Professional Development

U Texas at Austin Taps Partner to Design Online Training for Secondary Counselors

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) has chosen a private partner to design and deliver a competency-based online training course for secondary school counselors and advisors. The program is part of Texas OnCourse, a statewide initiative designed to help streamline pathways to student success in higher education and careers through online training for students, families and educators.

"Through the Texas OnCourse initiative we are working with multiple state agencies, employers, colleges and universities, state and national organizations, educators and other stakeholders to develop innovative learning opportunities that will provide unprecedented support for secondary career and college advising across the state," said Harrison Keller, deputy to the president for strategy and policy at UT Austin, in a prepared statement.

The company, Learning Objects, will design the course with a focus on competencies related to high school graduation plans, student options for earning course credit, higher ed admission requirements, regional workforce opportunities and strategies for planning high school, college and career opportunities.

"Leveraging the Learning Objects Competency Framework will allow for tracking of learner performance and granting credentials based on competency mastery," according to a news release. "The Learning Objects Competency Framework enables the competencies to be mapped to the appropriate learning activities and assessments. This, in turn, allows each learner to demonstrate mastery at their own pace, earning credentials each step along the way."

Both the micro-credentialing platform and the competency-based modules will be made available to all secondary advisers and counselors throughout the state as part of their regular training. Students and their families will also have access to online learning opportunities designed to help them understand options related to postsecondary education and career planning.

"UT Austin is once again at the forefront of education innovation for students and instructors. said Jon Mott, chief learning officer for Learning Objects, in a prepared statement. "We are excited to support their efforts to bolster the college and career advising available to students in middle and high schools statewide. Our experience in designing scalable, competency-based digital learning environments and curriculum allows us to support the varied needs of counselors and advisers across the state. In addition, our platform enables individualized, mastery-based learning."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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