School districts face challenges when deploying district wide student success strategies, but that doesn’t negate the importance of student success. This blog post goes over how to identify and address the importance and challenges of these strategies and how tech plays a role in streamlining the process.
The Importance of Deploying Districtwide Success Strategies
In most situations, careful planning and deployment typically yield better results than throwing caution to the wind. The problem is that there’s no silver bullet solution for deploying district-wide success strategies. However, several components play an integral role in system-wide district-level reform.
Defining the importance
We can all agree that student success strategies are critical. Nearly 25% of first-year high school students are not graduating on time. District administrations and school boards acknowledge this statistic, take responsibility for it, and concur that the status quo is no longer appropriate.
Since approximately 40% of college students drop out of school before earning their undergraduate degree, school districts are working aggressively toward identifying concrete strategies by grade, subject, and year. This way, they can graduate students who are intentional, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and engaged in the world.
Addressing the challenges
The path to higher education is precarious, requiring school administrations to actively identify what steps they can take to support students effectively.
Reduce academic and financial barriers
Students face academic and financial barriers concerning the deployment of technology. In turn, school districts face financial barriers regarding budgeting for technology and must proactively look for areas where budgetary cuts can occur to enable spending on learning technologies.
Create a seamless process for students advancing their education (transfers and more)
Technology plays an integral role in how students’ data is sent from school to school during transfers, tracking their progress throughout their tenure. Administrations can create seamless processes for students that involve digital literacy programs, helping them plan for college, careers, and life after graduation.
Promote a sense of connection (the feeling of belonging)
Deploying student success strategies involving technology and promoting a sense of connection helps students develop pathways necessary for forming meaningful connections with their peers and teachers. Technology is a powerful tool for reimagining learning experiences because students no longer face limitations from the resources available within the confines of their school.
Encourage evidence-based educational practices showing enhancements with engagement and deep learning
Students can participate in learning environments using technology, which improves engagement and deep learning outcomes for those with less experience. Those without much technical experience have opportunities to gain the necessary experience to achieve educational goals.
Identify and address inequity
Connectivity for students learning at home is more critical than ever. Since it is an essential component for a student’s success, school districts must identify and address inequities. That means working to ensure that every student has access to devices and connectivity when leaving school grounds.
Restructure advising and student support services
When school districts only offer advising and student support services during face-to-face meetings, that creates barriers for those carrying heavy course loads during the school day and managing work schedules after school. Broadening access to these services involves harnessing technology to provide digital meetings to students using mobile apps and video-based meeting programs like Skype or Zoom.
Identify and deploy strategies for job market preparedness
Technology enables students struggling with career planning to access advising and mentoring programs. Having access to these resources means students can work on job market preparedness on their own schedule and without having to attend face-to-face meetings.
The Role That Tech Plays in Streamlining This Process
The previous section outlined how technology plays an integral role in addressing barriers to student success strategies. Now, let’s dive deeper into highlighting how technology can help streamline this objective and potential solutions for aiding in the process.
Encourage career awareness among elementary school-aged children
Elementary school-aged children can benefit from broad exposure to occupations and potential career paths and discover how their interests shape those choices. Technology provides accessible solutions for exploring jobs matching students’ interests, whether they intend to go to college or not. The elementary school career exploration, Paws in jobland, also supports early career awareness. That’s achieved through:
- Exploration — Students receive answers to career questions and have access to over 100 occupations.
- Connection — Through participation in activities, students gain critical thinking and reading comprehension skills while developing problem-solving skills.
- Success — Students use various interactive puzzles and quizzes to learn and become proficient in various careers.
- Envisioning — Administrations save a significant amount of time using a software’s ready-made lesson plans.
- Achieving — Software gives families access to their child’s online activities, which bridges the gap between in-school and at-home learning.
Create opportunities for career exploration among middle school students
Middle school students transition from general career awareness to career exploration based on their own interests and skills. This exploration in middle school lays the motivational foundation for high school planning. For this exploration to be effective, supportive career and academic planning software should be designed specifically with middle school students in mind in order to support their reading and developmental levels and need for a visual and engaging user interface. Choices360 offers a middle school-focused career and academic planning experience:
- Exploration — Students develop self-awareness through the completion assessments and surveys and then learn to apply their self-knowledge to the exploration of Career Clusters and Careers.
- Connection — Students develop high school course plans that align with their early career goals, ensuring that they understand why they are taking each course and how each course supports their future goals.
- Success — A customizable curriculum ensures that all students have an equal opportunity to engage in age-appropriate career and academic planning activities, while enabling professionals to track progress.
- Envisioning — Learning opportunities are presented that enable students to learn about six unique post-secondary pathways and to rank their favorite. Students are encouraged to explore career technical education or work-based learning experiences that may be available at their high school to have an early awareness of all opportunities.
- Achieving — Through an electronic portfolio, students can track personal experiences and achievements, store artifacts, and set both long-term and SMART goals. Family accounts ensure that students receive feedback from home.
Guide high school students through a personalized career, education, and life-planning curriculum
High school students move beyond exploration to planning and taking actions to achieve their goals. Choices360 adapts to be developmentally appropriate for high school students and emphasizes solidifying plans and creating action plans to achieve goals.
- Exploration — Students continue to explore careers and find programs, majors, training programs, military opportunities, or colleges that support their future plans.
- Connection — Students develop career, college, and other plans that align with their personal values, interests, and goals
- Success — Students complete activities in a grade-based career planning curriculum that includes assessments, along with career, high school, and postsecondary education planning experiences.
- Envisioning — Students develop their own definition of success as they generate connections between who they are and what they can become.
- Achieving — SMART goals, action plans, and tasks ensure that students are continually progressing toward their future plans. Integration with the Common App and electronic transcripts and letters or recommendations supports students as they navigate the college application process.
Quickly and easily request, receive, and process student transcripts electronically
Planning for college is stressful enough without worrying about paper submission. Career and academic planning solutions, like Choices360, streamline and simplify electronic submissions of transcripts from high schools to colleges, including those colleges using Common App. Since there’s no paper involved, this is a green solution with 24/7 access. It supports students and counselors alike in the following ways:
- Streamline requesting and submitting transcripts
- Simplify transcript processing for in-state and out-of-state schools
- Go green by saving up to 90% of paper costs
- Manage the electronic transcript process anytime and anywhere
Process Common App applications in a efficient and reliable manner
Tech optimizes the college application process by processing applications in an efficient and reliable manner. Since everything happens in one place, users can manage every aspect of the online application process by:
- Simplifying processes by keeping everyone in one place, enabling users to manage all aspects of receiving and processing their online college applications
- Expanding on the volume of applications by integrating software with your school’s existing processes
- Providing “anytime” access, enabling users to manage the application process no matter the time or their location
- Enhancing connectivity, enabling users to communicate quickly and efficiently with students
Streamline the Deployment of Student Success Strategies
Technology helps streamline the deployment of student success strategies, but you must have the right solutions in place. Request a demo to receive more information about XAP’s solutions and how they can help promote academic and career readiness among your students, no matter their age.
Here at XAP, we believe that exploration lays the foundation for planning. That’s why we help school and district counseling leaders implement equitable programs and strategies to ensure that students graduate high school not only with a diploma but also with a plan.
To see how we can help you better support your students and drive state, district, and school initiatives with greater ease, transparency, and data, feel free to contact our specialists today!
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