Why Prioritize College and Career Readiness in a Pandemic?
1. Provide Value to Students
2. Stay Ahead of a Changing Postsecondary Landscape
Covid 19 has accelerated this labor market sea change even more, and proactively assisting students in making informed pathway decisions based on trends and data is absolutely essential. Now, more than ever, we need to provide data and resources to students, facilitate learning opportunities with a variety of experts and professionals, and foster consistent collaboration between students and their counselors to effectively plan for postsecondary success.
Additionally, the value of certain four year university degrees can certainly be up for debate depending on a student’s ambitions and interests as well as university instructional plans in the face of the pandemic. For example, while an expensive, private university can be a worthwhile investment for particular career paths, how might the return on that investment change if courses are online for the foreseeable future? There are no concrete answers to this question and other similar ones, but there are critical conversations to be held so that students can make informed decisions regarding their future plans.
3. Craft Reassuring Community Messaging
In uncertain times like these, parents, guardians, and the community at large want to know that school leaders are proactively planning (and taking actionable steps) to ensure student success no matter what contingencies may arise. Folks want to know that districts and schools have thought through everything and are doing all they can to ensure that students will receive a top-notch educational experience across the board - no exceptions. Guardians want to know that college and career readiness is being taken as seriously as ever, and that their students are receiving one on one guidance as they consider their future plans.
Make no mistake about it, many districts and schools at this very moment are making comprehensive plans to deliver all elements of their curriculum (including college and career readiness) no matter what the school year looks like ... whether remote, in-person, or hybrid, they’re going to make sure that individualized counseling takes place. Don’t be left behind, and don’t be playing catch up. Whether it’s instituting technology platforms to streamline and connect all forms of learning or other forms of creative, innovative problem solving and experimentation, your community will appreciate and respect that you are thinking everything through, planning for all possibilities, and taking a proactive approach.
4. Bridge Achievement Gaps Caused by Remote and Hybrid Learning
The 2 Programmatic Considerations you can't Ignore During Covid-19
Accepting the premise that it is critically important to emphasize college and career readiness in an era of Covid 19, let’s consider how to design a counseling framework that can produce successful outcomes for as many students as possible.
1. Providing Consistency in Instructional and Learning Quality
Accessible online, 24/7
Fully featured with virtual tools for career, college, and personal exploration
Integrated, online tools to facilitate college application completion and transmission
Streamlines messaging and communication between relevant stakeholders (students, guardians, counselors) to support collaboration and transparency
Features media-rich, engaging learning modules to provide instruction related to the college / career readiness journey
Facilitates virtual learning events (rep visits, career fairs, etc)
An accountability system with real-time visibility into student activity and progress
With these components in place, students can flow from one cohort to another and instruction can continue uninterrupted as conditions and circumstances may change. You’ll make your counselors’ lives easier and provide clarity to students and guardians at all times.
2. Give Guardians the Tools and Resources to Stay Engaged
Provide complete visibility into student to-dos, milestones, deadlines, and progress
Streamline communication to facilitate a collaborative approach to ensuring student outcomes
Provide resources to guardians - such as optional lesson plans - to help guardians easily engage in the process with and support their students