On the heels of our leadership role in Carnegie Mellon University’s Hear Me project, the Consortium, in 2013, began what would become one of its largest multi-district initiatives, My Action Plan for Success (MAPs).
Launched in partnership with 13 participating districts, the pathbreaking pilot both followed naturally from the Consortium’s involvement in Hear Me! and paved the way to where we are today. As it was to Hear Me, “student voice” was central to MAPs, which aimed to better engage students in their learning and their futures by giving them a say in what they wanted to do and calling on them to think about—and plan—what they might like to do after high school.
The goal of MAPs was to give students the adult support and the opportunities they needed to create “viable plans for post-secondary success.” As part of it, districts worked with groups of students, all of whom were assigned to teachers or counselors in their schools who would serve as coaches. Some schools provided coaching one-on-one while others paired adults with small groups of students. The coaching helped students focus on their interests and skills when choosing electives, extra-curricular activities, and even possible avenues for learning outside of school.
MAPs encouraged educators to have students answer three questions: Who am I? Who do I want to become? and How do I get there? The self-exploration helped them identify possible paths for post-secondary education and careers and receive support for planning the steps needed to achieve their post-secondary goals.
By most if not all accounts, MAPs broke new ground as one of our region’s first forays into personalized learning. It also led to our current emphasis on Future Readiness and Future Ready Partnerships. More about those next month as we close out the CPE history series marking our 35th Anniversary!