Earn Up launched a text alert program this month to connect Northeast Florida high school students to be reminded of important information and dates related to applying and moving onto college.
The text alerts are offered to high school juniors and seniors in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The pilot project will enable a student to sign up to receive alerts for the post-secondary institution of their choice. This will allow a potential college-going student to learn about the institution’s application deadline, scholarship deadline and orientation dates without having to worry about finding the information.
In addition, the alerts will send registration deadlines for Bright Futures, FAFSA, ACT and SAT. The third component of the text alerts is motivational quotes, designed to inspire the student to keep going despite any challenges he or she may be facing.
“This is a strategic approach to reaching teens where they are,” Nan Worsowicz, supervisor of school counseling for Duval County Public Schools.
According to research by the NPD Group in September 2014, the use of smartphones and tablets by children aged 4-14 in the United States outpaces usage of all other consumer electronic devices. As a result, mobile technologies are becoming more prevalent in the education system and teachers have recognized that in order to make learning more accessible, they have to meet their students where they are -- on their mobile phones.
In 2012, researchers at the University of Virginiaand University of Pittsburgh set up a system of automatic, personalized text messages that reminded high school students about college deadlines and included links to required forms. Seventy percent of participating students enrolled in classes for the fall semester—a significant jump. The same researchers also tested a texting program to keep students from dropping out of college. Community college students received texts reminding them to complete their re-enrollment forms, particularly financial aid applications. Among freshmen who received the texts, 68 percent went on to complete their sophomore year, compared with 54 percent of those who did not get text alerts. The text intervention impacts were largest among students who qualified for free- or reduced-price lunch.
About Earn Up:
Earn Up is a higher education initiative with a goal of having 60 percent of adults with training certificates or college degrees by 2025. It is the product of significant collaboration between postsecondary institutions, employers and the regional government—aimed at growing the skilled workforce in Northeast Florida. Of the working age population in Northeast Florida, 36 percent have a two- or four-year degree. That ranks 72nd among the 100 most populated metro areas in the country.
About JAXUSA Partnership:
JAXUSA Partnership is Northeast Florida’s regional economic development initiative. Using strategic research and targeted marketing, JAXUSA focuses on recruiting new companies and expanding our existing business community. Economic development partners in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties comprise the strong partnership that is driving the business development process forward. JAXUSA works closely with the independent authorities—JAXPORT, JAA, JEA and JTA—to build infrastructure to ensure we have a sustainable business climate to offer companies. Talent is an integral part of the process and our partnership with CareerSource Northeast Florida and local colleges and universities helps develop and attract a steady stream of skilled workers. The private sector investors that fund our efforts make it possible to execute the objectives and strategies outlined for the region.
About JAX Chamber
The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.