“Helping students to find the careers that are best for them requires more than old-fashioned tests with pen and paper bubble sheets,” said Spencer Thompson, CEO, Sokanu.
VANCOUVER, BC (PRWEB) July 07, 2016
Sokanu, a career discovery platform designed to help people match their natural traits, interests and abilities to specific careers, today announced that it will participate in an official White House gathering celebrating innovations in Career and Technical Education (CTE). As one of the technical sponsors of the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, a competition launched by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education, Sokanu has been invited to attend a demonstration by the Challenge finalists. The winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
Launched in October 2015, the Reach Higher Career App Challenge is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Ed Prizes initiative, a series of prize competitions designed to prepare students for a more competitive world. With $465,000 in total prizes, the Reach Higher Career App Challenge calls upon innovators to submit prototype mobile applications to improve access to information about CTE, help students navigate education and career pathways, and increase the capacity of career counselors to serve students.
With a constantly evolving career landscape, it is increasingly challenging for students to identify, assess, and act upon their options as they plan for careers and college. While the current career guidance and counseling infrastructure plays a critical role in assisting students with college and career selection decisions, nationwide, one in five high schools lacks a school counselor. Furthermore, the American Counseling Association reports that in 2013, the national average student-to-school-counselor ratio for K-12 counselors was 482:1 with peaks of 880:1 in Arizona and 826:1 in California. As a result, students receive only minutes of in-person time with their counselor annually, as they prepare to make important postsecondary education and career decisions.
“While K-12 education has increased its efforts to build children’s career knowledge and access to career opportunities, gaps still exist in helping students make the best career decisions based off a child’s strengths, interests and goals,” said Cory Notestine, Counseling and Postsecondary Coordinator, Colorado Springs School District 11 on the Reach Higher Career App Challenge Blog. “The Reach Higher Career Challenge will provide access for all students to begin the career exploration at their own pace or through a guided timeline outlined by educational professionals. Having a career tool that a child can access from any mobile device has the potential to close the career knowledge gap and increase a child’s ability to enter into education that aligns with their career interest.”
As one of the technology sponsors of the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, Sokanu has provided Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for developers to integrate Sokanu’s sophisticated career-matching solution into their mobile solutions. Incorporating the most recent advancements in organizational psychology and technology, the Sokanu career discovery platform consists of two primary components: 1) The Sokanu Career Test, a unique psychometric test evaluates people based on 186 traits across eight categories including personality, needs, culture, interests, and abilities; and 2) The Sokanu Career Database, the most comprehensive, up-to-date data-driven and informative source of career info in the world, with 750 career profiles, supported by completely original content and videos. More than one hundred schools and universities are already using Sokanu, including NYU, University of Nevada, University of Texas, University of Miami, and many others.
“Helping students to find the careers that are best for them requires more than old-fashioned tests with pen and paper bubble sheets,” said Spencer Thompson, CEO, Sokanu. “Our approach is much more effective because it utilizes sophisticated algorithms to match an individual’s strengths and interests to an up-to the minute career database for the best potential options. We are delighted to support the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, so that more counselors can use our technology platform to scale up their capacity and help students plan their career course while they are still in school.”
“Success starts with dreaming big and believing that anything is possible,” said Aarti Dhupelia, VP of Strategic Initiatives, National Louis University and judge for the Reach Higher Career App Challenge on the Reach Higher blog. “Early career planning helps young people set their sights high and pushes them to start thinking through the steps they need to take to achieve their dreams.”
Launched in 2013, Sokanu offers a career discovery platform to help the next generation of workers match their natural traits, interests and abilities to specific careers. The company’s mission is to fundamentally change the way people prepare for the workforce by helping them to find the career that is right for them and the unique path to getting there. Sokanu is already being used in more than one hundred schools and universities, including NYU, University of Nevada, University of Texas, University of Miami, and many others. Sokanu is based in Vancouver, BC and funded by top Silicon Valley, NYC and Vancouver-based angel investors in education technology, social networking and career psychology.