NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - To prepare students for life after high school, New Hanover County Schools has launched a new college and career readiness program.
The program is called Xello.
“The software helps students bridge the gap between education and the real world as well as pursue their interests aligned to pathways offered in the district,” NHCS officials said in a news release. “The curriculum is adapted to individual student responses on assessments, inventories, and reflections, making the learning experience more meaningful. Xello will be used by middle and high school teachers, Career Development Coordinators, Special Population Coordinators and Counselors.”
School system officials say the key highlights of Xello include:
- Interactive and engaging lessons to help students with 21st-century skills.
- Reporting and student feedback functionality that enable CTE staff and counselors to better understand and respond to the academic and career needs of each student as they work on their electronic portfolios.
- Connection to PowerSchool and NCEd accounts: Xello lives in each student’s account making the simple sign-on process easy to find and use.
- The Course Planning feature seamlessly connects to PowerSchool, leading to scheduling efficiencies that allow counselors to spend more time with and better understand the next steps for each student to ensure pathway alignment.
- College Planning: Many tools assist with and track post-secondary outcomes.
“It is catered towards that individual student,” said Shemeka Shufford, the CTE Director for NHCS. “So a student goes in and engages with their profile. They complete an interest inventory, a skills inventory, personal learning styles, personal styles. So basically what that means is Xello captures that whole student. And based on the student responses, aligns that student with the career clusters that are mostly gauged or geared towards their interests.”
Shufford recognizes that interests of students change as they get older, but Xello accommodates that.
“They may participate in a summer internship," said Shufford. "They may volunteer at a local hospital and wonder what are the types of options [they have] in that particular field. So as they matriculate through our schools and through not just their core courses, the CTE courses, even they’re able to adapt their interests in that portal to meet what their end goal is.”
Xello helps students prepare for college.
“The course planner allows students to identify exactly what’s needed to graduate," said Shufford. “Once they hit the 12th grade, they’ll they’ll know every course that they need to complete, but more importantly, students are able to go online, take virtual college tours, and actually walk through a campus and learn of the admissions requirements.”