Frequently Asked Questions
For what levels is EduGuide appropriate?
What’s the best place to deliver EduGuide’s program?
How much staff time does it take to administer?
Do the activities need to be weekly?
How can others be involved with supporting students’ activities?
For what demographics is it designed?
Do we have to use it with the whole student body?
When should we start?
How does this work from year to year?
What do I get?
What training do you provide?
What kind of hardware do we need?
What’s the cost?
How do people pay for this?
What evidence do you have that this works?
EduGuide is scaffolded and can be customized for multiple levels and needs. We’ve even included special tools for struggling readers and English Language Learners. It is recommended for:
- Upper Elementary School
- Middle School
- High School
Partners use EduGuide in a variety of ways, but it is most effective as a standard part of a class or a required assignment in an advisory period or student support program.
At the school level, EduGuide is most commonly delivered in one course that reaches all students campuswide, such as:
- English Language Arts
- Social Science
- Physical or Health Education
- Other courses
At the college level, it can be easily used in all classes as an embedded student support system because it addresses learning how to learn and become a leader in your field. In colleges, a link to 10 self-paced EduGuide activities are simply added to all course syllabi as part of the participation grade. Completing the 10 activities for one course satisfies the requirement for all courses that semester. And 10 new activities become available to the student in their courses the next semester.
At other programs outside of courses, EduGuide can provide a consistent way to coach student success. The program is most effective when students are required or regularly reminded or rewarded for participating.
At schools, 15 minutes each week is the minimum habit for coaches to respond to students. The coaching responses are intended to be brief open-ended questions that simply prompt students to reflect and write more, such as “Why do you think that?” or even just a thumbs up for encouragement. Some teachers are able to complete their weekly coaching while their students are doing their EduGuide activity in class. Others use their phone or laptop to coach at their convenience. (Note: The first week requires more time to provide one response to each student when they get started. After that, it’s fine to respond to different students each week.)
At colleges, faculty commitments vary. Some faculty may not spend any time with the program except to include the link in their syllabi as a course participation requirement. Other faculty may choose to actively use the program to help their students. And colleges may assign support staff to coach students in targeted courses or programs.
If they choose, staff may spend an additional 15 minutes per week doing activities with EduGuide’s self-paced professional development program to grow in how they coach students’ strengths. And when it comes time to assign grades, EduGuide makes it easy with real-time reporting on student progress.
EduGuide provides enough activities for students to complete one per week, and you set the schedule that works for you. At a minimum, your coaches should bring students back to the mindset provided by the activities twice per month. EduGuide does set limits that slow students from going faster than one activity per day, because students need time to reflect and apply each activity to their lives.
If you want, you can invite other staff, outside mentors, or program partners to work with students on their activities. EduGuide’s full model engages the whole school community in coaching students: counselors, special educators, administrative professionals, coaches, band directors, central office staff and even outside university partners. Colleges may also wish to engage employers, alumni and other programs. You are responsible for choosing, assigning and monitoring your mentors.
We designed and tested the program around a diverse range of participants, including urban schools in low socioeconomic communities and suburban and rural schools with disparate income levels. Colleges have used EduGuide with low literacy commuter students, adults returning to college and graduate students at research universities.
No, you are welcome to start EduGuide with any group on which you want to focus. You will see a greater return on investment by using it proactively and holistically instead of just with students who are struggling the most. That’s because research shows “gifted” students are just as likely as others to face obstacles in school and life that lead them to decline or drop out. And using it campuswide has larger peer effects, spreading a positive culture of persistence.
EduGuide is a flexible, year-round program you can start any time because it builds skills incrementally. The earlier you start, the sooner you can equip your students with the formative experiences to overcome challenges and strive for higher goals.
EduGuide is self-paced: wherever a student stops one year is where they pick up the next. They first build a strong foundation and then sequentially unlock more and more advanced activities that build on the last as they progress. Students are exposed to different social and emotional competencies. They learn new skills to prepare for bigger obstacles. They practice habits that rewire them to persist in pursuing their goals. And they are brought back to a growing sense of purpose that brings out what they most want to contribute to their community.
This is more than just an innovative platform. EduGuide is a comprehensive nonprofit program that includes:
- A web-based app students and staff can use on any phone, tablet or computer
- A systematic student curriculum
- Blended offline support materials and group activity options
- A parallel series of self-paced professional development activities that can be done individually or collaboratively
- An online and on-call technical support system
- Reporting and analytics tools
- An assigned results coach to help your institution continually improve
What training do you provide?
We assign an EduGuide results coach to every partner, and an online training path your mentors complete at their convenience. Because of the intuitive nature of the platform, students rarely need support, though we are happy to provide it. Your coach provides regular opportunities to analyze your data, reports, and tips to ensure results. We see this as a shared partnership; as a nonprofit, our only bottom line is the success of your students.
Each student needs access to an internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. The platform is cloud-based, so there’s nothing to install, and students and staff can use it from home. Some students prefer to use it on their phone, but they tend to write more on a device with a dedicated keyboard. Some groups use headphones to limit the sound. The computers should have a reasonably current web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9 or later, and should have internet speeds able to support video.
As a nonprofit, EduGuide covers some of the cost and our partners cover the rest. Here’s what you need to know:
- The standard cost for an annual academic year campuswide license is $20 per student per year. That covers everything you need to run your program: platform, curriculum, PD, technical support and continual improvement coaching.
- Costs can be as low as $10 per student for schools and colleges where we have renewable matching grants to support the creation of model campuswide programs. Let us know if you’re interested in receiving a matching grant.
- Costs can sometimes be higher for projects requiring customization, large enterprise level collaborations and additional management and reporting for grant projects.
- EduGuide’s all inclusive program can also sometimes save money by improving retention, reducing the need for more costly interventions later and streamlining PD and support. Our nonprofit is committed to keeping this an affordable, sustainable program with an impact that grows each year.
Many can fit it in their budget for student materials, or cover it with student course or textbook fees. But it can also be paid for as part of a school improvement plan, Title I, Title IV Safe Schools, Title V, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Special Education, GEAR UP, TRiO, or college student support and other grants.
The activities are based on more than a decade of control group research on exercises that have improved academic behaviors, increased degree completion and closed achievement gaps by as much as half. EduGuide’s system has been designed to deliver these activities with fidelity and to amplify their impact with the unique features of our online platform. Thanks to multiple national grants, we’ve been able to research, design, develop and scale this model to deepen its impact.