Henrico Schools implements online platform to help students find career paths

Henry’s students began using an online platform designed to help them chart potential career paths.

The platform, MajorClarity, is designed to help students explore future careers that closely match their interests, personality, and skills.

Some students have already started using the platform, and the remaining students in Grades 4 through 12 will begin navigating the program in the spring semester.

Henrico County Public Schools contracted with MajorClarity in the fall of 2020. Last school year, background work was done to customize the system to make it specific to HCPS course options.

More than 75 of Virginia’s 133 school divisions use MajorClarity, according to CEO Joe Belsterling.

The MajorClarity platform is specifically designed for each school division and school based on their course choices and graduation requirements.

Over 80 different HCPS-specific academic pathways have been mapped into the platform, including all course options specific to each full high school and specialty center program.

“This is one of our biggest innovations, but also our biggest area of ​​work,” Belsterling said. “A big part of what we do is align with state-by-state requirements for college and career preparation, or academic and career planning. “

Students use the platform to explore Virginia’s career hubs and the various professions associated with each. To do this, they browse an interactive map and “meet” the inhabitants of each region to find out more about them. Through the program, students can take tests that suggest different personality types.

“As students become aware of their strengths, interests and preferred learning styles, they become more invested and more intentional when making academic and career planning decisions,” said declared HCPS Director of Learning Leslie Hughes at the Henrico School Board meeting last week. “MajorClarity integrates student career exploration directly into the academic and course planning process by aligning students’ interesting career paths with HCPS-specific academic career paths. ”

The Richmond-based company, which was founded by Belsterling in 2016, partners with school districts in 24 states.

Naviance, MajorClarity’s biggest competitor, which was recently acquired from Schoology, focuses primarily on university applications, while MajorClarity also offers alternative pathways.

“We watched how they were doing it, and we didn’t think it was the right way,” Belsterling said. “We believed that students should be exposed to all types of career paths. If they go to university, that’s fine, but if they go to technical school, that’s fine too.

According to the contract between HCPS and MajorClarity obtained by the Citizen, the license costs $ 1.50 per student. The HCPS pays $ 59,650 per year, according to HCPS spokesperson Eileen Cox.

“We’re homegrown here in Virginia,” Belsterling said. “We did this to help the students. We are the most affordable product on the market compared to Naviance which is about two and a half times our cost.

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Anna Bryson is the educational reporter for Henrico Citizen and a member of the Report for America corps. Make a tax deductible donation to support his work, and RFA will match him dollar for dollar.

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