MEFA Institute: Learn About My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP)

Interested in learning more about MyCAP, DESE’s My Career and Academic Plan, and how this approach is beneficial to students’ postsecondary pathway? This webinar is for you. Hear middle school and high school counselors share their experience and insight on implementing the MyCAP model in their district. Invite your principal, school counseling team, administration, and anyone else who wants to hear about the process and the tools used to support and guide students on their journey.

Download the webinar slides to follow along.


Okay. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining today's webinar. Learn about my career and academic plan. Otherwise known as MyCAP. My name is Jennifer Bento-Pinyoun. I'm here at MEFA on the College Planning Team as Director of K-12 services, and I'll be moderating today's webinar. We're so pleased to have you all joined today and especially excited to have three amazing educators as guests to talk about MyCAP.

The why and the how. So if I could introduce this Lisa Harney, Thank you. Education Specialist at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. And then we also have Jennifer McGuire, College and Career Information Coordinator at New Bedford Schools. Let me forward my slide here. And then we also have Erin Eastman, Career Readiness Counselor and Guidance Head at Barnes Stouffville High School.

So thank you for joining today to share your expertise around MyCAP. So just some logistics before we get started. Uh, attendees are on mute. Uh, the chat is disabled. But if you have questions, um, just pop them in the Q&A and we'll address those at the end of the session. You can also use the live transcript feature if you'd like to see the closed captions, and you can also select a language of choice if you like.

If you need to leave the webinar, no worries. We are recording the session and will provide a follow-up with the recording along with the slides. You'll also be provided with contact information if you have questions following the session.

And then one more thing is that this session is eligible for one PDP. So you'll get that information as well. All right, just a little bit about MEFA. Uh, MEFA is a state authority, uh, created over 40 years ago to help families plan, save, and pay for college, and we continue, uh, to honor that mission. Uh, and with that, I will turn it over to Lisa, and then we'll hear from Jen and Erin.

And don't forget to drop questions in the Q&A, and we'll, again, address those at the end. Morning, everyone. Thank you so much. Uh, I am So grateful for the partnership, and I have to say this up front with MEFA, uh, Jennifer Bento has led this, um, as they created MEFA Pathway as a tool for everyone, um, but they've been a great partner and have always involved, done everything together with us, so my gratitude to MEFA and especially to Jen, Jennifer, for what she brings to this table.

So welcome, and I'm really excited to see so many of you. That are interested in MyCAP. I think I think COVID probably helped all of us realize we need to be much more attentive to helping our students plan. Um, and to hear their voice. We know we know students really do have lots of interest and we need to help them figure those out.

So MyCAP began, um, really with the state definition of college career and civic readiness. And and that is every student, yeah, in the Commonwealth needs to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences in three domains. And I know I'm preaching to the choir because you in schools deal with this every single day, the personal social within that we consider the emotional behavioral skills for students to be successful, academic and planning, whether it's postsecondary planning, or in the middle school, we're always talking about secondary planning.

The more we get our kids ready for high school, the more they're going to be ready. When they leave high school, they will know more when they get there. And then, of course, workplace readiness, which is in the state definition, we call it career development. And our career development model covers, um, self exploration.

Career development begins with self exploration. Our students need to be able to know their skills, their talents, their passions. Um, and in all of that together, Is to help them be successful successful in a postsecondary pathway, and that can be a whole gamut of things that we'll talk about during our workshops.

And once that happens, they go through successfully through a postsecondary pathway, they're going to achieve a career that's aligned with their personal interests and skills. And when that happens, they'll be able to provide a family, earn, earn a family sustaining wage. And all of that is to hope they'll be active in their civic life.

And so for me, you know, last year, I think was like, so what does that mean? And when you think about those essential questions, how many of you and I can't see you, so you can't raise your hand for me. But how many of you have ever asked yourselves these questions? And I'm pretty sure everyone in the webinar is raising their hand because who am I?

Where am I going? And how do I get there? Those are the three domains that we need to help our students explore. Jennifer. Next slide.

And so MyCAP, it's, it's so funny because people always like, well, is it, is it just something they do? Is it something that happens? MyCAP is a process and an instrument. The instrument, obviously that we like to promote is MEFA Pathway, but some of you may have Naviance or MassCIS, but it's about an instrument that helps the student.

It captures the artifacts. There should be an e portfolio that where they can capture their learning. Because we all know students. You say to students, well, did you, did you do this last year? And you get the, I don't know. And so we wanna make sure they're capturing these artifacts of learning as they're doing it.

But these tools also have lessons and a plethora of my cap of materials. But the process begins with student directed if our students are not driving this work. Then they're going to just say, Oh, someone told me to do it. We never want a student to say that's why they did something. We want it to be because they wanted to do it.

And it should happen everywhere. And Jennifer McGuire is going to help us see when she presents on New Bedford. She's going to help us see that it does happen everywhere. And we've, we just haven't asked our teachers how much they are a part of this process. Um, every student needs to have a caring adult.

We all know that. But the big thing is that this can help students better understand why they're doing a course. Right? Why this course is important to their future. Next slide. And so there's steps that you'll take if you are coming to our workshops this year. There are steps in the whole school, the process to implement this beginning with a team, a team.

We've always said the minimum should be four. And key is to have an administrator. The administrator may not come to the trainings with you. But there needs to be an administrator that somebody from the team goes to as soon as they get back from the trainings to say this is what we did this time. Um, but administrator, counselor, gen ed teacher, SPED teacher, EL teacher, anybody that's going to work with students.

You should have them represented on this team because they should help say where it's all going to happen. A landscape. First thing, what do we have? You don't want to reinvent the wheel. You don't want to create a scope and sequence, which is what we call the MyCAP plan. It will have a scope and sequence.

You don't want to reinvent that. You already have things going in. You're going to plug them in identifying learning objectives every single grade every single year in all three domains. What are the key learning from that? What do we want our students to know and be able to do each year in that? Of course, artifacts always need to demonstrate that those objectives have been achieved.

Creating lessons, implementation plan, materials, all that's going to happen, all that's going to just ensure a good implementation in your school. Next slide. This is what our scope and sequence, um, you may use this template, you may not. But what you need to do is make sure that you have learning objectives that there are artifacts being documented, and you know where that's going to happen in each each grade each year.

Now, remember, this is just where you're identifying clear intentional lessons and activities, personal social building skill building, should be happening everywhere in every class, every time. So, but this, this scope and sequence helps you be really intentional about, intentional about where it's going to happen each year.

Next slide. So really, overall, I believe MyCAP is really a holistic process. It covers all the domains. It's what you're doing every day in your school. You are dealing with these domains. You're caring about your students. You're intentional about wanting them to be successful in their future. You do this.

MyCAP. I call it the threader. It makes sure how it happens, where it happens. It intentionally happens. And it's the whole school that helps our students be successful. So with that, I think I'm turning it over. Is that my last slide? Gosh, I usually go on and on and on. You're lucky I've got people that need more time than me on this one.

So I, I turn it back to, uh, Jennifer Bento.

Well, I guess we're going to Jennifer McGuire. Yes, Jennifer McGuire is getting ready to share her screen.

Okay, can you see my screen? We can. Okay, great.

Just trying to get it into the right mode.

Hold on. Can you guys, does it look like a presentation? Yeah, it looks, it looks right, Jen. Okay, because I can't see it. Hold on one sec. Oh, no. Um, oh, there it is. Hold on. Okay, perfect. So, um, I'm going to speak a little bit today about the experience of launching the MyCAP at the middle school level in New Bedford.

And to start that, I'm going to talk a little bit about our school district and sort of why we decided to initiate this process with our middle schools, as opposed to the high school, which you'll hear a little bit about from Erin in a few minutes. So I bet most of you know. Have some idea as to where New Bedford is located, but we're about 60 miles south of Boston.

Um, just some statistics about the community that might be helpful to put things into perspective, but to understand our district, uh, we have one main high school. There are about 3, 000 students across the four grades. Um, we have three middle schools that feed into that high school, uh, 19 elementary schools, and then we have two alternative schools that have, um, a collection of grades including high school students.

So we service a lot of students, uh, We certainly have students with great need and a lot of, uh, students for whom English is not their first language. So it's an exciting population to work with and certainly students that are deserving of high quality college and career, um, support as they navigate, um, their journey from middle school to high school and then from high school, um, onto whatever they choose to do.

So, when we decided to, um, Start exploring MyCAP for our district. We thought that it might be wise to start with our middle school students because one of the pieces we were trying to do was to tie together what was happening in the three different middle schools to ensure that all of our students were getting good information about what the future might hold and helping them to decide what high school path might be best for them.

So As most of us are experiencing across the state, you know, there's lots of different options for our students now when they're choosing high schools, and so, um, we wanted to just make sure students were learning, you know, what do I know about myself, um, how can I choose the best pathway, um, in conjunction with the people that care about me, whether that's my teachers, my counselors, um, parents and guardians and other caregivers at home.

Um, also, you know, there's always that issue, uh, at, uh at all grade levels of trying to help students understand, you know, why is what I'm doing in school important? How does this affect me, um, down the road? Um, and as we were sort of looking at what was going on in especially the middle school level, there were a lot of things that were happening here and there.

Um, You know, kind of like a menu of different college and career readiness activities, but as Lisa mentioned before, MyCAP is really like that thread and that thread wasn't really there tying these things together. And so a student or a group of students might have a great experience, for example, on a college visit.

But then what do they do with that information? How do they bring that back? How do their educators tie it into what they're doing back in school rather than just this sort of out there one time event that they're doing? So that's sort of what I mean when I, when I talk about shifting from career readiness events to more of a process.

Um, I will be honest in saying that, um, sometimes timing is everything in terms of getting administrative support with a process. And I know Lisa, when she was talking about putting your team together, she mentioned the importance of having administrators involved. Um, our district was in the process last year of getting ready to launch IB at our middle schools.

And, um, A lot of the leadership at the middle school level was able to see sort of some connections between the content of, um, MyCAP or the purpose of MyCAP and what was going on with IB. So that was really just kind of an unintended consequence that was a great advantage, I think, to, um, to me in terms of leading the MyCAP work, um, for the district.

So just to kind of piece some of that together, um, unrelated to my cap itself, the middle schools, uh, the leadership there had done some work to kind of generate what students were thinking in terms of future planning. And so they had done a survey where, and these were some of the conversation pieces that came up.

Students wanted to learn about future career opportunities. Um, they wanted to connect those opportunities to their interests and back to their schoolwork. Um, and just some thoughts about the people that supported them and, um, how they tied in. Um, to their career goals. So putting together a team. I know Lisa touched upon this for us.

It was a little bit different. Um, as I mentioned, we have three middle schools and one of the main goals of our work was to, um, make sure that our, our MyCAP provided a baseline so we could be sure that at a minimum, All students at all three schools were getting the more or less the same thing. It might look a little bit different in the rollout, but we wanted to, you know, tie in some through lines and have some consistency across the district.

So when I put out a request for educators that wanted to be involved in this work, we look to fill all those pieces that Lisa mentioned. So touching on, you know, counseling, um, academic teachers, um, specialists, um, special ed educators. Um, teachers that work with multi language learners. So we were able to pull together.

It was sort of like three teams in one. We were very fortunate in that sense. We had a larger team coming together, but we were able to cover all of those different areas for the most part. And that really allowed us to look broadly at the best practices that were in existence from all three of our middle schools.

Um, and that was really key and we'll talk about that a little bit more moving forward, but to have, um, all of that knowledge sitting at the table was really helpful. Um, one of the biggest pieces and, you know, this continues to this day, um, you know, as we're starting to roll things out is that. A lot of education needs to be done, not just with the team members, but more broadly with everyone about what MyCAP is.

I think people have heard of it now, I think it's sort of a buzzword, but that doesn't mean that everyone truly has an understanding. I still hear people, um, a lot of people confusing. Um, like my cap with for us. We're using me for pathway as our tool, but people get confused and they think, um, like MEFA Pathway is MyCAP.

Not that it's a platform where we are documenting our MyCAP work. So it's just, you know, it's helping people become more familiar with. The terminology and, um, more comfortable. And so last year when we put our team together, we spent some time kind of going over a lot of that so that the people on the team had the right information because they're the ones back in the trenches with the other educators, with the leadership in the buildings and to kind of prevent things from getting more confusing. We wanted to make sure that all of our educators in the three schools kind of were saying the same thing and that they really had a good understanding. And that really helped with facilitating buy in from the rest of the staff in the school because none of this stuff can happen in isolation.

And I think that's really one of, um, I guess my favorite pieces about MyCAP is that It isn't something, um, that's done by one part of the school. It's not just, you know, a school counseling piece. It's not just something done in an academic classroom or in your advisory or wherever you decide to roll it out.

It's something that really needs to be, um, a school wide initiative. It needs to be something that everybody's using common language, that everybody is part of. Um, so. It's my little thing. Um, so one of the I think most essential things that our team did when we first got moving moving with this was to do a survey of our middle school staff.

So we put together a survey that was rolled out to all different, um, educators in the building from, you know, classroom teachers to specialists to administrators and clerks as well, because everybody in the building is important. Thank you. Right. As I mentioned, you know, this is something that needs to be part of everyone's sort of like the fabric of your school.

So we wanted to get input from everyone in the building. We got a pretty good response rate across our three different middle schools and I think a pretty good turnout from different educators. So, you can see all the different little pie pieces, everyone coming together. Um, and I know that it's hard to read on the slides because a lot of the words are cut off, but we basically took, um, the three different domains, so it started with the personal social, and we listed, um, one, two, three, six different, uh, learning objectives that potentially could be what we select to focus on for our first MyCAP.

Scope and sequence for us. We started with the sixth grade and I'll be honest that I was a little anxious that we were going to do this survey. Because everybody was different and everyone has a different area of expertise that we would come back and have kind of a tie between many, if not all of these different, um, topics.

But conveniently, and maybe not surprisingly, there were a couple that really stuck out in each of the three domains. So as you see with personal social, there was, um, there were two that stuck out. Same thing with career development. And then again with the academic and secondary planning domain. So that was sort of a relief when we saw that once we got the survey results, we could kind of jump in and and start with those, um, learning objectives.

Doesn't mean the other ones aren't important, but for our first year we focused on the six that came out of this survey. So I'm not going to read these to you, but I'm sure we're sharing so you'll be able to check back in and see these later. These were the objectives that we decided to focus on for our sixth grade scope and sequence.

So we had two in each area. And then the last piece of the survey, which I think was probably the most fun, um, for me, at least to read and hopefully for the rest of the MyCAP team was to ask what's already going on in your building or in your classroom or in your space, share with us, you know. How what you're doing already ties into my cap, and this is really good for two reasons.

First, it gave the MyCAP team some places to start some best practices or maybe partial best practices or just ideas, but it also for the survey respondents. It, I think it really put into context like, hey, this is already part of the work that you're doing because I know from, you know, working in schools for many years that that's always the challenge, right?

There's, somebody's asking you to do more. Sometimes it's someone in your building. Sometimes it's DESE. But it's always this feeling that there's like more and more to do and how are you going to find the time? How are you going to fit this in one more thing? Um, so I think. Asking the respondents to reflect on their own practice and to share with with MyCAP team how they're already doing this work, I think, was really, really valuable.

Um, so there's several slides that you'll be able to look at and I included in here the, the content area or the role of the individual that shared this best practice. I highlighted some only because I felt like they really kind of were share worthy and reflected kind of what we were looking for. But it's also sort of a relief to see that.

So many educators value this and that it's already part of what they're doing without being given, you know, a specific directive to include, um, these pieces in their work. So that was really exciting.

So this is sort of what our timeline looked like. And this is a work in progress. We are barely at the, you know, the beginning of rollout here. So we plan to keep working on this, um, not just through this year, but into the future, because our intention is that this year's sixth graders will be the first, uh, class to move through a seamless, relatively seamless, hopefully, MyCAP process from sixth grade all the way through to graduation.

So that's, that's sort of our goal. So we're going to roll out sixth grade this year and then seventh grade next year. Um, and this, this group of sixth graders will sort of be the leaders. But all this work started about a year ago, um, when we, uh, registered as a, uh, a district that was interested in taking a team of educators to the professional development that Lisa spoke about a little while ago.

Um, so we attended, you know, everyone on the team attended the DESE workshops and we also did some additional training. So that included, um, a training from MEFA Pathway. We were very fortunate to be able to do that. And the fact that you can do things like that through Zoom is really helpful because, um, when you don't have to add in the You know, the travel time and that piece, it really helps, uh, to be able to get educators to spare the time from all the other things that they're doing.

Then we designed that survey. That was probably, I would say, December, January ish that we did that. Um, once we had the survey results, again, we were a larger team, so we were able to split our team into the three domains. So we let the, the educators sort of self identify. Who was more interested in which area, but you could also do this.

Even if you had a smaller team, you can use your team members, perhaps to take a domain and then work on that, you know, with their colleagues back at school by asking questions or asking for input. So, um, we organized into those three groups, analyze the survey results and, um, Started working on that. And at sort of the same time, we explored all the pathways or all the platforms that we could use.

We selected MEFA Pathway for us. You know, the reason was partly because it was free, which I really prefer not to pay for things if we don't have to. But also because, um, just customer support for lack of a better way to describe it. It's always easy to reach somebody via email or phone and get a response.

And, um, That's really helpful. You know, for us. So that was why we chose that. I know people are using lots of different platforms and they're all great. There's many more out there now than there were, um, even a few years ago. But, um, I can't say enough about the opportunity that MEFA Pathway has, has brought for us.

And then we started working on our scope and sequence for sixth grade. Um, one of the pieces that we added once we had sort of finished designing the scope and sequence, and our scope and sequence really showed it was very similar to the document Lisa shared where it showed sort of what is the artifact.

What is the lesson plan so we had done all of that. But. In order to prepare for our educators to be implementing this, we wanted to try to make things as, um, I don't, easy, seamless, um, as convenient as possible. So a few of the team members actually worked on an implementation guide and that guide included, um, lesson plans.

Sometimes they were existing plans that were, you know, borrowed from other places, but sometimes they were written from scratch just depended on the topic, um, it listed the supplies that you needed. It sort of did the pacing. It had links to if there was a slide show that needed to be shared or something like that.

So by putting that implementation guide together, it really helped, um, I don't want to say sell the process, but more or less sell the process, um, not alienate people. You don't want to get to the end of it. All of this training with a team and then have somebody leading the building say like, there's no way we're doing this because that would be really unfortunate.

So it by having everything all of our ducks in a row, so to speak, it, um. Not only documented the work that the team had done and the value in that, but it made sort of that transition from creating to process to implementing it a little bit better. We were also able fortunately to use some grant money to purchase some supplies to help with this, which, you know, was really, really great.

So that was sort of how we finished out the year last year. Um, and then it was really about sort of briefing. The school and district leaders about what the rollout would look like for us. It was tying in with the I. B, which I mentioned earlier. And then the other piece is that we do have three different schools.

They have three different schedules. They spend different amounts of time in things like advisory or they call them different things. So that was really a challenge. Um, so we had to sort of Just kind of accept the fact that it wasn't going to be rolled out exactly the same in each building. So the way we're sort of embracing that is that we're looking at it as really an opportunity to try some different strategies try different methods of delivery this year, and we can.

Regroup it and see what's working. What are best practices in terms of implementation that could be shared across the three schools in some cases, our health educators are actually going to be delivering some of these lessons this year, we felt that there were some tie ins to what the health educators were being asked to cover in their classes.

And so while I don't think permanently this will live in health, um, it was sort of an area where we were able to commit to making sure that most students. Would have access to this. Um, the other piece, you know, so this fall, there's been some need to train additional educators because they weren't part of the team last year.

So we've done some hands on training, not just around MyCAP, but specifically with MEFA Pathway. And what I always like to do when I'm talking about my cap or working with people who are going to be delivering aspects of MyCAP is to have them go into the platform as if they were a student. And try out some of the lessons that a student would be exploring.

Um, I think it does two things. First of all, it's fun, right? Because you get to go back to pretending you're a student. Maybe find that there's a new, uh, career for you. Lying out there, maybe it's not. Teaching, but, um. So adults usually have fun with that, but that way, when students are engaging with them, they can really troubleshoot.

They, they know what the student is supposed to be seeing, what they're supposed to be doing, um, and what they're supposed to get out of it. So I think that's been really helpful. So we've done some work around that, um, specifically with our health educators and just last week with our middle school counselors.

So we're going to continue to be working on those aspects of it. I'm trying to think what else, um, What else is going on? But basically, we're the very beginning of this. So students are starting to create their profiles. They're starting to do very basic lessons. And what's the other piece that I think is really nice is that, um, as the teachers and counselors have been I Starting to get into MEFA Pathway.

They have asked, you know, can we only do this with sixth graders because that's kind of the group we've said need to do this. And I said, No, you can use this with everyone. So a lot of the Health teachers asked if they could pick and choose some activities to do with their seventh and eighth graders, which is great because that's going to help us this year as we move forward to see, you know, what are some additional pieces that Older students can do.

And the other thing that I've said to the counselors and teachers this year is as you're going through the lessons that the team put together. If there's something that doesn't fit there, if maybe we're asking more of a sixth grader, for example, then we should be, if maybe something would tie in better in seventh grade or the beginning of eighth grade that we can move things around, right?

So this isn't, um, this isn't something that you're tied to every specific detail. It's you're tied to the process, right? We've decided that we've all agreed that this is important and that we want to do this for our students. But if. We want to make it as beneficial to students as possible. We don't want to end up in a situation where, where the adults that are in front of students are, um, giving the vibe that we're doing this because we have to, or because someone said we need to check a box.

So we want to make this as, um, positive and experience as possible for the adults that are in front of students, because that really goes, um, a long way. So I, I kind of touched upon this already, but basically we did explore some other platforms. Um, this seemed to be. The one that was the best fit for us.

Um, and so many of you probably use clever in your schools. We were able to, um, integrate clever with me for pathway. So that makes it easier for students in terms of logging in. I don't know. I have, um I don't know. Experiences of sitting in rooms with students and trying to help people find their passwords and things like that.

So I think the clever integration was, um, a fabulous idea. Um, as far as the lessons, I mentioned the implementation guide, but we went sort of another step further. And so I've created like a Google folder that has all the specific documents for each lesson in it. But I've only put in that folder like the first two, two and a half minutes.

Lessons so that the educators aren't overwhelmed. Like, Oh, my gosh, how in the world am I going to get through all of these? Um, and I've also really been very direct with the teachers and counselors that we are that we are launching this this year. You know, it's it's real for the kids, but it's a pilot for us.

We're looking for feedback. We're looking for best practices, and we're going to try our best to get through Thank you. The scope and sequence that we put together, but do the best you can, you know, and I think that's really, um, helpful for people to hear, you know, that we're all doing this together, that no one is, um, solely responsible for, for this success and that, um, things don't always go as planned.

So, we will continue, you know, doing some training around MyCAP development, moving into the other middle school grades, and then, um, laying the foundation at our high school, uh, so that, you know, when students roll in there, things are ready to go. We do have some smaller pockets of students at the high school that are using MEFA Pathway and are really starting to get into MyCAP.

Because they're in certain populations. So that's really exciting to see as well and to be able to sort of have some time to pilot different things with smaller groups at our high school so that when the class of 2030 gets to ninth grade, I think things might be a little more seamless for their transition to ninth grade.

So that's the end of my slides.

That's great, Jen. Thank you. So now we'll go to Erin and let me just, I'm going to share here. Thanks, Jen. Sure. Are you able to see my screen? Okay, great. Thank you. Um, so Barnesville High School, we That's our, our, um, old sign, that sign with Red Raiders. We're actually the Red Hawks now, we, we changed our name.

Um, we have about 1,700 to 1,800 students, grades 8 through 12. Um, 63 percent are high need, 52 percent are economically disadvantaged, 30 percent English is not their first language, and 16 percent are special ed. Um, we're on the Cape. And, um, so we serve as the town of Barnstable, which draws from seven villages, though we're not considered a regional school.

It's, it's a regular, you know, town high school. Um, do you want to go to the next slide? Thank you. So I'm going to talk today about assembling a team scope and sequence challenges and then a few helpful things. Assembling our team. We went with the recommendations from Desi because we were attending the workshops that they have.

And if you're just beginning this process, I definitely recommend going to those workshops. Um, and really thinking about putting together, um, a solid team when you do that. So we had an administrator, a counselor, a teacher, and a special ed teacher. Um, and then we had some few folks that, a few more folks that stayed back, but that was the team that went for the training.

Um, I did put an image of a revolving door, because sometimes when you put your team together, it, it is, it can feel like a revolving door. And so you can have a transition. Door depending on what's happening in your district. And I don't think that our district is unique. I think this is happening in a lot of districts where, um.

There's been a lot of transition. Um, you know, we have a new. Excuse me. Um, new superintendent. Uh, our principles in the 2nd year. New, um, student services person. And, uh, I'm, uh, in my 1st year as the school counseling department head. A lot of changes. Um, but you just kind of hang in there and then keep, keep bringing people in to take the places of the people who leave your team.

So it's important when you are putting together the team, just like Jen said, you want to have a variety of people with perspective. Um, different voice and the other thing you want to look for from your team members is stamina because you're going to find that you do have to, uh, repeat yourself a lot with educating people about, um, MyCAP as a platform and a process.

Um, you want to look for people who've done innovative things with students who are going to come with creative ideas to your team because implementing this. It's not a straightforward process. Um, you also need people who have staying power so that you can avoid that revolving door if you can. Um, and people that are respected in the building.

So when you do presentations at a faculty meeting, um, your faculty is going to listen to them. Uh, we're in the process of kind of reforming our team. Um, and some people who have moved on from our school. Have carried this with them and implemented it at their new schools, which is kind of cool. Um, and it's also helpful.

I have a really awful cough, so I'm going to be sipping tea while I'm going through this, but I didn't want to miss the presentation. Um, it's also helpful when you're putting a team together. Think about layers of support. So you'll have your core team, but who are the people surrounding them that are also supporting and surrounding them and supporting?

So you might have, um, your core team that goes to the training. But then you come back and you report back to if you have career tech ed in your school, you're correct. Career tech ed teachers are, um, naturals for this type of work. Um, your school counseling department, uh, will definitely be, uh, another layer of your team and include leadership.

It's very, very important that you have leadership on board with this. Um, so do, do present to them as often as you can so that they understand the value of MEFA. Um, We can go to the next slide.

So the scope and sequence. Um, we, what we did was we did an inventory of what we were already doing in the building. And then we cross referenced it with the scope and sequence from DESE. Um, it's. It's helpful to do that and to take a look at what's going on in the other departments as well. Um, We didn't do a formal inventory like Jen did I took notes when you were talking about that Jen Um, I love that idea.

That's fantastic. And I think we'll we'll probably do that. Um, Very soon this year. I think that was a smart thing to do um, what you want to look for are pockets of where this is happening in the building already and then how that pocket can expand and become a little bit bigger. So someone who's teaching financial literacy, um, in one class, how can we make that bigger, you know, can we spread that out within the department?

And that ties into what Jen talked about before too, how important it is that this is a, a building-wide culture and a building-wide effort that it doesn't, uh, fall to the school counseling department. Um, I don't know how many people on this webinar are school counselors, but the ones who are probably nodding their heads saying that that's a, it's a familiar feeling when you have something cool comes along and up school counseling will do that, you know, um, we can't do it alone.

We need help from the whole building to do it. Um, so for us, excuse me, the process starts in grade eight. We have a BHS experience class that all of the grade eight kids take they create their account. They do their inventories and they set goals for themselves. And that all happens in this eighth grade class when they move up to ninth grade. They do. Um, they use the inventories.

And they, um, start the career research. And they also do course planning. The course planning is tied in to the research that they did. So if they realize they want to become a veterinarian, um, one of the classes you can take here at our high school to help guide you and help you explore so that you're lining yourself up to become a vet.

Um, We're rolling out 10th grade this year, which is going to include the postsecondary research and more course planning. Um, and what we've done is we've partnered with the history department, so 8th grade we partnered with wellness, 9th grade we partnered with history, and then we're going to be partnering with, um, the English department as well.

We're hoping to do two grades in history. And two grades in English. Um, see, I think we can go to the next slide.

Oh, one more thing I wanted to add about that too. In the eighth grade, in addition to doing, um, the inventories and the goals, we also do a tour. So the school counselors will go into that class and we'll take the kids toward the entire building and, um, show them all the pathways that we have here at the high school.

Um, we have a lot of, uh, Perkins Pathways. Uh, we have 174, two Innovation Pathways, and then some Custom Pathways that, that we've set up at our high school in the art department. All grades during advisory also watch, um, a video about, uh, department highlights. You know, what is each of our department, you know, what is each department offering as far as pathways, exciting elective courses.

And, um, that video has has taken, um, it's undergone a lot. It started, it started out as a presentation. It started out as slides and it was a big assembly and the kids would come down and the department heads would each get up and read their slides to the 8th graders. Um, Lisa's laughing because I think we've talked about this quite a bit because I was like, oh, we got to change that.

And, um, the first year that we changed it, I had an intern and she had done video production and I said, hey, we got to make this more exciting. This is, this is like, no offense to any of us adults, but this is boring. And, uh, she said, okay, you know, I'll go out and I'll get some clips of all these, uh, things happening in these departments and all these pathways.

And she put together the best video. It was awesome. And the next year, we showed the video to the kids. And at the end, they all stood up and clapped because it was like, oh, thank God. We get this nice video made by a kid as opposed to these boring slides read by a whole bunch of adults. And it just, it was so much better.

So we've built off of that and made that video better and better each year. Um, so that, that's helpful too. I, I don't know if that's a, something that people want to take as a takeaway is, um, you know, is a way to visualize the program of studies. And that helps with the course planning. And we show it right before the kids start picking their courses in February.

Um, we can go. Oh, we're at challenges. Okay. Um, this is the one I'll probably talk about the most. So challenges, um, changing staff. So back to that image of the revolving door. That is a challenge. Um, it's, it's one that's real and you just want to know that it's going to exist and always be at the ready, you know, who are we adding in.

Um, how are we going to cope with this when, when people leave and quickly reeducating leadership, you know, as soon as leadership is, um, is, you know, coming in, I, what I did was joined the, um, interview committee for the superintendent. And I put a question in there in the interview about MyCAP. So that made a statement to whoever we were going to hire that MyCAP matters.

Um, so you might have to do things like that. Um, The back burner issue is a big issue. Um, MyCAP is great. It sounds wonderful. Everybody it's it's not a hard sell. People like it. The hard part is keeping it on the front burner. It's often pushed to the back burner because there are other things that seem more important.

So you've got to be constantly advocating and be that squeaky wheel that keeps it on the front burner. Um, and Jen mentioned this understanding what it is and why it's important. So it's just constantly educating people about what MyCAP is and it's not.

So, um, like I said, you need to keep replacing the team members that leave so that you maintain that solid group. Oh, big supporters. Um, you're going to find if it's similar to our school, um, your young staff who have really big loans. Um, they're going to hear about MyCAP and they're going to say, Oh my gosh, I wish I had this.

A lot of times you'll get young staff that like had majored in something else first, then found their way to education and a massive, um, if they had had this, they, they would, and we had people say this in faculty meetings. Um, the other people that are going to be big supporters are staff that are parents of college bound students.

We have found that they will come to us and say, tell me how to do this. I'm going to do this at home with my kid because they want their kid a little bit more centered and focused when they go off. Um, and the other really big supporters are people who on your staff had been in industry. Prior to coming into education.

Um, so look for those people when you're putting your team together and even just to chat and talk up MyCAP. Um, as far as that back burner issue, we found the best way to cope with that. Is data protect particularly dark data. So what I looked at was the, um, post secondary data and, um, post secondary success and looked at, um, the, the different are different groups are different, um, special populations and what did they look like, um, six years out and there was a huge gap and equity gap.

And when I personally, when I saw that, like I teared up, I was so upset. I was like, what are we doing? And, um, it became really evident to me that we needed much better career advising for our kids. Um, it's not okay to have a kid in poverty, go off to school, not finish, and then know that you've just exacerbated that poverty.

So we need to be advising them the right way so that they're taking the, the, the right kind of steps to get where they need to go so they can be successful. You show that data to your administrators and, or teachers, anyone, they're gonna, they're gonna see the need for it. Um,

The other thing is make use of faculty PD.

So we had a strand that our teachers could, uh, so like there were like five strands during one of our PD years and, um, a couple of years ago. And so I offered a career strand and people joined it. And I was able to educate a bunch of educators, 30 educators about, um, pathways we have here at school, about MyCAP, about the various platforms, um, we made a connection to the college.

We went over and met with the college about their programs. I really lose my voice. I'm hanging in there though. Um, so that that was like immensely helpful. Um, the other thing is with this PD, it's important to keep it simple and make it fun and make it purposeful. Um, Jen brought up making people students and using the platform as a student.

That's exactly what we did. It was the same thing. So the first thing we did was we went in in the summer to the leadership. Uh, week when the leader leadership team was, you know, gearing up and getting ready for the school year, um, a couple of us went in and we had them set up accounts as if they were kids and ran them through, um, right up until postsecondary planning, and they had so much fun doing it.

It was really the one, one of the most effective ways of getting people to get their heads around what it is. They liked it so much, they invited us to do it with the whole faculty. So I called Jen and said, just letting you know, you're going to see a bunch of accounts that are going to pop up. And um, so the whole faculty did it.

They loved it. And it helped, so that when we went into the classrooms afterwards, the teachers were really excited for the kids to do it. Because they had done it themselves. Um, so that was the, that was the best PD really, um, and then again, just keep presenting to staff as often as you possibly can about what this is so we can go to the next slide.

I'll be short on this because I know we won't have time for questions, helpful things. If your school has a chapter 74 program or innovation pathways, MyCAP is required. It has to be in SIMS. So, um, that makes it easy for you to get the buy in. Um, it's also sensible and, um, the platform that we use is MEFA.

It's easy to use. Just like Jen, we researched all of them. And, um, we, we found that this is, this is definitely by far the best. Um, the students like it. It's easy to navigate. Um, And it's also once you get using this, it's easy to generate stories about how it helps the students because it happens like that.

They, they find what they want to do. They get excited. They're, um, you know, they come in dragging like, well, skipping and, um, and I, I've got to, I, I won't go into the stories. I have a ton of them, but, um, I know we want to leave time for questions because I think that's probably going to be one of the real important pieces of this webinar.

Thank you.

It's just so amazing. So amazing. Amazing work. We do have a handful of questions, so maybe we'll just take them from the top here. Uh, is the survey that New Bedford used for middle school students available? Are you willing to share that? Sounds great. So, um, I'm happy to share anything that we've created.

So I think our contact information is in the presentation somewhere. So if you wanted to shoot me an email, I'm happy to share, um, what we have and. Do you want me just to tackle the next question? 'cause that was, I think, related to me as well. Sure. So, um, I'm actually, my title is, um, college and career Information coordinator for the district.

So I don't work specifically with one of the schools, but I work primarily with, um, the high school and the three middle schools around, um, initiatives related to college and career. Um. Readiness and kind of developing a culture of college and career readiness in the district. So, um, the question asked, you know, how did we get these team members to do this?

And did we pay them? And we did pay them because we use the money that we were able to get, um, you know, through the grant, um, primarily for stipends. That was almost exclusively what we used it for. So the workshops that We keep mentioning those are during the day, and so our team members were out of the building for the day to attend those.

All the other work that was done by our team members, whether it was like MEFA Pathway training or working on the implementation guide or developing lessons, that was all done outside of the school day on their own time. A lot of it was done, as I mentioned, through Zoom. So like when we did our MEFA Pathway training, everyone was home in their kitchen, uh, Zooming in themselves.

So that was how we were able to get them. Money usually helps. Thanks, Jen. Let's see. So this next one I think is for Lisa. Is there a schedule for trainings? We have new members that need trainings. Uh, there is not a schedule yet. Um, we had some hold ups, but we are hoping to have a calendar of trainings available by the first week in December.

Um, and there, if you've been in a training before, we probably have your, um, your email. But anybody who has been to a training will receive account will receive information about the calendar. Um, if you have not been to a training before, uh, please feel free to reach out to me. Um, actually, I don't know if I put my info on the schedule, but, um, on my PowerPoint, but, you know, That's my email.

If anybody wants more information, wants to learn more about the trainings, please email me. I'm happy to respond and and help you figure out what you need and how to get there. But the series at the trainings are three workshop series. So there'll be one like, I don't know, January, February, March.

Is what we're have in mind for this coming year. And then for those who have been to past, we're going to offer at least one in person training, um, probably January or February, just to do a touch base from where you're at. And, uh, do someone. It's more networking. I think these trainings are more about what you share with each other than about the wise and wonderful things I will have to tell you.

So, um, learn from each other. You'll have people like like Jen McGuire and Erin Eastman and their crews may be coming to these things that can help share out. Thank you. Lisa. Uh, next question. Are there any districts that have fully implemented my cap have exemplary rollout practice? Yes. Uh, there there are a couple of them.

Um, I'm trying to think. Um, I think I hope deal. They did a presentation for us last year there they are. I think they were adding their seventh grade this year maybe, but they were pretty much through the high school. Um, I'd have to look at my notes, but there are there are a few that are doing that. Um, several of our CTE schools, um, have put together some wonderful, um, programs, nine through 12.

Uh, you know, they're replacing what used to be. The career planning requirement, and they're doing this as my cap. So we've got a few CTE schools that are doing really well with that too. Again, please email me if you want some references. I'm happy to send out some contact info.

Okay, a couple more questions. Um, this is in regards to a tracking question. We use Naviance to track our my cap. However, by junior year, six activities are done outside of Naviance, so only one activity is automatically logged in to Naviance. This requires a manual process to log the completion of tasks.

Is anyone using a process that allows efficient tracking of the completion of tasks by students to reduce that manual effort? What I've heard from, from, um, some of the districts, Uh, who have Naviance, and because Naviance, their accounts closed upon graduation from high school, and so there's concern about, um, continuity of learning and documentation and things like that.

Um, some of the schools are having students create Google, um, either Google Docs or a Google platform account of sorts. Um, some are using, uh, having students in the upper grades. Um, so it's a great way to help students create linked in accounts and adding some of their materials things they want to keep moving forward.

Um, so again, it's it's an it may be an extra step, but it's also a great way to, uh, empower your student to find that place where they can keep their information and their documentation together. Um, so there are, you know, some, I would say Google is what I hear more most. And in all different formats, um, for, for alternate place to keep.

Materials. Great. One more question. I understand that my cap is required at my school for innovation pathways. How is this documented on sin on the Sims report? Our staff is confused on what is shown as proof or portfolio. Well, in in Sims, we actually have data points for my cap. Um, the only way we could do this.

It's in SCS, it's not the Sims piece, uh, is, is in the course collection, is that there is a, um, course. There's a course for each grade nine, grade 10, grade 11, grade 12, and the course content is really whatever you have created for what. So you'll be reporting that if a student completes all their MyCAP activities in grade nine, you would have them completing the grade nine course, um, innovation pathways.

I believe it's just recording that the student is part of Innovation pathways. I don't think Sims has broken down to the different, um, components, but the assumption would be that MyCAP is considered a piece of innovation career pathway. So if your student is enrolled in ICP, we expect that they're doing MyCAP.

So it would just be recorded that they're part of that. But I will check with Jennifer walking about how they're recording that. Yeah, it's also in their slides on the that they've got with the innovation pathway. It's on the website. And it's right in those slides. Whoever's asking that question can look that up.

Great. Yeah, so go to go to our website and look under innovation career pathway. Thanks, Erin. Sure. I will say to that the reports in, um, MEFA Pathway are so much easier to use. We had Naviance, we don't have it anymore. Um, and the getting the reports on, you know, what the students have completed. It's right on the dashboard.

It's you don't have to go digging for it. You don't have to remember how to do it. It's it's easy. And in the end again, you know, um, plugging MEFA Pathway because they've just been great partners. But the students can once they have that account, they have that account for life. It's not something that ends for them so they can continually go back and look, or they can use some of the tools in MEFA Pathway.

When they get out of high school and think, wow, I'm not quite sure this is where I want to be. They can still go back into their accounts and use some of those career search tools. So it's really important to have an ability to do that.

That's good. And then just one more one more question that popped in. Um, just on sharing the implementation guide and we'll follow up. Um, everyone will get the slide deck with contact information. So that will all be taken care of. Uh, so this is great. Let's see. So just if you have, you probably already follow MEFA.

Get our, all of our great content, all of our guidance, but follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, all the great social media platforms. And I'll just say thank you for, for everyone today for joining. This was what a session this was. We've been looking forward to having this and it's just, just great to hear all the work that's been been done and going on.

So thank you. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Jennifer. Thank you, Aaron. And thanks for all of you for joining this morning. We appreciate it.

Thank you for hosting it. This was great for us to our pleasure. Have a great day. Have a great day.

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