Project Overview

Chickasaw City Schools has partnered with Kuder®, through the state providing the Alabama Career Planning System, for many years to utilize the abundance of postsecondary planning resources within Kuder Navigator® in brick-and-mortar classrooms and multiple virtual schools. They recently expanded their solution set to provide Kuder Galaxy® to all PreK through 5th graders. Kuder’s comprehensive K-12 career planning system has allowed this small Alabama district to work more efficiently by eliminating strains on administrators and has opened the door of opportunity for many disadvantaged students who would typically be most at risk for dropping out of school.

Achieving PreK-12 Success in Chickasaw City Schools.

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The Kuder Solution

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Chickasaw City Schools counselors and administrators agree that Navigator presents their district with a wealth of opportunity by providing a trusted, one-stop shop for career guidance resources that would otherwise be quite difficult for a small district like Chickasaw to accumulate and routinely update on behalf of their students.

As the district’s school counselors begin the process of career exploration and awareness with their students, they are always excited to administer Kuder’s research-based assessments.  For them, this is the key to creating a mentor-mentee relationship with students to open their eyes to an entire world of opportunities. In most cases, students are unaware of career pathways and occupations outside of their current family or community until they are given a chance to explore beyond the boundaries of their current perception of today's workforce. Once this exploration begins, Kuder’s products already have the information compiled and ready to enhance the entire experience by simplifying the process for students and educators so that everyone has exactly what they need to go further and dream bigger. 

The use of Kuder's career assessments and countless other tools within Navigator has led to the establishment and growth of successful partnerships with numerous state schools, community colleges, and employers in the area to ease post-graduation transitions for students while also driving highly skilled individuals into the local workforce.  

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College Access Tools

Kuder’s College Access toolkit offers many supplementary college preparation resources for Chickasaw students, including our College Match feature, which gives college-bound students side-by-side comparisons between their prospective schools to determine which one best meets their own academic and financial goals along with showing their admittance likelihood at each institution. The toolkit also contains a substantial amount of practice tests and study guides for common courses and entrance exams such as the ACT, SAT, PSAT ASVAB, GED and AP courses, and more. 

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Education Plan

The Education Plan is a multi-year framework within Navigator that provides solid guidance to each student on what classes they plan to take, and if they can optimize this plan using available options such as dual enrollment to get themselves on a fast track to earning a degree or accredited certification. This tool is absolutely critical for Chickasaw City Schools, as it allows their staff and students to meet state-level graduation requirements that mandate the submission of a 4-year plan from each and every student in Alabama starting in the eighth grade.

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While the district has seen incredible success from their middle and high school career guidance program, counselors say that the biggest game-changer for them has been getting to utilize Galaxy at the elementary level.

It was no surprise that Chickasaw students enjoyed the interactive games within Galaxy that made learning about occupations a fun and engaging experience, or that our system’s integration with Clever allowed for much easier single sign-on capabilities that reduced frustrations over forgotten passwords, duplicate accounts, and more. However, it was the transition that these kids made as they advanced through middle and high school that unearthed the true impact of Galaxy at Chickasaw. 

The early exposure to the world of work and the understanding it provides students of their own authentic self has allowed them to go into middle school and high school with an extraordinary head start on planning for their future. The district’s counselors have seen and spoken to the incredible influence that Galaxy has had on the way their students envision life after high school now that they feel so much less afraid or overwhelmed by the career choices ahead of them.

Ensuring Successful Implementation

Throughout the years, we have always worked closely with our partners in Chickasaw to ensure that they were getting the most out of their Kuder products and solutions. We at Kuder pride ourselves on delivering user-friendly systems that are easy to navigate and configure based upon our partner’s specific needs. 

As Chickasaw City Schools expanded their solution set to include updates and additional features, there were several occasions in which Kuder’s training and support teams were called upon to assist the district’s counselors and administrators with meeting essential reporting requirements mandated by the state of Alabama.

“I really think Kuder’s responsiveness has been phenomenal with all our support requests being handled literally within the same day, typically in minutes.”

Robbie Durr

School Counselor P-12, Chickasaw City Schools

Outcomes

Gaining a proper understanding of student interests has repeatedly led to developing new and innovative programs at Chickasaw City Schools, including a brand-new project-based learning system to create the school’s own farmer’s market! The market will incorporate secondary classes on agriculture, math, science, marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, and everything needed to start a small business so that students can gain experience in these various disciplines and begin acquiring vital transferable skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in their future workplace.  

At the elementary level, Chickasaw students have logged into Galaxy approximately 2,500 times in the last school year. The district continues to increase its usage of Galaxy year-over-year as Kuder’s online software becomes further integrated within the curriculum. Currently, Galaxy serves as a foundational piece of Chickasaw’s Crayons to Career program for elementary students. The program involves multiple rounds of exploration and research on the personal interests of each student, which is then culminated into a presentation by the students as they share details on prospective careers with their classmates while dressed for the profession they selected. 

All of us at Kuder are inspired and excited by the incredible work happening at Chickasaw City Schools. It is our sincere hope that other districts share in our appreciation for the tremendous efforts of this Alabama district and are able to recreate these successes in their own college and career readiness programs.

Interested? Reach out today to get started.

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