Graduation Alliance announces acquisition of AdvancePath Academics

For Immediate Release

Contact: Joanna Camburn 801-462-2029 joanna.camburn@graduationalliance.com

Graduation Alliance announces acquisition of AdvancePath Academics

SALT LAKE CITY — Graduation Alliance, a leader in dropout prevention, dropout recovery and career preparation programs for students of all ages, announced today an expansion of its services through an acquisition of AdvancePath Academics.

The union brings together best practice- and evidence-based solutions that provide opportunities for students who have struggled in traditional academic settings. More than 419,000 students have been served by the combined company since 2005.

“There is no one perfect model for overcoming the obstacles that keep people from achieving their academic goals,” Graduation Alliance CEO Ron Klausner said. “There are, however, some models that have proven successful for specific groups of students. Today we bring together two organizations with highly complementary approaches and strong, demonstrated efficacy.”

Since 2007, Graduation Alliance has provided online education, intensive support services and workforce preparation options to school districts, states, community colleges and workforce investment boards across the country. Graduation Alliance specializes in locating, re-engaging and educating these students, who enroll in programs to earn a high school diploma and receive industry credentials.

Since 2005, AdvancePath Academics has worked with school district partners to create and manage place-based academies for high school students who are generally over-age and credit deficient.

“What really makes sense about merging these two organizations is that they share a deep passion for helping public educators and all students get the educational opportunities they need and deserve,” AdvancePath Executive Chairman John Murray said. “Every day both organizations see that what we do not only makes a difference in the lives of our students but also in the lives of their families – it is a truly noble cause.”

The two organizations have worked with more than 600 public schools, districts and community colleges across the nation to support students who need additional help reaching their academic goals. Specialization in research-based, non-cognitive “soft skills” development is a noted strength of both organizations and will continue to be a vital part of the combined company’s approach to serving students.

“It’s encouraging to see such dedication, on the part of everyone involved in this union, to the role that social and emotional skill-building can and should play in the lives of students,” said Scott Solberg, the associate dean of research at the Boston University School of Education and the chief research officer for ScholarCentric, which merged with AdvancePath in 2015 and will now become part of the Graduation Alliance spectrum of services. “Knowledge-building is vital, but it’s not very useful if students aren’t also given support and instilled with confidence. All of these organizations understand and embrace that — which is why this makes so much sense for all of our students.”

About Graduation Alliance

Since 2007, Graduation Alliance has given schools and communities across the nation the resources and support needed to help individuals reach their educational and career goals. In partnership with school districts, local governments, non-profits, workforce development boards and community colleges, Graduation Alliance develops highly effective alternative education and workforce training programs. As an organization, Graduation Alliance embraces principles of social entrepreneurship and is supported by backers, including New Markets Venture Partners, who believe in always putting students first. For more information about Graduation Alliance, visit graduationalliance.com

[Webinar Recording] Learn to Identify At-Risk Students Earlier

What can we do to identify at-risk students sooner? Schools and districts can incorporate resiliency data into their early warning systems. This type of social and emotional data can help educators identify areas such as stress, confidence, and health that students are struggling with that eventually impact their academic performance.

Hear from Dr. Jan Vesely, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction & Curriculum for Sunnyside Unified School District (AZ), and Dr. V. Scott Solberg, Associate Dean of Research at Boston University School of Education, as they examine:

  • Why districts and schools should develop specific tipping points or early warning indicators.
  • How college and career readiness can be propelled by a unified system of predictive indicators and tiered evidence based interventions.
  • How attendance, behavior, and course performance can be modified and improved through organized and informed actions at the school, district, and community levels.
  • How one district utilizes resiliency data as a core component of its early warning system.

Watch the Webinar.

[Webinar Recording] Learn how mindfulness techniques can help build student resilience

During an hour-long webinar, broadcast on March 18, 2014, Amy Bloom Connolly, M.S., Founder & Director of The Center for Mindful Awareness and Dr. Harriette Wimms, Director of Student Support at The SEED School of Maryland:

  • Examine the role of social emotional learning in the classroom.
  • Explore the relationship between social emotional learning and self-regulation, executive functioning, academic persistence, and social skills development.
  • Discuss the impact of mindfulness practices on social emotional learning in the classroom setting.
  • Provide an overview of the research on mindfulness and brain development and children.
  • Examine two effective mindfulness practices for supporting self-awareness, fostering emotional regulation and strengthening executive functioning.
  • Share three resources for learning more about the effective use of mindfulness in classrooms.

Watch the webinar.

Published by Education Daily

Resiliency key to students’ success in Common Core

Students’ success with the Common Core State Standards may be dependent on their resiliency and social-emotional learning skills.

Research has pointed to several resiliency skills common among students who overcome odds like poverty and achieve academic success. These skills include goal setting and understanding the importance of school, academic confidence, strong connections with others, stress management, a balanced sense of well-being, and intrinsic motivation.

“Kids who are strong in these areas tend to do better in school, and kids who are weak in these areas tend not to do as well in school,” said Melissa Schlinger, vice president of national accounts at ScholarCentric, during a recent webinar.

In many classrooms, resiliency and perseverance are often discussed early in the school year, but the emphasis goes away over the course of the year, said Jan Vesely, assistant superintendent of Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, Ariz., during the webinar. Educators need to emphasize resiliency in classrooms and realize the process creates students who are capable of responding to challenges and setbacks.

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