The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in Competency-Based Education Systems

The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in Competency-Based Education Systems
The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in Competency-Based Education Systems


State and district education leaders are increasingly considering implementing competency-based pathways and systems as a way to help more students become college and career ready.  Competency-based education allows students to advance at their own pace and provides differentiated, student-centered instruction and assessment across a full range of competencies. Expanded learning opportunities (ELOs), which take place outside of the boundaries of the school day and allow students to access unique and engaging learning experiences, can play a valuable role in such systems by augmenting, reinforcing, and applying learning during the school day.

Because competency education includes individualized measures of proficiency and directly challenges the notion of time-based education, stakeholders have many questions about designing and implementing these new systems. This discussion group provided an opportunity to hear from leaders who are currently incorporating expanded learning opportunities into competency-based systems. Participants discussed and explored the opportunities and challenges inherent in this work.

Presenters Included:

Adam Greenman, Executive Director, Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance

Carolyn Hudman, Director, Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance

Hillary Salmons, Executive Director, Providence After School Alliance

Lynn Stanley, Lead, New Hampshire Afterschool Network

Chris Sturgis, Principal, MetisNet

Presenter Biographies

Photo_Adam GreenmanAdam Greenman is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance.  He has been involved with education reform and youth development initiatives since 2004, in both direct service and nonprofit advocacy.  Prior to joining RIASPA as Project Manager, Adam worked for the Rutgers University Community Leadership Center, creating partnerships for the university with local middle and high schools, and working with those schools to create high-quality afterschool and summer programming.  He began his career as a middle school social studies teacher in Camden, NJ as part of the Teach For America program.  Adam received his B.A. from The George Washington University, his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in education at Northeastern University.

Photo_Carolyn HudmanCarolyn Hudman serves as the director of the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance (KYOSA). KYOSA is a non-profit organization which serves as the infrastructure to support the continued growth, development and accessibility of quality out-of-school time programs to promote the success of Kentucky’s children and youth. A zealous advocate for school-age programs, Carolyn has been part of KYOSA since its inception in 2007 and worked with hundreds of program providers to build Kentucky’s School-Age Quality Framework. Honored to serve Kentucky’s out-of-school time providers, Carolyn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Louisville and a Master’s Degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Photo_Hillary SalmonsFor nine years Hillary has managed the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), a public-private non-profit organization whose mission is to expand and improve quality after school, summer and expanded learning opportunities for the youth of Providence. She is responsible for PASA’s community engagement, management, planning, and long-term development and sustainability. Hillary works closely with the Mayor, School Superintendent, and over 100 community groups to manage two high-quality, hands-on expanded learning systems for middle and high school youth.

Prior to PASA, Hillary led Health & Education Leadership for Providence, a coalition of colleges and hospitals that focused on improving the health and education of the children of Providence. She has also worked with Refugees International, as well as a deputy at CAMBA, a Brooklyn Community Development organization. Hillary has an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. from Harvard University.

Photo_Lynn StanleyLynn Stanley, LICSW, is the Lead for the New Hampshire Afterschool Network coordinating advocacy and policy efforts that promote high-quality afterschool programming.  Lynn also serves as adjunct faculty for Mt. Washington College and Rivier University. She provides on-going training to afterschool professionals through BOOST NH and to foster and adoptive parents through Granite State College’s Education and Training Partnership. She has 20 years of experience in social services including overseeing a school-based family resource center and 21st CCLC in New Hampshire.

Photo_Chris SturgisChris Sturgis is Principal of MetisNet, a consulting firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that specializes in supporting foundations and special initiatives in strategy development, coaching, and rapid research. MetisNet specializes in competency education, high school reform, dropout recovery, youth issues, and community engagement. Chris brings a commitment to drawing on local knowledge (metis) early in the design process to ensure that problem definition reflects the realities of communities. Her knowledge of philanthropy was developed while at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Omidyar Foundation. Prior to joining the philanthropic sector, she worked in state government, human service organizations, and campaigns.

Clients include the Donnell-Kay Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sapelo Foundation, Skillman Foundation, and the McCune Foundation. She has consulted to the U.S. Department of Education on secondary school policy. She is co-founder of the Youth Transition Funders Group and manages the Connected by 25 blog. Chris is a co-founder of  CompetencyWorks.  Chris is a frequent writer on education, youth, and competency education.

Recommended resources

Partcipant recommendations


Presenter information

Adam Greenman

Executive Director

Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance

50 Valley Street

Providence, RI 02909

(401) 331-2638

Carolyn Hudman


Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance

915 Leawood Drive, Suite B

Frankfort, KY 40601

(502) 607-8900

Hillary Salmons

Executive Director

Providence After School Alliance

140 Broadway

Providence, RI 02903

(401) 490-9599

Lynn Stanley


New Hampshire Afterschool Network

29 Commerce Drive

Bedford, NH 03110

(603) 206-6804

Chris Sturgis



(415) 699-1220






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.