Project Overview

To meet the unique needs of their educators and high population of at-risk and economically disadvantaged students, Pasadena Independent School District (ISD) has partnered with Kuder for over 15 years to provide a superior college and career readiness solution that effectively nurtures every student’s budding career interests into lifelong careers.

Sparking Career Conversations for Texas Students.

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The Kuder Solution

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Meeting Standards & Supporting CTE

Long before Texas passed House Bill 5 in 2013 to require all students in the state to complete a four-year education plan and endorsement selection beginning in the 9th grade, Pasadena ISD was using the Kuder assessments within Kuder Navigator to identify and measure career interests, skills confidence, and work values starting in the 7th grade. In addition to helping them meet state standards with ease, district personnel also feel that the assessments have been instrumental in starting meaningful conversations between counselors and students about their personal passions that can be explored further as potential occupations.

This early exposure is paramount for students planning to attend the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school. Following many years of success with their CTE center, Pasadena ISD established a dedicated high school for students participating in vocational programs such as cosmetology, welding, construction, and more. The district’s transition from the CTE center to CTE high school allowed students to focus on pursuing a particular CTE pathway and its core classes within the same school rather than lose valuable learning time being transported to and from the CTE center every day. With the application process for the CTE high school and its exclusive skills courses beginning in the 8th grade, it is critical for students to have self-assessment tools and results in middle school to streamline their enrollment into Pasadena ISD’s CTE high school before they begin their freshman year.

The district has found many other ways to fully implement helpful features of Kuder’s career planning system into its curriculum, most notably the Resume Builder. Pasadena ISD rolled out a recent initiative starting in the 9th grade to require CTE students to create a resume within Navigator. At the start of each school year, the students are instructed to log in and update their resumes with any new activities, summer job experience, references, or similar information from the past year.

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Specialized CTE Tools

The addition of Pathways Link provided an actionable extension to the Navigator system by quickly connecting students to Pasadena ISD’s CTE courses that related most closely to their individual interests, skills, and work values assessment results. The district continues to optimize and leverage this system feature and is excited to see increased engagement among students.

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Single Sign-On

All schools within the Pasadena Independent School District utilize single sign-on capabilities via Clever to log onto the Kuder platform. This simple system integration drastically improved efficiencies in the classroom by eliminating needless frustrations such as forgotten passwords, duplicate accounts, and more to give students more readily available access to Navigator’s career readiness resources.

“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

Implementation & Partner Support

Kuder’s continued commitment to providing exceptional service and support to our users in Pasadena is crucial to our ongoing partnership’s overall health and success.

Our partner support team is proud to provide their assistance via phone, email, or LiveChat to quickly address and resolve any system questions brought to our attention by Pasadena ISD counselors, administrators, or students. High-level administrators have greatly enjoyed the availability of our full-time support staff at the district, who can direct all inquiries and questions over to the Kuder team, which has helped to reduce bottlenecks and unnecessary time constraints on district personnel. Counselors within the district also have unlimited access to general training sessions hosted by our experts and are encouraged to submit custom training requests at any time.

Outcomes

Through Pasadena’s partnership with Kuder, the district has seen an increase in engagement as students prepare for the future. Since the start of the 2019 academic year, Pasadena ISD students have completed more than 120,000 logins to Navigator at an average engagement rate of six logins per user. It has been thrilling to see this activity as students within the district continue to take and retake the assessments and explore additional system features to prepare themselves for the future.

Historically, most of Pasadena ISD’s student population has chosen to remain within the community following graduation. As a result, it is critical for the district’s career planning program to properly prepare these students for life after high school since their postsecondary success is essential to the stability and growth of southeast Texas’ economy. Pasadena ISD has been able to leverage the 30,000+ assessment results generated in recent years to build strategic partnerships with area businesses that offer students a clear path forward into thriving local industries like health science, energy, maritime, construction, and more.

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