Vice President of Learning and Innovation – Graduation Alliance
Graduation Alliance is committed to serving the needs of each individual learner and excels at enabling even the most at-risk student populations to succeed. This starts with exceptionally-designed courses and curriculum. Some of the unique aspects to Graduation Alliance’s curriculum and instructional design processes are based on our own custom framework which is fundamentally grounded in best practices and research in online modality. Tennents of this framework include:
- A student-centered orientation
- Teacher subject matter expert (SME) teams driving standards alignment and design
- A differentiated approach, 360 degree-support learning community model where the student is supported by their academic coach, teachers, local advocates and others
- A commitment to continuous quality enhancement through the application of the Quality Matters k12 Online/Blended Rubric (5th edition)
In 2017 six SME teachers from core subject areas participated in the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric training to start us on the journey of enhancing the overall quality of our courses and provide the best learning experiences and outcomes in an online modality.
This year we made the commitment and decision to pursue the Quality Matters “stamp of approval” and to do full Quality Matters official course reviews. This marks a seminal moment not only to showcase our curriculum as Quality Matters approved, but more significantly, it demonstrates our commitment to continuous quality enhancement. The QM research-based tool is updated annually with the latest evidence and best practices in online and blended learning design. Additionally the QM standards are directly mapped to those in the National Standards for Quality Online Learning published by iNACOL (the International and North American Council for Online Learning), thereby integrating standards from the two most reputable organizations around k12 online learning.
The most recent movement forward with our commitment to successful learning outcomes for our learner populations came last week when we received notice from our Quality Matters lead reviewer and liaison that our Graduation Alliance course template was accepted with no required changes; in fact, Graduation Alliance received full points on our initial course design review, which, as the reviewer noted, was rare. This news came on the heels of 2019’s approval of 19 courses receiving the American Council of Education’s College Credit approval, much to the excitement of the teachers, instructional designers, QA and support individuals in the curriculum department.
These two events mark exceptional steps forward in our commitment to serving all learners even the hardest to reach who have not been successful in more traditional brick and mortar modalities. Graduation Alliance’s concerted efforts to remove barriers and increase engagement through high quality curriculum and support continues to drive increased student graduation rates.
Our students will ultimately be the beneficiaries of these advancements in curriculum design, focused squarely on providing access to meaningful, quality learning experiences online to foster their success in completing their education, beyond, and in the workforce.
For more information the Quality Matters K12 Rubric.
For more information on the American Council of Education College Credit Reviews.