SALT LAKE CITY, Jun. 26, 2014 — Graduation Alliance, which partners with school districts across the United States to serve at-risk students, announced on Thursday it has acquired key assets from college and career planning company ConnectEDU.
The move brings together two companies focused on improving outcomes for students who are in need of added support in the pursuit of educational and career goals.
“We have a proven record of helping students get back on track toward obtaining a high school diploma and beyond,” said Graduation Alliance CEO Ray Kelly. “As we strive to help even more students aspire to college and careers, this was a very natural fit.”
The acquisition includes ongoing contracts, key team members and several of ConnectEDU’s educational products and services, including the Connect! college and career planning platform and the Epsilen collaborative learning environment. Graduation Alliance will immediately begin working to advance the performance of these products and ensure the continuation of services to current ConnectEDU students and customers.
The acquisition comes two months after Boston-based ConnectEDU filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, causing concern over the stability of some long-term contracts. Kelly said customers whose contracts will be administered by Graduation Alliance can now rest assured that they are in good hands.
“A lot of hard work went into building these partnerships,” Kelly said. “There remains a lot of opportunity to sustain that work, continue to grow, and — most of all — help students succeed.”
Kelly said privacy of student data will be a paramount consideration in the transition.
“We’ll be working proactively to give students who were engaged in ConnectEDU programs the opportunity to continue to build on those relationships or opt out,” he said. “We’ll go above and beyond to make sure students understand that they have ownership of their personal information.”
New Markets Education Partners, a Maryland-based education and technology venture capital firm that has invested in Graduation Alliance, led the acquisition of ConnectEDU assets.
“The combined assets of these companies provide both a safety net and an alternative pathway for students who are struggling to find the right route to graduation and beyond,” said New Markets general partner and Graduation Alliance board co-chair Mark Grovic. “Together, that makes not just for an exciting company but an exciting opportunity to solve one of our nation’s biggest problems: improving the graduation rate and closing the achievement gap.”
Graduation Alliance works with more than 80 school districts to provide the flexibility, social support and academic interventions many students need to earn a high school diploma. While specializing in the area of dropout recovery, Graduation Alliance also has experience and expertise creating specialized curriculum strong in life skills and CTE, building learning management environments, and facilitating academic mentorship programs for a diversity of learners. For more information visit GraduationAlliance.com.
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