
- Gwinnett County Public Schools
- Georgia Perimeter College
- University of Georgia
- Spokane Public Schools
- Community College of Spokane
- Washington State University-Spokane
- Eastern Washington University
- Oklahoma City Public Schools
- Oklahoma City Community College
- University of Central Oklahoma
- Ivy Tech Community College
- Purdue North Central
- WestVville Schools
- Clark County School District-
- College of Southern Nevada
- University of Nevada Reno
- Prince George’s Community College
- Prince George’s County Public Schools
- University of Maryland College Park
The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice are made to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today. Drawing from the experience of the College Board’s active membership consisting of education professionals from more than 6,000 institutions, priorities include College Preparation & Access, College Affordability & Financial Aid, and College Admission & Completion.
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