Monday, December 6, 2010

New CAP Report Highlights ConnectEDU as Part of Solution for Informed Higher Ed Decisions

December 6, 2010 - We have a lot of respect for the work being done by the Center for American Progress.  Therefore you can imagine how pleased we were to see their latest December 2010 report titled "The Social Life of College Information" where they named ConnectEDU as part of the solution for helping students learn more about college and their options for empowering informed decision making.

One of my favorite lines: "ConnectEDU's software supports the relationships among guidance counselors, students and college officials by enriching those connections with data about college quality and student performance." 

After all, as most of you know,  at ConnectEDU we're helping students begin the dialog early on and more importantly we're helping them have all of the pieces of the puzzle in one place - an online place that provides clarity and support.

Click here to read the full report

ConnectEDU is presented as a case study on page 18, but here are the main highlights straight from the report:

The allure of a product like ConnectEDU is not just the fact that it connects the student with the counselor.  It is also that their connection is infused with data-data about the student's college search (for the counselor) and data about colleges (for both counselor and student).  This data-driven approach enhances the relationship between student and counselor so that the counselor may better tailor his or her approach to the individual student, making more efficient use of the limited time they have together.

One of the primary obstacles to using experiential and relational techniques to enhance students' and families' ability to make informed decisions is the scalability of person-to-person programs. ConnectEDU takes a step toward addressing this problem with its web-based platform for college access. ConnectEDU's software supports the relationships among guidance counselors, students, and college officials by enriching those connections with data about college quality and student performance.

The primary premise behind ConnectEDU's product is that schools hold data that can inform students' choices about college-going. ConnectEDU connects the data with interactive course planning, career exploration, and college search features to enrich the student experience. It also connects student-level information to the guidance counselor and college official portals so that these individuals can give better advice to students.

For instance, a student may log onto ConnectEDU to explore college options. The website offers college search tools that allow a student to find institutions based on criteria such as geography and program of study. ConnectEDU also links this search to data about the student's GPA, test scores, and course history to help the student gauge whether the college is a good fit.

The student's search and career exploration activities, as well as his or her college application progress, are linked to the guidance counselor portal so that the student's guidance counselor can comment (either electronically or in person) on the student's progress. This means that communication between student and counselor is more informed and more focused on the student's goals and needs. The community aspects of ConnectEDU provide "purpose networks" in which students can communicate directly with college admissions officials if they choose.  The students can create profiles of themselves that include data pulled from school records to inform their interactions with college representatives.

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