The road to college can be long and bumpy. Questions about choosing the right college or university, interpreting financial aid, picking a major, and navigating new student life are all tricky situations applicants have to deal with. Sometimes, all this confusion can prevent students from making the best educational choices possible that fit their individual needs and goals. Once a student is actually in college, even more issues arise. Keeping up with difficult classes, assignments, new schedules, financial aid deadlines, and professors are all challenges for new college students. All of these normal situations are even more difficult when students don’t have a parent or loved one at home who has been through the experience and can guide them along.

That’s where College Forward comes in. Through personalized, peer to peer coaching and a reliable support network, the nonprofit guides motivated and ambitious students to and through college.

College Forward is a non-profit college access and completion program. College Forward pairs students up with Coaches, recent college graduates who are close to the student’s ages. From eleventh grade until college graduation, students receive one-on-one support from coaches, while building trust, offering encouragement, and providing individual strategies that assist each student in getting accepted and completing college.

Too Good Strategy recently collaborated with College Forward to launch a student portal. College Forward (CoFo) has been extremely successful in helping first generation students enter and graduate from college.  However, that hasn’t been without some lessons learned.  Anytime you are trying to guide teenagers and young adults, you are going to get varied results.  CoFo is dedicated to measuring and evaluating their success so that all students can achieve the same level of success and so that CoFo can share their successful strategies with other nonprofit college access and completion programs across the country. The student portal was another step in this direction.  

Not only does the student portal allow all students to access important information, articles, and deadlines related to college access and completion from any device, it also allows CoFo to track student-coach interactions, and streamline communications for ongoing evaluation.  In short, it uses technology to level the playing field for information, and allows coaches to do what they do best – bond with the students and make them feel they have both a cheerleader and mentor poised to guide them to success.

Too Good Strategy worked with CoFo students and coaches to do extensive user research.  We uncovered what the true value of the student-coach relationship was, dissected the core pieces of information that students wanted and needed, and mapped coach activity to student success.  We took this information and translated it into a cross-platform user experience for high school and college students while integrating with CoFo’s custom Salesforce instance to ensure both trackability and licensing opportunity.  TGS worked closely with the Acceleration Agency to ensure an iterative solution that will continue to evolve and expand based on student and coach feedback.

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