Mar 1, 2011

Miami-Dade School District Invests in ConnectEDU’s College Prep & Application System to Boost Higher Education Enrollment

Fourth Largest School District in the U.S. Seeks to Empower Counselors, Students
& Families with New Tool for Increasing Volume of College-Bound Students


(MIAMI, FL) March 1, 2011 – The Miami-Dade County Public School District today announces a partnership with ConnectEDU, Inc., (www.connectedu.com) the leader in developing online college and career planning tools and platforms. Under the terms of the agreement, Miami-Dade and ConnectEDU will partner to implement a district-wide online college and career planning assistance program. This program will help high school students research, manage and navigate the complex college selection and application process as well as the financial aid filing and scholarship application process. ConnectEDU’s web-based solutions are on track to be incorporated into the existing curriculum of all Miami-Dade high schools by March 2011.

In preparation for the county-wide rollout of its technology, ConnectEDU sent a team to Miami in December to train over 300 guidance counselors, CAP advisers and high school principals on to how use the online tools with students and parents. To meet the growing demands and diverse needs of the community, ConnectEDU also introduced the bilingual program to The Parent Academy in Miami-Dade as a first step in informing parents of ways they can help their high school students plan ahead for a successful transition to college.

Miami-Dade school district’s decision to use the ConnectEDU platform means that counselors, students and families throughout Miami-Dade County will have access to a personalized online tool which will help streamline the college and career planning process, while also helping achieve the ultimate district goal of having all Miami-Dade students finish high school.

“Students need the appropriate help to take the right tests at the right time, research careers, develop the right list of colleges to attend, and be better informed of their financial aid and scholarship options. To date, there has not been a way of managing all of that information in one place. With the Connect! platform, our students, their parents and guidance counselors will be empowered to do more than ever before and will be able to access it online, 24/7,” said Dr. Lupe Diaz, Director, Schools of Choice & Parental Options of Miami-Dade County (FL) Public Schools.

A growing body of research points to the importance of concrete guidance, information, and support in helping students apply to and pay for college. In order to be successful, students must complete a series of specific tasks, many of which are time-sensitive. ConnectEDU uses state-of-the-art technology and verified, student-level data to help high school students stay on track to graduate and to effectively navigate the college search, application, and enrollment process or take the steps necessary to transition directly to a post-high school career.

In the case of Miami-Dade County, ConnectEDU's platform had initially been reviewed and approved to be implemented in high schools that were affiliated with the National Academy Foundation (NAF), thanks to a partnership between NAF and ConnectEDU. However, when Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho and Miami-Dade Schools Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Helen Blanch saw the technology's capabilities and how they empowered students, parents, teachers and counselors, they knew that the platform needed to be implemented in schools across the district.

“In the United States today, the average student-to-guidance counselor ratio is 500 to 1. Unfortunately, the issues of everyday school life often take precedence over the limited amount of time a counselor can spend with each student regarding college preparation. We have built the ConnectEDU program with the stressed high school guidance system in mind. Our technology offers educators the opportunity to meet many of the challenges they face in a way that is scalable and cost effective. We are putting the appropriate tools and knowledge in the hands of everyone to work together and do more with less.” says Craig Powell, CEO and Founder of ConnectEDU. “We applaud the Miami-Dade School District for providing more comprehensive support for their students as they transition from high school to college.”

“We are the fourth largest school district in the U.S. and need to lead by example and show that we can increase post-secondary enrollment by making smart technology investments,” says Debbie Montilla, District Director, Division of Student Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “To that end, we will continue training our counselors, students and parents on how to use the ConnectEDU platform to map each student’s high school course selection towards a college and a career plan. We’re confident that this investment of time, money and resources will yield great results for our community, ultimately leading to financial stability and a successful future for every student.”

To see what a difference ConnectEDU can make within a school district and how students, counselors, admissions officers and policy makers feel about it, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX4SB0x8xDs

About ConnectEDU, Inc.
ConnectEDU, Inc. is the web-based leader in empowering students to manage their education. The company is devoted to helping students find and enroll in the right college, get a degree, and launch their careers. Created, developed and run by people who have worked in every area of college counseling, admissions, and career development, ConnectEDU uses information technology to connect real students and real data with real colleges, and real career opportunities. We make the college admissions process simpler, more efficient, more reliable and more effective. ConnectEDU’s approach gives every student, from every neighborhood across the country, the best opportunity to achieve their dream of a college education and promising career.

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