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Engagement, Capacity and Continuity: An Overview of A Trilogy for Student Success

Campbell paper
Type: Article
Author(s): Eric J. Jolly, Patricia B. Campbell, and Lesley Perlman
Published: GE Foundation, 2004
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"This report suggests ways to increase the number and diversity of those pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It analyzes why successful individual reform efforts have not led to broader increases in students achieving at high levels nor entering science and math oriented careers and identifies three components necessary to increase success in quantitative sciences:

  • Engagement - an awareness, interest, or motivation (the spark)
  • Capacity - the knowledge and skills to advance in increasingly rigorous subject matter (the skills)
  • Continuity - opportunities, resources, and guidance to support advancement (the pathways)

Authors Dr. Eric J. Jolly (Science Museum of Minnesota), Dr. Patricia B. Campbell (Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc.) and Lesley K. Perlman (Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc.) maintain that when any one component is missing, student achievement falls off. They point out that, while many programs have supported individual components of engagement, capacity, and continuity, there has never been an effort to integrate all three.

The report, funded by the GE Foundation, gives recommendations based on the ECC Trilogy for what educational policy makers, sponsors, curriculum/program directors, evaluators, district/school administrators, teachers, museums and other informal science institutions can do to bring about student success in the sciences and quantitative disciplines in their realm of influence."

To see this report online and to access the report summary, please visit:


Freely Available