A VT KnowledgeWorks member company, BecomeAlum.com was presented at the White House Education Datapalooza earlier this month. BecomeAlum.com president, Christina McIntyre presented the company to various members of the U.S. Department of Education. BecomeAlum.com is a software that helps students create a study plan for college.
Here is a press release from VT KnowledgeWorks.
(Blacksburg, VA) – Christina McIntyre, President of BecomeAlum.com, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company, presented at the White House Education Datapalooza event on October 9, 2012. During the event, innovators and entrepreneurs presented ideas that have the potential to advance educational achievement to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and top officials from the U.S. Department of Education. Duncan emphasized, “We’re looking for game changers.”
The Education Datapalooza is part of the White House Open Data Initiative, one of five projects within the new Presidential Innovation Fellows program launched by Park at the 2012 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference. Composed of an agile team of government and business innovators and led by Todd Park, the Open Data Initiative makes government and student data more accessible by schools, businesses, and other government agencies.
At the event, McIntyre presented on BecomeAlum.com, the higher education software that helps students create a comprehensive plan of study that includes many factors like degree requirements, course offerings (semester/campus), prerequisites and co-requisites.
“We’re trying to help students to avoid those planning pitfalls,” said McIntyre. “When students try to navigate college one semester at a time, it is like trying to drive across the country with a GPS that only calculates the route one turn at a time.”
BecomeAlum’s mission is helping to foster a more collaborative relationship between students and academic advisors and faculty. For students, the software can empower them to take control of their education. For academic advisors and faculty, the software allows access to view the students’ plans and profiles and the ability to provide feedback and advice for both immediate and future review. For colleges and universities, the benefit is the ability to better track students’ interests and progress along with the ability to forecast changes in course demand in future semesters.
Founded in 2005, BecomeAlum has helped thousands of student users successfully navigate their degree requirements and graduate “on time.” BecomeAlum is one of the early adopters of the integrated My Data button, a new initiative of the Department of Education to help students have access to and manage their education-related data. The MyData Button is a joint project between Office of Educational Technology (OET) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to encourage schools and software vendors who hold student data to allow students to download their own data in order to create a personal learning profile that they can keep with them throughout their learning career. In addition, developers are encouraged to create customized services and tools for students based on the information available in their personal learning profile.