Kentucky has launched an interactive online system that tracks students’ college and career plans, houses their academic records, and allows them to create résumés for prospective employers.
The Web-based guidance system will help middle and high school students fulfill the state’s requirement that they each complete an “individual learning plan” to graduate from high school. Those plans are part of Kentucky’s broader agenda for improving secondary schools, said Linda Pittinger, the state education department’s director of secondary learning, virtual education, and dropout prevention.
“This really builds their educational résumé,” she said. “This is a way for students to distinguish themselves when trying to gain admission to college or applying for summer internships.”
The state awarded a three-year, $1.05 million contract to Anaca Technologies Ltd., a Toronto-based software company, to customize and use the company’s Career Cruising online tool.
Anaca Technologies works in almost all states, though mostly at the school or district level. It may partner with Delaware soon on a similar statewide system, and several schools in the state are already piloting the online tool, said Meredith Beyer-Alldredige, the senior project manager for Career Cruising.
Kentucky’s online career education system, rolled out in September, will gradually replace the state’s paper-based student-learning-plan system, said Julia Harmon, a program consultant in the state’s virtual and secondary education division.
“We wanted to take our antiquated paper version and take it into the real world,” she said.
Through the online tool, at www.careercruising.com, students can gather information on a variety of careers, watch video interviews of professionals in those fields, and research colleges that offer the needed degrees. The precollegiate career-guidance system is integrated with www.gohigherky.org, Kentucky’s online college guide.
Middle and high school students can also track the courses they have taken or plan to take to meet their goals, said Ms. Harmon. They can also store essays and other classwork, and document community-service work and activities such as internships and college fairs.
For its part, the Kentucky education department will integrate student demographic and academic data into the system. That way, officials say, students, parents, and colleges can view students’ complete academic and career profiles.
A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week as Kentucky Debuts Online College and Career Tool for Students