It’s no secret that technology is taking over everything, so it should come as no surprise that this includes our schools. To many, this means interactive whiteboards and advanced computers, but it can be so much more than that. A little background first, for those of us who haven’t been in school for awhile; in the U.S. today, the top priority of almost every high school student is college. As early as 6th grade, schools tell their students to start thinking about where, and what they would like to study. Once they reach high school, it becomes all about keeping their grades up and taking as many AP classes as possible so that they can look good on college applications. These schools are looking to up their college placement numbers to keep their funding, and students are told that the only way to succeed is a four year degree. The problem is, with $1.3 trillion (yes you read that right, trillion) in student loan debt and only 60% graduation rates. That leaves people asking; “why is college the only option?”
Joe Belsterling, founder of MajorClarity, asked this question while at college himself. He started wondering why it was all about a little piece of paper instead of what really matters: a job. In Joe’s own words, “education needs to be aligned to career… college is not success, it is a means to success.” From there, Joe began to develop what would become MajorClarity. It’s a simple idea: a test drive model for careers. Here’s how it works: the student takes a 5 minute personality assessment, swiping “yes” or “no” to a series of statements, after which they can access their aptitude page. From there, they will get the chance to explore different career pathways. These pathways include videos from experts in the chosen field, as well as simulations of a workplace environment. Through this program, a student has the opportunity to explore everything from biotechnology, to being a mechanic. Only after they’ve looked at careers can a student look at colleges, vocational schools, and training options. After making a selection, a student will then be given a plan of study for high school, telling them what classes they need to take or what they need to do to enter that profession. Not only is this revolutionary on an individual basis, but this could improve educational systems around the country. Not to mention, at 40% the cost of the competition, this program gives all students the same chance to succeed. In addition to schools in Illinois, Mississippi, and its home state, Virginia, MajorClarity is set to provide service throughout the entire state of Alabama. Hundreds of thousands of students are using MajorClarity, but they aren’t stopping there. By the time you’ve read this, that number is sure to have climbed even higher. StartUp Virginia is proud to have MajorClarity as one our members, and we can’t wait to move forward with them as they change the face of education.
“Too often, it seems to me, in missionary and educational work among undeveloped races, people yield to the temptation of doing that which was done a hundred years before, or is being done in other communities a thousand miles away. The temptation often is to run each individual through a certain educational mould, regardless of the condition of the subject or the end to be accomplished.” -Booker T Washington
MajorClarity is a member of the StartUp Virginia high growth incubator in Richmond, Virginia.