Over the past decade, innovation in the classroom has experienced a tremendous surge. Learning Management Systems (LMS), Online learning, Student Information Systems (SIS), and hardware such as iPads and Chromebooks are being utilized to benefit students and teachers at all education levels. From pre-school, to colleges and universities, and everything in between, technology is being used in the classroom. It’s clear that technology is reshaping the educational experience and improving outcomes. However, very little technology has been applied to the college counseling process to help students better understand and explore career options and educational opportunities after high school.
Extending Innovation in the Classroom to College Counseling
While programs such as Career Technical Education (CTE), Pathways and others are available to give students a head start on college, there has been very little technology applied around these efforts to better engage students in the process. And school counselors have very few options available to help manage a student’s career path and keep them on track to a positive outcome. Students are often left to fend for themselves.
Just as technology in the classroom is helping teachers and students improve the learning experience and communicate, technology can improve the way advisors help students approach their education options. Here’s three key benefits that that both counselors and students can gain by applying technology to the college counseling process.
1. Do More with Less
Today’s high school counselors have an overwhelming student caseload to manage with the national average at 491 students to one counselor. And today’s counselors don’t just have to worry about college applications, they are an integral part of a student’s education. Their responsibilities include helping with academic achievement, career options and social/emotional development. By providing counselors with a simple and intuitive set tools to monitor progress against goals, provide checklists for college prep to dos, college search tools and other resources, they can keep students on track. Technology platforms created to manage the advising process will allow counselors to better handle large caseloads and ensure no one slips through the cracks.
2. Improve Student Outcomes
With the right technology, students can be exposed to a variety of opportunities earlier in their education, and prepare for what is required to achieve them. From the courses they take, the clubs they join inside and out of school, their summer break experiences, community involvement, and more. Students need to start thinking about the future earlier to make academic decisions in line with their future aspirations, manage their time and stay on track, is critical. Technology in the form of app can offer these tools, ensuring that no student is left behind.
3. Reach Every Student
Technology can do a lot of things for today’s student, but many student applications are offered via online platforms. Unfortunately, not all students have access to computers on a regular basis to research colleges and the opportunities available to them. But most have access to smart phones. In fact, 81 percent of high school students have a smartphone, while only 64 percent own a laptop according to research from Pearson. Offering college counselling and prep resources via a mobile app ensures that every student has equal access to the tools that can help them achieve their higher ed goals.
How College Interactive Can Help
High school counselors need the same type of innovation for the advising process that teachers have at their disposal for other educational purposes. College Interactive (Ci) offers a free high school college advising platform that empowers counselors to manage their students’ education path. An easy-to-use, web-accessible counselor dashboard tracks student goals and accomplishments. It also features a free student app for task management, college search, financial aid resources and more. The app is accessible to every student with a smartphone. It’s a unique solution that helps both counselors and students work better together to ensure their education goals are realized.