This blog post was written by Amy Tran, an Education Opens Doors (EOD) Impact Manager and Data Specialist.
Earlier this spring, I stopped by a Dallas middle school campus to visit six teachers who implement the Roadmap to Success Program in their pre-college classes. It is my second year supporting the campus, and this year, our program has grown to reach 155 students.
As I was walking down the hallway from one classroom to the next, a student stopped me with a gleaming smile, “Hey, I remember you from last year!”
He was referring to the many times I visited his classroom last year,where I observed the program and supported his teacher with its implementation. I immediately remembered who he was. He had been in the sixth grade pre-college class, where I witnessed students deeply engaged in critical conversations about their college and career aspirations during their Roadmap to Success lessons. I was impressed with the caliber of these discussions, as well as the fact that each student was thoughtful, inquisitive, and reflective.
At the end of the program in Spring 2015, I had the opportunity to facilitate a student debrief in his class and hear directly from the students who had been enrolled in Education Opens Doors’ hallmark program. Students had participated in a “world cafe”-style discussion where they shared their reflections in small groups on various topics. In one of my small groups, I distinctly remember the same student asking me, “What’s happens next? How do I stay involved in the program? Can I do it next year?”
This is a common question that EOD receives from students, parents, teachers, and principals. We know that the Roadmap to Success Program is equipping students with the tools they need to answer their questions about post-secondary attainment. One year later, the same student, now a 7th grader, shared with me: “The Roadmap to Success Program has helped me to choose colleges and universities. I now have organizational skills and I have raised my GPA! It’s very useful.”
While we love to remain engaged with students and families that have “graduated” from the Roadmap to Success Program, currently, it offers one service model: a program implemented during the school day in middle schools and high schools for the duration of one academic year. Because of this, last year I had told the student that I didn’t know if he could keep taking the class, or if it was the end of his involvement with the program.
This year when I ran into him, I still didn’t have a complete answer to his question. EOD is currently considering the optimal models to deliver the Roadmap to Success Program. We are exploring ways to develop a comprehensive technology platform for parents and students to stay engaged with us long after they leave their Roadmap to Success classrooms. However, in the meantime, I was happy to tell this student that he can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on our new Roadmap to Success accounts, which will provide him and his family and friends with tips, timelines, events, and recommendations (some straight from our Roadmap to Success student manual) for successfully navigating the path through high school to post-secondary success. Combined with the manual that each student will take home at the end of their program, we plan to use the power of social media to continue to support each student and help them achieve their post-secondary aspirations. The student was excited to follow our social media and we are even more thrilled to have him join our new and growing online network!
Follow us on these outlets, and look for updates on new ways to stay engaged with EOD coming this summer and Fall 2016!
Editor’s Note: Our “EOD Roadmap” accounts were retired in 2016. Links above have been updated to reflect our organizational social media pages, on which we occasionally share resources for students and families.