College and Career Readiness
College and Career Web Portal
|To:||Superintendents and Charter School Leaders|
|From:||Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.|
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
|Date:||June 29, 2009|
I am writing to update you on the development of the state's college and career web portal. Once complete, this site will serve as a free, Web-based service that will provide students with the online tools they need to explore careers and to plan, apply to and pay for college. The portal is a key part of the Governor's Readiness Project and is designed to provide all students with the tools necessary to move successfully into postsecondary education, and ultimately economic, social and civic success.
This project is the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Higher Education and MEFA, the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. The portal will be developed and hosted by Boston-based ConnectEDU.
Once complete, the portal will offer a wide spectrum of online resources and tools to guide students through the college application and financing process, including:
- Personal accounts for students to store information about colleges, monitor progress toward high school graduation, and store data needs on college admission forms
- Test preparation tools, including practice exams and tutorials for standardized tests
- Virtual campus tours
- The ability to research potential scholarships and grants
- Tools to estimate the cost of college and apply for financial aid online, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Tools to track and manage multiple college applications and letters of recommendation
- A mechanism to send high school transcripts to colleges electronically
- Resources for financing higher education
The development of Phase One of the portal has already begun, and a group of 20 pilot schools have been selected to help us finalize the design and provide feedback this summer. The site will be launched in three phases: planning and research tools will be available in September, the ability to transmit transcripts electronically will be complete by November, and financial aid planning will be available by January, 2010. The portal will be formally launched this fall, at which time the official name and URL will be announced.
The development of this portal is an important step in making higher education more accessible for all students. If you have any questions on this project, feedback on the plan or suggestions, please contact Heidi Guarino at firstname.lastname@example.org.