Lone Star College-Tomball Reports Improvements in Student Engagement, Persistence, and Achievement Through Pearson’s GRIT™ Program

College’s case study results reveal that GRIT is an important factor linked to student success


NEW YORK – August 31, 2016Today, Pearson and Lone Star College-Tomball (LSC-Tomball) announced the results of a newly released case study, based on the institution’s “GRIT, Growth, Greatness” (G3) college-wide initiative, including the Student Success online and on-campus course. To counteract declining enrollments and less-than-satisfactory performance on Lone Star College district Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) achievement in core academics, persistence, and certificate/degree completion – in fall 2015, LSC-Tomball adopted a strategic focus around GRIT as a means to better prepare students in their pursuit of academic, career, and life aspirations.


The Pearson GRIT Program was established last year in collaboration with PEAK Learning, Inc. The GRIT Gauge™ is the only current assessment tool that measures both the quality and quantity of one’s GRIT across four validated dimensions: Growth, Resilience, Instinct, and Tenacity. According to the LSC-Tomball case study, data analysis showed correlations between GRIT scores and LSC-Tomball key performance indicators, and offers evidence that higher GRIT scores are associated with better performance. Also, preliminary data show higher rates of successful course completion among the “with GRIT” students than those in classes without additional GRIT instruction, and individual educators reported improvements in engagement, persistence, and achievement.


Lee Ann Nutt, Ed.D., Lone Star College-Tomball president, considers GRIT to be an essential factor in student success. Nutt, with the support of faculty and staff, embarked on an impact study to enhance GRIT-related methods and to measure their impact on student engagement, performance, persistence, and goal attainment. LSC-Tomball partnered with Pearson to answer key questions such as whether higher GRIT scores are associated with LSC-Tomball KPIs, such as course completion, course load, and re-enrollment, as well as how an educator’s more intensive infusion of GRIT impacts student results.


Among the faculty who voluntarily went beyond the minimum “With GRIT” guidelines is Latoya Lewis. Lewis infused GRIT in every aspect of her fall 2015 online Student Success Course by intentionally modeling GRIT for students and adapting assignments to explicitly develop students’ GRIT.


“My students quickly came to see the value of GRIT; they began to engage and perform at a significantly higher level than I had seen before. I was frankly wowed by the results. I had the best retention ever for an online class,” said Professor Lewis.


“Results thus far confirm that GRIT is an important factor linked to student success and that GRIT can be grown, developed, and strengthened over time. I am particularly encouraged that individual faculty like Latoya Lewis are creating GRIT best practices that we can share to energize our teaching and empower students further. We are continuing to establish GRIT as part of our identity, embed GRIT in our culture on a college-wide basis, and measure results to help us refine our approach,” said Nutt.


“Congratulations to LSC-Tomball’s administrators and educators on the compelling preliminary results of their G3 impact study. We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration to further improve outcomes for students across the college, thereby helping more students to complete their higher education goals and increase their employability,” said Leah Jewell, managing director of career development and employability at Pearson.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.Pearsoned.com.


About Lone Star College-Tomball

Known for its leadership, innovation and steadfast commitment to student success, Lone Star College provides high-quality academic transfer and workforce education/career training programs to more than 83,000 credit students each semester, and a total enrollment of 95,000 students. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to promote student success and economic prosperity. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, which consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu


EdReports.org reviews find some ELA textbooks better meet criteria for alignment to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) than others


Educator Reviews of Instructional Materials Expands to Include English Language Arts (ELA)



Durham, NC — August 30, 2016 — EdReports.org, a nonprofit that offers free reviews of instructional materials to determine alignment to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), today announced the results of its first round of English Language Arts (ELA) reviews. Their findings revealed that three of the seven instructional materials series reviewed fully met alignment criteria.


“The release of our first ELA reports represents an important milestone for EdReports.org and for educators,” said EdReports.org’s Executive Director Eric Hirsch. “We have heard from so many teachers and administrators who let us know how our reviews of math materials filled a crucial gap when making purchasing decisions. We are delighted to be able to expand this effort to identify high-quality ELA materials as well.”


In its inaugural review of ELA instructional materials, EdReports.org’s Content Review Teams analyzed seven year-long series against indicators for alignment to the CCSS, looking for text quality and complexity, alignment to standards, and building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Materials that meet criteria for alignment were then further evaluated to determine their “usability,” which includes supports for educators, multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners, effective lesson structure and pacing, good student assessment practices and effective use of technology.


After reviewing 22 grades across the seven series, EdReports.org found that:

3 series met expectations for alignment and usability:

  • Amplify ELA (Amplify Publishing): Grades 6-8
  • Expeditionary Learning (EL Publishing): Grades 6-8
  • ReadyGEN (Pearson): Grades 3-5

3 series partially met expectations for alignment:

  • Bookworms (OER): Grades 3-5
  • Collections (HMH): Grades 6-8
  • SpringBoard (College Board): Grades 6-8

1 series did not meet expectations for alignment:

  • Reading Street (Pearson): Grades 3-6

State education officials overseeing curriculum applauded the release.  “Louisiana believes that one of the most critical decisions districts can make to improve student learning is choosing a high-quality curriculum,” said Rebecca Kockler, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Content at the Louisiana Department of Education. “The ELA curriculum reports released by EdReports.org support our school systems in this process, by offering them reputable reviews of curricula that will support teacher and student needs in the classroom.”
Hirsch also offered some overarching observations of the ELA reviews.  “Most all of the series’ text quality and complexity were at grade level,” said Hirsch, “but our Content Review Teams also noted materials generally need to focus more instructional content on speaking and listening and provide more consistency in evidence-based tasks and questions.”


Materials review teams are comprised of outstanding classroom educators and ELA experts who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the CCSS. They represent every grade level and average more than 15 years of classroom teaching experience.


EdReports.org will continue to review additional K-12 print and digital instructional materials in ELA and math and will release the results on a rolling basis. For more information on the results and review process, visit:http://www.edreports.org/ela/reports/index.html#?f=&o=0


Lexia Reading Core5 Satisfies All Criteria for WIDA PRIME V2 Correlation
Globally recognized standard for ELL instruction underscores Lexia’s rigorous approach to supporting English learners

BOSTON, Aug. 31, 2016 – Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) Company, today announced that Lexia Reading Core5® has been recognized by WIDA as satisfying all 44 criteria under the WIDA PRIME V2 Correlation for English Language Development Standards. This designation provides further credibility for Lexia’s research-proven instructional literacy program, which is currently used by more than 2.6 million students, and has been shown to help ELL students close the academic gap.

WIDA is a consortium of more than 30 states dedicated to the design and implementation of high academic standards for English language learners (ELLs). The WIDA PRIME V2 Correlation is designed to assist educators in making informed decisions about selecting instructional materials for language education programs.

For the full release, click here.


Association for Learning Environments Congratulates Advanced Academy for Designing Learning Spaces Graduates


WASHINGTON, DC  (August 29, 2016) The Association for Learning Environments’ Advanced Academy for Designing Learning Spaces, a certificate program in educational facility planning, congratulates the new Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) designees who recently completed the program. This cohort of students from across the globe will be recognized at the Association’s LearningSCAPES Conference, September 28-October 1 in Philadelphia.

The ALEP designation is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and identify those in the educational environment industry who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of educational facility planning. Geared towards educational facility planning practitioners with a vested interest in advancing their profession and the industry, the designation  stands as a mark of excellence and has been developed to reflect the knowledge, skills, and abilities of a competent educational facilities planner. Earning the ALEP credential is the hallmark of a committed educational facility planner and helps drive professional self-confidence, opens doors, creates connections and offers widespread value and recognition for candidates.

The Advanced Academy program of study centers on the student, beginning with a course on learner needs and styles. Each of the remaining courses addresses one component of a successful planning process that results in learner-centered schools.  The program curriculum, comprised of six-week online courses, draws from Creating Connections: The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning (2004), as well as supplemental materials recommended by the expert faculty member developing the course and serving as instructor of the pilot modules. Instructors were recruited according to their particular areas of expertise, drawing upon a wide range of professional perspectives and experiences and ensuring specialized content knowledge for each course. A performance-based project links each course to the larger Certificate Program curriculum.


Congratulations to the following ALEP’s:

Matthew Arabasz, RB&B Architects, Inc.

Brian Bohlender, Barton-Coe-Vilamis Architects & Engineers

Paul Bradshaw, Grimm & Parker Architects

Michelle Chavey, Hollis + Miller Architects                                            .

John  Darveau, frk architects +engineers

Joel Gallihue, HCPS

Sayre Gerhart, Architectural Research Consultants Inc.

Chad Hamilton, Hamilton Aitken Architects

  1. Victor Hellman, Educational Facilities Clearinghouse

Brandon Hillman, Contrax

Sheila Iglecias-Del Sol, Gulliver Schools

Mary Knopf, ECI

Adam Krason, ZMM Inc.

Simon Le Nepveu, Clarke Hopkins Clarke

David L’Hommedieud, Saratoga Springs City SD

Krystal McGee, Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects

Hanadi Samhan, khatib and alami

Jolene Santema, TSP

Claire Seger, Stafford King Wiese Architects

John Shea, Habeeb & Associates Architects

Sarah Smith, Oak Point Associates

Nick Stephenson, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Melissa Willfong, Grimm & Parker Architects


The Association for Learning Environments, formerly the Council of Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), is the only professional organization whose primary purpose is improving the places where children learn.  With approximately 4,500 members, A4LE encompasses six geographic regions across the United States, and supports regional representation in Canada, Australasia, and the UK.  A4LE embraces a collaborative network of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning places that inspire transformation in education, enhance student and teacher performance, and support culture and community vitality. To learn more, visitwww.a4le.org or follow us on Twitter @A4LE2. For registration and further information on the Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces, please visit Click Here.