Academic and Career Planning (ACP) is a crucial aspect of a student’s educational journey.

It provides students with the tools they need to take charge of their future by aligning personal goals with educational and career pursuits. As the Coalition for Career Development Center (CCD) explains, access to Personalized Career and Academic Plans increases future wage earnings for students, especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Student-driven vision of personal future goals

Anyone who’s ever had a teenager in their life knows all too well that telling them what to do and how to do it is about as effective as predicting Wisconsin’s weather in spring. Teens need the freedom to explore different pathways for themselves and see what makes sense for their own lifestyles. Money Path encourages students to create a vision of their personal future goals. It helps them clarify aspirations and dreams, ensuring that their academic and career choices are reflected in their individual ambitions. It then gives them the ability to compare paths to determine the best decision, encouraging them to use their critical thinking skills. By providing a user-friendly interface and interactive tools, Money Path allows students to take control of their financial journey and envision their future with clarity.

Based on deep understanding and reflection of strengths and interests

Understanding one’s strengths and interests is fundamental to ACP, and identifying them can help students set realistic goals based on strengths. ACP encourages setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals, and Money Path facilitates this by offering the ability to calculate monthly expenses and savings goals to create a budget based on the salary of the career they want to pursue. It lets students see a breakdown of their goal priorities and how long it will take them to reach those goals based on their savings amount. Money Path is a valuable tool for helping students determine if ACP choices will support the lifestyle they want as adults and opens eyes to whether aspirations are realistic.

Connecting goals to college and career exploration and planning

Money Path serves as a bridge between students’ personal goals and the practical steps required to achieve them. It offers a comprehensive database of colleges, universities, and vocational programs, allowing students to explore various educational pathways, in addition to careers in the military or workforce and apprenticeships. It shows students the starting salary for their major of interest so they can compare it to student loans they may need and determine if that amount of debt makes sense for that major and future earnings.

Additionally, the app provides career information, identifying the skills that influence starting pay, the average starting pay for the career of choice and pay level based on years of experience. As students explore career options they plug them into the Money Path app and see how each career path impacts long-term financial well-being. By connecting goals to concrete plans, Money Path provides students with a clear financial roadmap for their future.

Supported by meaningful adult relationships

A crucial aspect of ACP is the support and guidance students receive from adults who can help them navigate educational and career choices. The CCD states that the more opportunities students have to engage in meaningful conversations about their futures with educators and adults, the more likely they will aspire to find careers that lead to social mobility and generational wealth.

Money Path can be taught in the classroom by an educator or advisor, or by community volunteers. But Money Path doesn’t end with the classroom. Once students are logged into the app, they have lifetime access to it! That means they can use it at home with their families and revisit and adapt plans throughout their high school experience and beyond. The Money Path app promotes communication and collaboration among students, educators, and parents, fostering a supportive network that can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Making informed choices for post-secondary transitions to adulthood

Ultimately, the goal of ACP is to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices for post-secondary transitions. Money Path ensures that students have access to up-to-date information about financial aid, scholarships, and career opportunities. This information helps set students on a trajectory toward a successful transition to adulthood. Ultimately, Money Path adds the final piece to a graduation portfolio that moves it beyond what students plan to do and includes how they will do it and whether it is realistic in the long term. For access to a graduation portfolio template for students that you can customize, click here.

Money Path is the missing link advisors are looking for

Money Path provides students with the means to create a student-driven vision and connect their goals to educational and career planning. With Money Path, students have a reliable partner in their journey towards academic and career success. To learn more about how to integrate Money Path into your school’s academic and career planning curriculum, go here, or to schedule a demo, go here.

“After using Money Path, 95% of our students said it was very easy to use and 92% said they’re more likely to develop a budget, set up a savings plan, and start saving for retirement early. That’s a win in itself! Money Path brings added value to our students, our staff, our community members, and our parents.” Kyla Stefan – School to Career Coordinator, Oconomowoc High School