CEV Multimedia Adds Texas-Specific Career Exploration Curriculum

Designed to address the state’s new high school graduation requirements, iCEV online video playlists unite counselors, teachers and parents in helping students select and complete endorsement areas

With Texas high school graduation requirements changing under Texas House Bill 5 (HB 5), the state’s school counselors, principals and teachers are searching for effective ways to guide students and parents through the new process. CEV Multimedia, a leading producer of Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum resources, today released state-specific Career Exploration curriculum through iCEV to help.

Incoming high school freshmen are now required to choose one of five specialized endorsement areas: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); business and industry; public services; arts and humanities; or multidisciplinary. As part of Texas House Bill 18 (HB 18), schools are responsible for helping students and parents understand the endorsement areas.

“This legislation provides the framework for ensuring Texas students and their families make deliberate, informed decisions that put them on a path to college and career readiness,” said Texas State Senator Charles Perry. “By creating and delivering timely Career Exploration technology curriculum, in a multi-media format, the successful implementation of HB 18 by educators, parents and students will become a reality ”

Whether schools have a dedicated career exploration course or will utilize core classes, school assemblies or individual study to educate students on the endorsement areas, iCEV now contains video playlists to match. Upon logging-in to the online platform, teachers, counselors or administrators can implement one or more of these playlists:

  •     Introduction Playlist for HB and Endorsements
  •     Detailed Playlist for Each Endorsement
  •     Complete Courses

“School counselors, in particular, are facing a pretty daunting challenge of helping each individual student understand and select an area of study,” said Dusty Moore, president of iCEV. “These new resources are built to ensure everyone involved in a student’s selection of an endorsement area has a complete understanding of the new process. We want to remove any ambiguity and make the lives of school leaders easier.”

Because the materials are available online, students can access the curriculum from home and engage parents or guardians in discussing their endorsement choice. In addition, virtual job descriptions tied to each lesson allow students to hear first-hand about careers choices within each endorsement area. Online testing and grading, plus interactive activities, enable teachers, counselors and administrators to assess students’ knowledge regarding HB 5 and endorsements. School leaders can also produce printouts, which help students plan coursework and achieve endorsements.

For more information about how iCEV addresses the new requirements in Texas, visithttp://www.icevonline.com/landing-pages/hb5a/.

About CEV Multimedia
With 30 years of experience, CEV specializes in providing quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and education resources for several major subject areas: Agricultural Science and Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Business Education, Marketing Education, Trade and Industrial Education and Career Exploration. CEV received the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award in 2012 and has been honored numerous times for its excellence in content creation and exemplary business practices. In 2012, CEV introduced iCEV, an online platform revolutionizing the way CEV produces and delivers educational content. iCEV is the most comprehensive online resource for CTE educators and students. With iCEV’s learning-on-demand capabilities, video clips stream instantly to any device with Internet capabilities. Through iCEV, students can earn industry-backed certifications across multiple areas of CTE that prepare them for college and beyond. For more information, visit http://www.icevonline.com.


Vibeffect Index Reveals 1:5 Students are High Thrivers in U.S. Colleges

College Optimizer Index measures thriving across academic, social and individual dimensions.

vibeffect, a family-centered college-decision framework that helps students identify campuses where they’re most likely to thrive, today announced the inaugural results of its College Optimizer Index(COI), an indicator designed to measure consumer confidence across the nation’s 4-year colleges. The COI defines thriving as “When a student experiences the maximum benefits from a specific college ecosystem, and demonstrates this by heightened academic and social integration, and a deeper sense of happiness.”

Data from the COI offers an unprecedented opportunity for the consumer to consider the qualitative aspects of more than 100 features found in colleges across the U.S. While most college research focuses on quantitative aspects of the college experience, industry thought leaders are increasingly searching for qualitative data that provides insight into the quality of the education received, as well as student outcomes.

In the COI, the qualitative aspects of specific college and university ecosystems are taken into consideration for the first time in order to help students identify where they’re most likely to thrive.

“When it comes to investing in college, most students focus on admissions and whether or not they’ll be accepted,” said Elena M. Cox, CEO of vibeffect. “We challenge young people to put equal or more emphasis on understanding where they will grow, thrive, and complete their degree. We created the Index as a benchmark of student thriving that would give us the objective information needed to guide families towards a more thoughtful college decision.”

Based on the data collected in 2015, the results show that a majority of students are thriving within their respective college environments, but there is room for improvement. While most are thriving medium-high (36 percent), there are just as many low-thrivers as there are high-thrivers (19 percent). Results also show that there are fewer differences in a student’s likelihood to thrive when considering demographic and socio-economic factors. For example:

  • Men and women are high-thrivers at nearly equivalent rates (two out of ten).
  • Low-income students are equally likely to be in high-thriving and low-thriving categories.
  • Low-income, first-generation and community college transfer students are more likely than the general population to be high thrivers.
  • Socioeconomic differences between students does not negatively impact the probability of a low-income student thriving in college.
  • One-quarter (25 percent) of students from families earning $150,000 or more are high-thrivers.

Data collected is a result of the 2014 and 2015 Survey of College Students and Recent Graduates conducted by vibeffect and managed by Greenwald & Associates. Respondents were given a survey about their college experience satisfaction, college attributes, student types, learning resources, course of study and more. In total, 3,600 households were interviewed representing nearly 1,000 four-year colleges and universities.

To view the results and an infographic summarizing some key findings of the College Optimizer Index, visithttps://thevibeffect.com/index-2015. To learn more about vibeffect, visit http://www.thevibeffect.com.

About vibeffect
vibeffect is a college-decision framework that uses predictive analytics to deliver unbiased, data-driven results that help families make confident investments in higher education. The system’s purpose is to ensure families base their college decision on their child’s strengths and the best college eco-system for their academic, social and individual thriving. For more information, visit http://www.thevibeffect.com.


National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools
Earns iKeepSafe FERPA Badge

Educational reporting leader first to receive badge for student data privacy

Herndon, Virginia, July 22, 2015 —  ikeepsafe.org, a leading digital safety and privacy nonprofit, announced today that it has awarded its first privacy protection badge to StudentTracker for High Schools from the National Student Clearinghouse, the largest provider of electronic student record exchanges in the U.S. Its selection as the first recipient of the new badge reflects the ongoing efforts of the Clearinghouse, which performs more than one billion secure electronic student data transactions each year, to protect student data privacy.

A nonprofit organization founded by the higher education community in 1993, the Clearinghouse provides educational reporting, verification, and research services to more than 3,600 colleges and universities and more than 9,000 high schools. Its services are also used by school districts and state education offices nationwide.

Earlier this year, iKeepSafe launched the first independent assessment program for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to help educators and parents identify edtech services and tools that protect student data privacy.

“The National Student Clearinghouse is as committed to K12 learners as we are to those pursuing postsecondary education, and that also means we’re committed to protecting their data and educational records,” said Ricardo Torres, President and CEO of the Clearinghouse. “So many aspects of education are moving into the digital realm, and we’re focused on providing students with the privacy and protection they deserve in a rapidly changing digital environment.”

The Clearinghouse became the first organization to receive the iKeepSafe FERPA badge by completing a rigorous assessment of its StudentTracker for High Schools product, privacy policy and practices. “As the first company to earn the iKeepSafe FERPA badge, the National Student Clearinghouse has demonstrated its dedication to K12 students and their families, and to the privacy and security of their data,” said iKeepSafe CEO Marsali Hancock.

Products participating in the iKeepSafe FERPA assessment must undergo annual re-evaluation to continue displaying the iKeepSafe FERPA badge. For the evaluation, an independent privacy expert reviewed the StudentTracker for High Schools product, its privacy policy and practices, as well as its data security practices.
About iKeepSafe

iKeepSafe (the Internet Keep Safe Coalition) was established in 2005 by former Utah First Lady Jacalyn Leavitt as a nonprofit international alliance of educators, advocates, policymakers and experts in public health, technology and law. iKeepSafe creates positive resources to help families, educators and policymakers prepare kids and teens to use the Internet and technology in safe, smart and healthy ways. iKeepSafe’s work fostering online safety, security and privacy is crucial for building parent and educator confidence in technology, so that all children and youth can access the benefits of digital innovation. For more information, visit www.ikeepsafe.org.


About the National Student Clearinghouse®

The National Student Clearinghouse (a nonprofit formed in 1993) is the trusted source for and leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 700 million verification requests and over 250 million education record exchanges annually. The Clearinghouse serves as a single point of contact for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. The Clearinghouse also provides thousands of high schools and districts with continuing collegiate enrollment, progression, and completion statistics on their alumni.

Through its verification, electronic exchange, and reporting services, the Clearinghouse saves the education community cumulatively over $750 million dollars annually. Most Clearinghouse services are provided to colleges and universities at little or no charge, including enhanced transcript and research services, enabling institutions to redistribute limited staff and budget resources to more important student service efforts. Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate an institution’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.

In addition, the Clearinghouse provides accurate, timely enrollment and degree verifications to student loan providers, employers, student credit issuers, the U.S. Department of Education, and others who access its registry nearly three-quarters of a billion times annually. For more information, visitwww.studentclearinghouse.org.


For Immediate Release July 22, 2015

Catapult Learning and SESI Merger 
Catapult Learning and Specialized Education Services, Inc., Announce Merger Creating the Nation’s Largest Provider of Contracted Instructional Services.

CL_New-Logo-Stacked_Color-300x90Camden, New Jersey – Catapult Learning, a leading technology-enabled K–12 services provider, and Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), a premier provider of alternative and special education services, today announced a definitive agreement to merge, resulting in the creation of the unsurpassed industry leader of contracted instructional services in the U.S.

The new organization, to be officially known as Catapult Learning, Inc., is uniquely positioned to deliver an unprecedented portfolio of proven effective programs and services all under one umbrella and all targeted to improve academic achievement and performance. The merger of the two educational services providers also reflects a growing trend for school districts to outsource instructional services for struggling students and those students with special needs.

“This is what districts are telling us they want—services that complement their programs and can support any low-performing student, regardless of learning barrier. With Catapult Learning and SESI working as one, we can make sure districts across the country have access to just that,” said Stuart Udell, CEO, Catapult Learning.

Combined, the merged company has 5,500 employees, including teachers, counselors, and support service professionals, operates 80 schools, and serves over 300,000 students nationwide.

Founded in 1976, Catapult Learning is a full-service instructional provider of proven intervention, professional development, assessment, and dropout prevention and recovery programs, with a special focus on struggling and at-risk students. Catapult Learning’s school and district partners consistently report significant student gains, with annual pre- to post-intervention standardized test scores rising an average of 12 normal-curve equivalent (NCE) points in math and 11 in reading over the past eight academic years. Additionally, over 95% of Catapult Learning partners renew their contracts, and the average tenure of partnership is 17 years.

For 30 years, SESI—headquartered in Yardley, PA—has been expertly and holistically meeting the academic, behavioral, and emotional needs of K–12+ students facing intensive learning, language, and social challenges. Implementing a signature education model that incorporates supportive therapies and life skills training, SESI emphasizes guiding students to success in and out of the classroom and optimally preparing them for next steps. SESI has an impressive graduation rate of 79%–98% for special education students (across all SESI schools) and a partner retention rate of more than 90%.

“The ability to broaden our array of services with a company that shares our vision and values with the highest integrity is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our united organization brings an impressive national track record of helping students and districts achieve the best outcomes,” said Michael Kaufman, Ph.D., President and CEO, SESI.

JMI Equity, The Carlyle Group, and Chicago Growth Partners remain as equity sponsors of the combined organization. They are joined by new investment from Juggernaut Capital.

Signal Hill served as an advisor to Catapult Learning on this transaction. BMO Capital Markets advised SESI on the transaction.