ERCGP members, make plans to do a little networking in August!
We welcome riders to our part of the world for this week's Roar on the Shore! A great line up of events are planned throughout the region, check out GoErie list for the low down, or visit the ROAR website.
With the heavy traffic anticipated, let's all drive defensively this week. Be safe, have fun, be safe!
Bill Scholz, Business Outreach Specialist
Searching for the right post-secondary school is overwhelming to students and parents. For students, the process of applying along with the very confusing financial aid completion seems endless. Finding funds to attend a post-secondary school can be complex and confusing as students navigate clunky Federal applications systems such as FAFSA, scholarships, and state grant applications. In many schools, school counselors simply do not have enough resources to ensure that every student finds a clear pathway to success.
Simply put, elementary and secondary schools are not adequately offering college and career readiness opportunities. Among recent graduates, less than 1 in 10 have taken a foundational set of college and career readiness courses. Many school counselors echo that our schools are chronically under-resourced when it comes to post-secondary success.
In the United States, there are 50.7 Million students in grade K-12. There are 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Additionally, there are 5,000 agencies that serve high - risk youth. Few of these organizations take advantage of online learning management systems (LMS) to deliver valuable post-secondary information to ensure student success and monitor their progress. Current offerings are either too expensive or uninspiring.
CAPS is an online learning platform that allows the student, parent, and school counselor to share information and monitor career progression. CAPS is a fun and easy to use platform that functions much like the same social networks that students are already comfortable using.
The platform is the first learning management system of its kind. It is cost-effective and allows for students and parents to complete video modules, worksheets, and assessments together. Progress is reported back to the school counselor who can answer questions and provide customized assistance.
School Counselors can report on student progress to understand the pulse of their communities’ career-readiness. Questions might include:
This data provides substantial value - add for school districts.
With CAPS, districts now have easy access to a number of different online resources including timelines for post-secondary transitions, video and online content that teach career-readiness, and a safe and secure record of student progress that is shared among school administration.
CAPS also helps students obtain financial aid for post-secondary education. Students who have used early versions of the CAPS platform report securing more than 27 million USD of additional financial aid funding. Every student received a customized Individual Career Plan.
CAPS is founded by visionary college and career readiness expert Cass Wright. Cass Wright is the former Vice President of College and Career Readiness at the Uncommon Individual Foundation and before that was a Middle and High School Assistant Principal, as well as the Dean of Students in the Wayne Township School Corporation located in Wayne Township, Indianapolis. Cass started CAPS long before school districts were using online learning management systems to deliver value-add educational content.
CAPS mission includes:
-Leveling the playing field for all students by providing access to one platform for complete and current information regarding college and career readiness.
-Helping connect students to reach optimal academic achievement towards their college / post-secondary career goals with total funding in hand.
Currently, CAPS is being utilized by 25,000 Rural, Urban and Suburban school districts throughout the nation. The firm is in the process of scaling up operations across the United States as more school districts see the value in online career-readiness platforms.
CAPS is founded in Erie, PA, and has received assistance from many local entrepreneurial support agencies. CAPS recently received early - stage funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP). BFTP funding will help improve the design and capacity of CAPS as it rolls-out across other school districts across the United States.
How can the Erie business community help?
The current executive team is looking for connections to school district, agencies, the business communities and decision makers. You can view and request a full demo of the company at www.capspse.com.
The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is pleased to announce the addition of Colleen Szymczak-Gross to the team in the role of Event Coordinator for the organization. The position was left vacant by long time coordinator Cathy Noble in May when the Noble family relocated to Georgia.
Colleen is an Erie native & Edinboro University graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. She currently resides in Fairview with her husband and daughter.
Colleen comes to the ERCGP with 16 years non-profit event planning experience, most recently the National MS Society.
"My passion truly is planning events both personally and professionally." she stated. "I appreciate and love Erie and all that our city and region has to offer. I’m anxious to be part of a reputable and established organization like the Erie Regional Chamber."
Colleen's free time interests include running, DIY home projects, the outdoors, volunteering for the New Blossoms New Life Foundation, and keeping up with her 4 year old.
Colleen will begin her position with the ERCGP on July 30th.
Submitted by Cathy Szymanski, Szymanski Consulting
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