Equity and Access at the Forefront of Student Programming

December 24, 2021
Read Time: 4 min
By XAP

While some students look forward to applying to colleges, others prefer not to go. Yet, most academic planning programs focus on shaping college-bound students. Learners who want to run businesses or go into fields that only need technical education or apprenticeship often lack equal access to resources.

This issue makes it tricky for them to identify the job options that they can explore. It also complicates choosing subjects that will guide them toward their future professions. Besides lacking awareness, non-college-bound learners don’t get enough resources to prepare them for their next step after high school education.

Here, we discuss why there is a need for flexible career and academic planning programs in schools. We also explain the benefits of providing learners with the resources that they need to pursue their interests.

The Need for Equitable Programming for All Students

Having a college degree may very well help someone get a good-paying job. But advancing to formal education after high school is not the only factor that can lead to success. In fact, many successful people didn’t go to college or dropped out before completing.

The lifetime earnings that one makes often depend on a wide range of factors, including the career chosen, location, expertise, demand for services, and industry. Increasingly, the corporate world values skills more than education. This is why more jobs are now available to those without college degrees.

Examples of careers that don’t require college degrees and do pay well include:

  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • X-ray technician
  • Medical records technician
  • Patrol officer
  • Firefighter
  • Musicians

Selecting a career without the proper guidance is often challenging because there are so many options. Students who don’t plan to go to college need early counseling to help them make the right choices. The best way to improve equity and access is by having career and academic planning programs that help learners design their path after high school.

Guiding your students in their studies can help them identify their interests and suitable career paths. It prevents them from wasting time in fields that don’t align with their talents. It also boosts equity by providing equal chances and resources to explore life goals.

The Benefits of Equity in Student Programs

Creating flexible academic and career planning programs supports all learners. This type of measure also simplifies work for school counselors. Here are key benefits of using these programs.

1. Enables Students to Select the Right Subjects

Most students find it challenging to choose between different elective courses. Without the correct information, they may end up going for subjects that they don’t find interesting.

Having efficient learning and career planning programs enables students who don’t want to go to college to choose courses that will help them in the future. It also allows you to focus more on helping them explore their interests rather than just studying to advance their education.

2. Promotes Inclusiveness

Focusing more on mentoring students bound for college may make others feel neglected. With the right academic planning programs, though, it’s possible to support all learners and guide them toward their next phase in life.

These programs enable you to focus on professions that align with each student’s goals. They also help you test the efficiency of the teaching methods that you are using. If each learner feels that you value their needs, they will be inspired to work harder.

3. Enables You to Track Progress

Tracking learning paces can be hard with traditional education planning programs. Creating flexible ones that you can change based on students’ interests enables you to set goals for each learner and assess them.

After each analysis, you can then identify how to improve service delivery. It’s also possible to gauge different teaching methods and adjust them to address the needs of all learners.

Managing Flexible Curricula without the Headaches

Since designing career planning programs can be tricky, it’s advisable to adopt digital solutions. With tools like Choices 360, you can assign specific course plans to students and observe them. It’s also possible to issue tailored tests to assess progress.

Another way that such solutions can help you avoid the headaches of academic and career planning is by encouraging learners. Once you identify your students’ interests, you can help them create connections between who they are and their future careers.

This aspect generates a high interest in the learning process. It also encourages students to stay active in classes that shape them for their career paths.

Determining if your career planning programs are promoting equity and access without being able to assess them is difficult. Choices 360 comes with a My Plan of Study tool that helps you create programs available in your school or district. With this feature, students can also track their progress based on graduation requirements.

Another feature to ease into your work is the Assignment and Curriculum Builder tool. It enables you to create career planning projects for each student. You can then evaluate them after a certain period to ensure that you are offering students who don’t plan to go to college the guidance that they need.

Creating Equitable Programs for All Students

Creating career planning programs that support all students promotes equity and access in schools. With these, you can mentor learners who don’t plan to go to college and can encourage them to seek out suitable jobs.

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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