MyCAP and CCA: Helping Students Plan for the Future
Did you know that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has a College and Career Advising Program (CCA) as well as a personal planning tool called My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP)? Together, CCA and MyCAP ensure students will be prepared for college, career, and active and informed citizenship.
CCA is a whole-school, four-year program led by counselors, supported by administrators, and implemented by counselors and teachers throughout the school and across content areas. CCA makes post-secondary preparation and planning a whole school mission.
MyCAP refers to an electronic process that allows students to identify their talents and skills, identify post-secondary options and career and life goals, and actively design their own academic pathway aligned to those plans and goals. MyCAP also consists of a document—an ePortfolio—where students can document their learning and track their career development activities and experiences.
Students and educators can utilize MEFA Pathway to ensure that the 3 domains of MyCAP (academic planning, personal/social growth, and career development) are developed. MEFA Pathway is a comprehensive, free online platform that allows students the ability to take ownership of their own future. Within the student platform, students can develop a course plan, keep track of completed courses and grades earned, engage in a variety of fun quizzes that lead to identifying areas of interest, search careers and specific jobs, search and compare colleges, create a resume, track out-of-school activities, and much, much more.
MEFA Pathways allows students to construct a personalized digital picture of who they are and where they want to go based on their individual needs and goals. MEFA Pathway's Counselor Portal provides a feature specific to MyCAP that allows educators to track their students' plan development. It incorporates data-driven fields such as IEP or 504 Plan along with educator's additions, such as supports or interventions a student is receiving. Finally, the platform also has access to the Common Application for college bound students.
There is growing evidence that MyCAP may improve student engagement, help students understand the connection between what they do now and future success, give students a voice for post-secondary planning, and provide opportunities for better communication among schools, students, and parents/guardians.