The Rearview Mirror: The NGLC Blog in March

Innovative Higher Ed Conferencing

Dispatching from the League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovations Conference, Holly Morris discussed the role of relevance in education reform—making high school curriculum relevant to college curriculum, making course options relevant to a degree pathway, and making financial aid information relevant to avoid students dropping out for financial reasons. And Nancy Millichap reflected on the necessity of failure and the necessity to pitch your idea successfully for innovation to take hold, based on what she discovered at EDUCAUSE Connect: Chicago.

But all that innovation is not just behind us. We look forward to events this summer that kick off two NGLC Institute experiences. Holly Morris gave us a sneak peek into the happenings at those events, the 2014 Breakthrough Models Academy and 2014 Breakthrough Models Incubator.

Next Gen Field-Building

NGLC is always seeking new ideas for promoting student success, especially through tech-supported means, and we look for examples from schools and colleges that are putting those ideas into practice. I provided an NGLC perspective on an EDUCAUSE research study of IPAS, Integrated Planning and Advising Services; the findings from its benchmarking study were released this month. One way to integrate services is to create a comprehensive and modern learning management system. Nancy Millichap looked at a recent NGLC brief on the learning management system that College for America created from the customer relations management tool, Salesforce.

Our dive into innovative practice didn’t stop with higher ed, though. I explored the ways that four of the K-12 schools funded by NGLC—Alpha Public Schools, USC Hybrid High, SFF Detroit, and Whittemore Park Middle School—promote social-emotional learning: strong adult relationships, wraparound services, peer support, instilling a deep sense of purpose, and integrating social-emotional development into the curriculum. And Kristi DePaul dove into the high engagement, high expectations, and digital connections of two K-12 recipients of NGLC planning grants: Brooklyn Lab and Piedmont City Schools, which were featured on Getting Smart.

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