Building Your Path

How Personalized Pathfinding Can Improve Student Achievement

Students are faced with more choices than ever. Their attention is constantly pulled in multiple directions; tending to their day-to-day course work, juggling extracurricular activities, and planning for life after high school. 

With their attention split, even the most engaged student on a conventional pathway can miss opportunities that are best for their academic and career goals. 

What is a Conventional Pathway?

Students are encouraged to think about what they want to be when they grow up starting at a young age. Once they enter high school, they select classes that will get them into their desired colleges. Then they apply to a 4-year college, graduate, and get a job.

This route to a career is the paradigmatic, conventional pathway. 

A conventional pathway is a series of steps that are commonly understood and broadly marketed. Conventional pathways have the benefit of being time-tested and well established. 

The problem, though, is that conventional pathways don’t positively serve all students the same way.

Non-conventional Pathways Meet a Need

How many students don’t pursue a conventional pathway? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year about 34% of high school students – over 1/3rd – will not go to college upon graduation. 

A great deal of marketing around conventional pathways creates a false dichotomy between the success of going to college and the perceived failure of not going to college. 

This can create feelings of shame and poor academic performance for students who can’t afford college, need to earn an income immediately, or don’t excel in the high school classroom.

Non-conventional Paths and Guidance

From the rise of boot camps to an increase in online education options, the choices for students after graduation are rapidly increasing. These options are being added to non-conventional paths alongside attending trade schools or apprenticeships.

With more options than ever, students need help from the adults in their lives to understand what resources and opportunities they might be interested in and what the details are. 

Students seek advice from the adults that they know. 78% of students say that their primary career planning source is one or both of their parents. Students also seek advice from guidance counselors, but with the average student-to-counselor- ratio is 430-1, students can not get immediate, personalized assistance. 

Non-conventional paths require even more research and time than many parents, students, and counselors do not have. So, how does this problem get solved?

Bringing it all together with Personalized Pathfinding

Course selection, work-based learning, and post-secondary goals all fit together into a student’s pathway, but up until now parents, students, and guidance counselors had no easy way of understanding how decisions in one area would affect the others.

That’s where Awato’s personalized pathfinding platform comes in. Personalized Pathfinding is the process of using content development and artificial intelligence to identify every possible pathway to a given career.

[Read more about Personalized Pathfinding here] 

With the Awato platform, students can explore careers and educational opportunities in a flexible and visual pathway.  Within their personal pathway, they can identify and compare: high school courses, local career technical education programs, work-based learning opportunities, dual enrollment programs, and college degrees.

Personalized Pathfinding Improves Outcomes

With personalized pathfinding, a student is able to see all of the different ways to a certain goal and compare the steps. Giving students this information, allows them to make their education personal, which increases engagement, graduation rates, and post-secondary success.

Guidance Counselors will save time tracking and recommending classes. This will allow them to be able to easily report on student goals and directions and be confident that no student will fall through the cracks.

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