May 29, 2007

Connect! Introduces Spanish Translations

ConnectEdu Enhances Connect! v4.3 With A Market-Driven Bilingual Feature


Boston, Mass– May 25, 2007- As Hispanics continue to be the fastest growing demographic segment entering higher education, ConnectEdu is enhancing Connect! – it’s web solution for college admissions, financial aid and career planning – with a new bilingual feature. The most recent version of Connect!, launched this month, has incorporated all Quick Help descriptions in both English and Spanish to help Spanish-speaking families navigate the entire “going to college” process.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Hispanic population earning bachelor’s degrees increased by 105% in the past decade, faster than any other racial/ethnic group. Of Hispanic students 5-17 years old approaching college age, 71% speak another language at home with their families. In addition, 23% of those students report having difficulty speaking English. Connect!v4.3’s bilingual enhancement was introduced to address the language concerns that are expected to proliferate the education market.

According to ConnectEdu President Craig Powell, “Our mission, like most institutions of higher education, is to create opportunities for young people regardless of their background. The first step in providing access to higher education is providing meaningful information in an understandable format. Our Spanish translations help engage the growing segment of Hispanic families making decisions about going to college.”

Since 2002, Connect! has been creating access to higher education for hundreds of thousands of students by providing all the necessary tools to search for colleges for the best fit; to fulfill application requirements and meet deadlines; to explore financial aid and financing options; and to map a career path based on academic strengths and interests. With its user-friendly management, tracking and communication tools, Connect! unifies students with their high school guidance counselors and college admissions officers at the schools to where they will apply. Unique to any college planning solution available, Connect! also invites parents into the process with their own usernames and passwords to monitor their student’s progress and contribute to the planning.

As more first generation college students from under-represented populations begin the process, the need for more comprehensive information on earning a college education is increasingly vital. Connect! is providing direct access to the steps involved and is inviting families to participate with their students. For Hispanic families, Connect! is now providing additional tools to understand the process with Spanish translations for instructional pages within the platform. Additional enhancements for families in Connect!v4.3 include a more secure registration process, easier navigation, simplified financial aid tutorials, and an expanded library of research, tips and articles on the “going to college” process.

For more information on Connect! visit www.connectedu.net or call 617-532-3000.


About ConnectEdu, Inc.
In 2002, President & Founder Craig Powell established ConnectEdu to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process for all involved. Believing that students must be at the core of a solution, the ConnectEdu team began development of Connect! – a web solution that benchmarks every 9th -12th grade student against a comprehensive college plan, virtually connects high schools to higher education institutions directly, and provides the tools for everyone involved in the admissions and financial aid process to do their work. Students are empowered, parents are engaged and counselors are enabled with modern technology that enhances college counseling and allows them to return to the core of their mission – assisting students in making one of the most important decisions in their lives. Today, Connect! is the industry leading national going-to-college portal.

###

May 15, 2007

ConnectEdu Partners with Skyward Inc.

Skyward’s K-12 Administrative Software Integrates Connect! in 1,100 school districts nationwide

Boston, Mass - May 15, 2007 - ConnectEdu, Inc. is pleased to announce a new data integration relationship with Skyward Inc., a national leader in administrative software development for K-12 school districts. Skyward has designed a simple export process for student data to seamlessly integrate with ConnectEdu’s Connect! – a free web solution for college admissions, financial aid and career planning available to high school students, parents and guidance counselors. To increase access and improve going to college rates statewide, high schools will be directly integrated with community colleges, colleges and universities to deliver TRUE ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS™ and additional college application materials.

Skyward serves over 1,100 school districts in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Washington, over 95% of school districts utilize Skyward products, and in Wisconsin over 75% of the school districts use Skyward. “Skyward and ConnectEdu have completed an interface between our two systems to streamline the red tape associated with the college application and financial aid process which will benefit students, parents and schools,” said Kevin McFerrin, Vice-President of New Business at Skyward. “With our commitment to empowering users with the information needed to be successful and our desire to allow every student to maximize their opportunities in life, this partnership with ConnectEdu will further help students achieve their goals.”

Unlike other document delivery systems that are limited to .pdf format, ConnectEdu is the sole purveyor of an XML transcript solution directly integrated with a secure national network of colleges which follows guidelines set by The Post Secondary Education Standards Council (PESC) and the Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA). By safely delivering documents as data points, student information can then be uploaded at the college for automatic GPA recalculation, immediate applicant matching, and instant receipt verification. As a result, admissions offices will spend less time manually processing college applications, will increase relationships with college-bound students, and will ultimately deliver more timely admissions decisions.

Once their high school implements Connect! at no charge, students in the 15 states utilizing Skyward’s software will now have direct access to ConnectEdu’s national network of college partners including the University of Michigan, University of Connecticut, Rutgers University, Old Dominion University, Missouri State University and dozens of additional institutions. As additional high schools and colleges join the national network, ConnectEdu expects to deliver 1.3m transcripts in the next admissions cycle.

“With Connect!, we’ve successfully built integrated statewide networks to connect high schools to higher education,” said ConnectEdu, Inc. President Craig Powell. “Our technology partners like Skyward, with their existing national scope, allow us to work together to expand our national network and offer new opportunities to students. The result is improved college access and limitless possibilities for students exploring college choices regardless of their location.”

About ConnectEdu, Inc.
In 2002, President & Founder Craig Powell established ConnectEdu to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process for all involved. Believing that students must be at the core of a solution, the ConnectEdu team began development of Connect! – a web solution that benchmarks every 9th -12th grade student against a comprehensive college plan, virtually connects high schools to higher education institutions directly, and provides the tools for everyone involved in the admissions and financial aid process to do their work. Students are empowered, parents are engaged and counselors are enabled with modern technology that enhances college counseling and allows them to return to the core of their mission – assisting students in making one of the most important decisions in their lives. Today, Connect! is the industry leading national going-to-college portal.

About Skyward Inc.
Since 1980, Skyward has been serving the K-12 Administrative software needs of school districts. Today, Skyward's School Management Systems™ are found in over 1,100 school districts throughout the United States and abroad. Skyward’s School Management System represents an integrated student and financial management software system designed to keep administrators, educators, and families connected. Skyward is headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin with 9 regional offices located in, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas (Austin and Dallas) and Wisconsin (Madison and Stevens Point).
# # #

ConnectEdu Triples its Workforce in Less Than A Year

Leaders From Across Higher Education Join the Team

Boston, Mass - May 15, 2007 - In less than a year, ConnectEdu, Inc. has more than tripled its number of employees including several leaders from within higher education. ConnectEdu’s Connect! is the industry-leading web solution for college planning, admissions and financial aid that connects high schools to higher education. For the past five years, ConnectEdu has built a team of individuals, now totaling more than 50 employees spread across the country, dedicated to simplifying the “going to college” process including the new Director of Community College Relations, Dr. Norman K. Myers.

Dr. Myers, President Emeritus, Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri, brings over 30 years of experience as a Community College President to ConnectEdu. As the founding President at OTC, Dr. Myers led an institution with an initial enrollment of just under 1200 in 1991 to one of the largest community college systems in the Midwest with an enrollment of over 22,000 students. Myers was awarded Community Developer of the Year in 1999 after OTC built a $45 million campus in Springfield. He added OTC extension campuses in Bolivar, Lebanon, St. Robert/Ft. Wood and Branson, Missouri. Dr. Myers also played an instrumental role at OTC in the planning and development of the new $15 million South Campus in Christian County.

Prior to his presidency at Ozarks Technical Community College, Dr. Myers also served as President at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, North Carolina and Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas. In addition to his higher education experience, Myers has served students as an assistant principal and high school teacher. Dr. Myers received his bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri- Columbia. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Community College Association and the Regional Consortium for Educational Technology-Southwest.

Craig Powell, ConnectEdu President and Founder, is excited about adding Dr. Myers to the team at ConnectEdu. “We are thrilled that Dr. Myers has joined the ConnectEdu team. With over 30 years of experience leading community colleges, he understands the challenges and opportunities that face counselors and advisors at two-year institutions. He shares our passion for wanting to empower students, parents and counselors and make both the going-to-college and the transfer process less complicated for our students. Dr. Myers will be instrumental as we continue to serve more community colleges nationwide,” said Powell.

Dr. Myers is one of several education professionals to recently join ConnectEdu from colleges and community colleges. “When we talk to admissions directors and enrollment management staff, we have a better understanding of their needs and concerns due to our own experience in those roles,” said Powell. “As we grow rapidly this year, we are making sure to not lose sight of our #1 priority – assisting students with one of the most important decisions of their lives. Many of the talented folks we have hired have been doing that their entire professional lives,” said Powell.


About ConnectEdu, Inc.
In 2002, President & Founder Craig Powell established ConnectEdu to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process for all involved. Believing that students must be at the core of a solution, the ConnectEdu team began development of Connect! – a web solution that benchmarks every 9th -12th grade student against a comprehensive college plan, virtually connects high schools to higher education institutions directly, and provides the tools for everyone involved in the admissions and financial aid process to do their work. Students are empowered, parents are engaged and counselors are enabled with modern technology that enhances college counseling and allows them to return to the core of their mission – assisting students in making one of the most important decisions in their lives. Today, Connect! is the industry leading national going-to-college portal.

# # #

May 7, 2007

ConnectEdu Launches The Connect! Career Network™

A Data-based Career-Mapping Feature Added to Connect!

Boston, Mass. – May 7, 2007– ConnectEdu, the nation’s leading provider of innovative college planning, admissions and financial aid solutions, announced today at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference the launch of the Connect! Career Network, an upcoming enhancement to the Connect! online portal. Already a market-leading web solution to help students map their future education plans, Connect! will now include a comprehensive career component that will guide students to a career choice that connects data-based academic strengths and preferred interests to job skills, employer needs and actual employment opportunities. ConnectEdu is currently partnering with progressive employers to create the national network and begin building relationships with the next generation of the workforce.

According to Craig Powell, President and Founder of ConnectEdu,
“As a result of working closely with employers, high schools and colleges, we learned that there is a gap in the ability to effectively assist students with career path planning and execution. Since we integrate directly with verified academic data, we are able to drive career choices based on actual performance and identified skills sets, as opposed to arbitrary, self-reported inventory tools that are not valued or used by students. Guidance counselors have told us they need more reliable career tools and employers have said current solutions don’t work when it comes to building relationships with the future workforce. Our extending of Connect! to include comprehensive career planning is a natural progression in our mission to assist students through successful education and life transitions.”


This Fall, students using Connect! will be invited into the Connect! Career Network at no cost to begin planning their future. In addition to college planning, Connect! will drive career paths to students based on their skills and identified interests. Connect! will then familiarize students with possible career choices; recommend applicable curriculum and programs of study; suggest appropriate community colleges, colleges and universities to begin study; and identify employers specializing in the student’s industries of interest. Employers will join the network to meet and mentor students interested in their field, their organization and opportunities including scholarships, internships and job opportunities. With hundreds of thousands of students and employers across the U.S. participating, the Connect! Career Network will foster improved student planning and counselor monitoring, relationship development and mentoring opportunities between career professionals and students, and, over time, the creation of a thoughtful, diverse career pipeline.

For more information on Connect! visit www.connectedu.net or call 617-532-3000.

About ConnectEdu, Inc.
In 2002, President & Founder Craig Powell established ConnectEdu to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process for all involved. Believing that students must be at the core of a solution, the ConnectEdu team began development of Connect! – a web solution that benchmarks every 9th -12th grade student against a comprehensive college plan, virtually connects high schools to higher education institutions directly, and provides the tools for everyone involved in the admissions and financial aid process to do their work. Students are empowered, parents are engaged and counselors are enabled with modern technology that enhances college counseling and allows them to return to the core of their mission – assisting students in making one of the most important decisions in their lives. Today, Connect! is the industry leading national going-to-college portal.

###