Promoting Partnerships Between K-12 and Expanded Learning through Competency-based Approaches

Promoting Partnerships Between K-12 and Expanded Learning through Competency-based Approaches
Promoting Partnerships Between K-12 and Expanded Learning through Competency-based Approaches


Many education systems are beginning to embrace a more student-centered learning environment in which students can develop their own personalized pathways and progress through the educational pipeline by demonstrating mastery in a variety of settings.

This webinar will articulate why expanded learning should be seen as an important contributor to a student-centered and competency-based learning environment; describe the role of competency-based expanded learning that can go as far as leading to high school credit; identify what conditions must exist to promote this work; and provide examples of communities that are developing such initiatives.

Presenters Included:

Kim Carter, Executive Director, QED Foundation

Beth Colby, Senior Program Associate, Innovation Lab Network, Council of Chief State School Officers

Alexis Menten, Executive Director, Afterschool and Youth Leadership Initiatives

Jennifer Portillo, Denver Center for International Studies

Presenter Biographies

kim carter formattedKim Carter is the Executive Director of the Q.E.D. Foundation, an organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered learning communities. With over 35 years of experience in education, she has taught preK through graduate school, and provided training and coaching for administrators, teachers, parents, community partners, and youth in schools and organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom. As 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year, Kim has been actively involved in local and national education redesign for over two decades. Kim is passionate about democratic schooling, educational equity, and learning theory. Her expertise and interests include developing adult and youth capacities for co-constructing learning experiences and co-creating learning communities, designing and implementing highly effective learning and assessments, proficiency based pathways, high school redesign, and leveraging technology in service of all of the above.

Beth Colby formattedBeth Colby is the Senior Program Associate for the Innovation Lab Network at the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, DC. The ILN is a network of nine states taking collective action to identify, test and implement student-centered approaches to learning. The CCSSO ILN team facilitates collaboration and communication among ILN states and with a broader audience, and provides leadership and/or support as states move forward to spur system-level change. Before taking the job at CCSSO Beth was the Next Generation Coordinator for the New Hampshire Department of Education and worked for the Newfound Area School District in Bristol, New Hampshire for 15 years as the After School Director and Extended Learning Coordinator.

AlexisMenten headshot formattedAlexis Menten is the Executive Director of Afterschool and Youth Leadership Initiatives at Asia Society, where she leads the development and dissemination of models, tools, and training resources on global learning for afterschool and summer programs. She also is part of the leadership team developing Asia Society’s performance-based assessment system, which supports competency-based education in over 30 US schools that are part of Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network. Alexis joined Asia Society in 2005 after several years in Central Asia and the Middle East, where she coordinated youth programs for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and directed a US State Department-funded educational technology initiative for Relief International – Schools Online. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.

Jennifer Portillo is the Administrative Assistant/Post-Secondary Advisor at DCIS. She works half time supporting the counseling office and half time assisting the DCIS administrative team. She started her career in DPS at the Center for International Studies at West High school under the guidance of Limei Ge working as an assistant to Ms. Ge in Chinese. She worked both at CIS and subsequently at DCIS, as a Social Studies and a Chinese teacher. In 2011 she was part of the team that helped open DCIS at Montbello and worked there as a Social Studies and Chinese teacher before becoming the ISSN/Gates Grant administrator and the Post-Secondary Advisor. Jennifer grew up in Denver and is a proud East/Manual High Complex alumna. Jerry McCracken inspired her to become a teacher and included her in a student group that traveled to China from Manual in 1980. Jennifer graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in World History, received a certificate for Chinese language study at Beijing Normal University, and received her M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from U.C.L.A. She is currently a graduate student in the UCD Counseling Program and is also working on her M.A. in Administrative Leadership.






Click here to view the presentation slideshow

Presenter Information

Kim Carter

Executive Director

QED Foundation

105 State Route 101A, Unit 1A

Amherst, NH 03031


Beth Colby

Senior Program Associate

Innovation Lab Network

Council of Chief State School Officers

One Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20001-1431


Alexis Menten

Executive Director

Afterschool and Youth Leadership Initiatives

725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)

New York, NY 10021


Jennifer Portillo

Denver Center for International Studies

574 W. 6th Avenue

Denver Colorado 80204




The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.