Monday, January 3, 2011

APATHY STEP ASIDE -- 2011 Promises to be a Year of Continued Change to the Benefit of Students Everywhere!

January 3, 2011 -- At ConnectEDU, we know that building the RIGHT technology to empower students means putting student  success front and center.

As we kick off the New Year, I'm excited by the infrastructure investments we have made at ConnectEDU to ensure that our platform for managing students’ curriculum, college and career pathways is on track.  
It has been an outstanding year, filled with affirmations ranging from our growing team and expanding product capabilities to our growing client engagements which now include the states of Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan, as well as the National Academy Foundation, National College Advising Corp, a consortium of thirteen Charter School Management Organizations (including Big Picture Learning, Cristo Rey Network, IDEA, Friendship, Camino Neuvo and others) and the National College Access Network.  Just this past month we deployed the third largest school district in the United States, Miami-Dade, on the Connect! platform for the coordination and management of their student’s curriculum, college and career planning..  We’ve also signed strategic partnerships with other progressive and efficiency-oriented technology companies in the education space, including Blackboard, Zinch and In addition, we have extended the breadth of our technology offerings and student, professor/ teacher, administrator, and employer engagements with tools that drive greater efficiency and community engagement, such as CoursEval and TalentConnect!.

There is much to celebrate in terms of the progress made in 2010.  However, as the following New York Times article illustrates, there is also much work that remains to be done as it pertains to re-orienting the status quo to meeting the needs of the students this process is intended to serve.  As an example, we need to alter the current reality that students are faced with each time they use web-based systems that are not secure or reliable in the college application process.  After all, each student presents themselves through their college application and, in doing so, they are presenting their own sales pitch, their own personal brand, and, of course, their own value proposition.  That value proposition needs to arrive looking and reading the way the student intended it to appear.  Afterall, the students typically pay for this service in the form of an application fee.

In December, the following article ran in the New York Times and raised a lot of concerns surrounding the status quo when it comes to online college application completion technology.  The article created a stir that highlighted many concerns that we all need to take to heart.  Luckily, it also presented a call to action, which ConnectEDU is already focused on.  As one responding reader stated, "To the author of this article, you are spot on. It’s time for some REAL technology companies to begin addressing this marketplace with the goal of solving the needs of students."

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