STATEWIDE - Software aimed at helping Texas high schoolers is changing the way school counselors design students' career paths.
The Texas Legislature unanimously passed HB 5 in 2013, which prompted the creation of software to help students plan and prepare for life after high school. Whether they go onto college, technical school or the workforce, students are armed with information from Texas OnCourse. The application itself is designed for school guidance counselors.
The University of Texas helped create the software to give students an interactive approach to planning their futures.
"We have created a resource that is a game changer for the way you advise your students and also for the students themselves," Harrison Keller said.
The software launched about three months ago, and Keller said it is already being used by more than half of the state's school counselors.
Michelle Snyder of Austin ISD said the software allows her to see more students and better cater to their individual needs.
"It's a one-stop shop for research for me," she said. "It has increased my capacity to work with more students every single day and to know and be reassured the information I am giving them is correct and valuable."
Snyder advises about 400 students a year; she said some of her peers have more than 1,000 students to assist. In addition, she said college application processes are more complicated than they've ever been before.
"There isn't just one standard checklist for every single school," Snyder said.
There's also an online game called Middle Galaxy to help middle schoolers pick a career path.