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College Access

The Case for Personalized College & Career Solutions


In a new article, Economic Mobility Systems Board Chair and Commit Superintendent-In-Residence Dr. Jeannie Stone makes the case for personalized college and career solutions. By laying out the common barriers to success and discussing how three Texas school districts are accelerating progress, she offers a blueprint for districts across the state to follow – with the help of Economic Mobility Systems (EMS).

EMS is a non-profit that helps communities and institutions see, empower, and support every learner through their educational journey into a good living wage job through timely data insights, leadership, technology, and change management. What began in Dallas County is now helping school leaders across the state achieve stronger and more equitable outcomes for its students.

As Dr. Stone explains, there are three main barriers to success in supporting all students on their career and college journeys: 1) purpose, 2) systems, and 3) learning. In her article, she hopes that school leaders will increasingly re-envision their purpose as being agents of socioeconomic mobility rather than focusing primarily on high school graduation. She also showcases the challenges that our current systems create based on what our state accountability system does or does not incentivize and hopes that we continue to “place every student at the center of our work” in how we resource the student transition from K-12 to postsecondary to the workforce.

Still, she argues, there are several examples of successful practices happening in Texas that are paving the way for change. “Personalization at Scale requires school district leaders to better SEE, EMPOWER, and SUPPORT all students in cultures of continuous improvement,” explained Stone. “Three large districts in Texas are helping to show us the way.”

In Aldine ISD, EMS helped the district create a student journey map of priority data, including college readiness test scores and dual credit data, financial aid and college application data, industry-based credential information, and Texas CCMR A-F data. Now, Aldine can access the whole picture of each student so they can SEE and understand student needs.

Garland ISD realized that the burden was almost always on the student to find and produce documentation through their career and college journey. Now, thanks to help from EMS, students at Garland are EMPOWERED through the “College Enrollment Fast Pass” that allows students to take control of their own data and records.

Dallas ISD has one of the largest ECHS/PTECH rollouts of any urban school district in the country, but when school district, college, and employer data and systems are not designed to work together, supporting students can be a challenge. By working with EMS, Dallas ISD and Dallas College were able to design a Personalized Pathway Manager solution that allows advisors at both schools to see their students’ pathway, milestones, and any needed course corrections in real-time. Thanks to this new solution, Dallas ISD can use data to truly SUPPORT students.

As Stone wrote, “Leading change in big public school systems is challenging.” Thankfully, these three districts provide an example to follow.

Read the whole article from Dr. Stone here.

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