Follett Acquires College and Career Readiness Company
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Follett, a company better known for addressing the curriculum and retail needs of schools, has acquired NextTier Education, which addresses students' career goals. NextTier's cloud-based software helps school counselors implement college and career readiness planning programs and enables students to do job exploration, beginning in grade six, find scholarships and apply for college.
Earlier in 2018, Follett had struck a deal with NextTier to sell its solution into public, private and international districts and schools. That experience, according to Follett School Solutions President, Nader Qaimari, convinced his company that a tighter relationship could serve as "a bridge to our K-12, higher ed and public library businesses."
NextTier's web- and mobile-based application provides information about all two- and four-year colleges, according to the company, and helps each student set up a college application plan, including a list of every school's required tasks and deadlines. The program also has a database with 20,000 scholarships and grants, to help students identify financial support opportunities.
Qaimari said Follett would integrate the NextTier functionality with Aspen, its student information system, and, eventually, with Destiny, the company's library management software, which is used by schools and public libraries. The integration work will be handled at least in part by Baker & Taylor, a Follett company that distributes books, video and music products.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.