2013 Partnership Activities

New Standards Retreat, September 20, 2013

This event focused on the question, "What do post-secondary faculty need to know about the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the new PARCC assessments?" The retreat connected faculty from community colleges and Northern Illinois University in dialog about implementing the new standards. Participants' number one recommendation was to schedule additional, discipline-specific, faculty-to-faculty conversations during the coming year. A summary of event evaluations is here. Check the Presentations and Handouts section of this site for the agenda and other event materials.

Early College Options

The partnership surveyed early college options offered by the five community colleges. These include dual credit, dual enrollment, CTE courses for articulated credit, open enrollment, and two specialty programs - one at Rock Valley College that enables students to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree in only two years and one at Kishwaukee College that ensures admission to colleges of engineering at NIU and UIUC for successful completers. Read the "Survey of Early College Options in the Northern Illinois Regional College Readiness Partnership."

General Education and the Common Core State Standards

How will higher education institutions accommodate the new standards? NIU researchers working on the Visioning General Education Committee found few models at the national level. Their crosswalk of NIU"s General Education course outcomes and the Common Core State Standards establishes a strong alignment and existing assessments that will be used to benchmark implementation of the new standards. See "Common Core State Standards and General Education at NIU."

Teaching Literacy in the Disciplines

To support expansion of partnership workshops for faculty on teaching literacy in the disciplines, the partnership purchased the following basic texts for use in professional development at each of the member institutuions.

  • Content Matters: A Disciplinary Literacy Approach to Improving Student Learning, Stephanie McConachie, Anthony Petrosky, and Lauren Resnick
  • Adolescent Literacy in the Academic Disciplines: General Principles and Practical Strategies, Tamar Jetton and Cynthia Shanahan
  • Reading Strategies and Practices: A Compendium, Robert Tierney and John Readence

Policy Issues for Alternative Pathways in Mathematics

Controversy exists in the mathematics field about how to best prepare students for success in college math. Partnership research explored policies, barriers, and incentives related to the existing calculus pathway, quantitative literacy pathways, and various models for developmental education in math. Read the report on existing and developing options for students. Additional information on developmental education in math, NIU's math placement exam, and other math-related material may be found here.

Teaching to the New Standards Workshop

In June 2013, community college and NIU teacher preparation faculty met with K-12 teachers proficient in integration of the new standards. Over three days, participants identified and created learning outcomes and lesson plans that will prepare NIU teacher candidates to deliver the content and use the pedagogy of the new standards. Read the brief summary of workshop results. Presentations products from this workshop are available on the Presentations and Handouts page of this site.

Steering Committee

Find contact information for members of the steering committee here.

Community College Transfer Students Performance Data

The partnership community colleges requested that NIU provide information about the performance of their students who transferred to NIU. The Registration and Records Office at NIU prepared a database showing transfer students' GPAs, retention, and graduation rates. A summary of the data for all NIU transfer students over four years will be avaialble here soon. Each college received an individual summary report on its transfer students and a copy of the entire database in which to do their own research.