Thursday, February 7, 2008

Marching To The Same Beat

February 7, 2008- I was recently forwarded a fantastic online resource that has been published by the great folks at GEAR UP and is a result of the Principal’s Call-In Session from last October’s New England Gear Up Conference.

The online book entitled, 100 College Going Strategies: New England Principals Lead The Way excited me for several reasons. As I read through the pages of strategies proposed by this group of progressive principals, I couldn’t help but notice that the underlying themes of this book point to our core values here at ConnectEdu. As I have outlined below, there is a clear synergy between what the GEAR UP organization and progressive principals are looking for to improve their “going to college” curriculum and the endless opportunities provided through Connect!

RELATIONSHIPS

Build relationships with young people as early as middle school. Through the development of these relationships, expose students to the “concept” of college and possible careers. More importantly, gather feedback from young people about their college planning needs and goals.

Build relationships with parents by introducing them to Connect! and educating them on the many ways in which the technology can make college planning and financing less complicated.

Build relationships with employers so that students are exposed to actual career opportunities earlier on in their journey.

INNOVATION

Utilize technology to streamline the “going to college” process for students and their families.

Create a comprehensive solution that incorporates all aspects of college planning in one secure, online location to make life easier for students and parents. As Jeanne Tucker, Principal at Mt. Abram High School in Maine, advocates: “Utilize ConnectEdu to provide students, guidance and families one place to track, plan, and apply for college.”

Put the feedback from young people, parents, and counselors into action as we continually enhance and at often times create new features within Connect!

RESULTS

Create a cultural change for many young people by broadening their view of what is possible relative to college and career goals. Derek Pierce, Principal at Casco Bay HS in Maine, very appropriately calls for the creation of a “college ready” culture.

A new “going to college to career” process for young people in New England and throughout the country that provides greater access to higher education.
Collaborative communication between students, parents, and counselors and ultimately more college bound students.

It is great to see this synergy and to know that Connect! is a part of the strategy that these New England principals are advocating.
Check out the online book.

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