Educators, picture this: You’ve attended an inspiring professional development session that left you energized and excited to use the tools you just discovered. When you get back to the office, however, your excitement fades because you have no idea how to implement these great new ideas in your district. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you were not only shown a great resource, but also shown how to use it?
This is me after most conferences or professional development sessions. Full of excitement, yet with no idea how to share my resources with the various stakeholders in my district. Luckily, Texas OnCourse has developed the 10 Creative Ways to use the Texas OnCourse Academy In Your School handout. It’ll help you identify how to implement and fully utilize the Texas OnCourse Academy in your very school and district.
The following are few ideas from the handout that I have successfully explored in my district:
One task that I spend a lot of time on during the school year is getting seniors to complete the FAFSA. With over 500 seniors, it is an overwhelming task… but you don’t have to do it alone. Did you know that understanding the FAFSA is part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for the economics curriculum? With this knowledge and the free TEKS resources in the Texas OnCourse Academy, you can prepare your economics teachers to assist you in FAFSA completion efforts. These three modules provide teachers with the foundation they need in order to build a lesson plan that will educate and support students through the FAFSA process:
- Basic Principles of Financial Aid
- College Finances
I am the point person on my campus to ensure student athletes understand their eligibility in the college athletic recruiting process. The recruiting process can be complex and it is important for all stakeholders (counselors, coaches, parents) to be well informed. Texas OnCourse lists five Academy modules that are beneficial when working with coaches and developing presentations for parents workshops: FAFSA, TASFA, SAT, ACT, and NCAA/NAIA Eligibility Centers. Understanding these modules are essential in order to best serve our student athletes.
Order in some sandwiches or ask everyone to bring their own lunch, and in under one hour, you can provide an effective professional development opportunity for various stakeholders. Texas OnCourse has several modules that I recommend for a lunch-and-learn training. For example, you can invite counselors, AVID teachers, and CTE staff and utilize the information found within the Researching Postsecondary Options module. Or you can invite English teachers and counselors to discuss the information from the Scholarship Applications module.
These are just a few ways that you can use the Texas OnCourse Academy in your school. Make sure to explore this helpful handout for all the ways you can use the Texas OnCourse Academy to expand the benefits of this resource across your campus.