Connecting career paths through technology with Nepris
I’ve long been a proponent of mentorship programs for high school and college students with people in the fields they want to pursue. It gives students a real-world connection, outside the classroom, that can inspire them to follow a similar path. There are also a lot of things that textbooks simply can’t teach, and pieces of advice that are best given from people with current experience. The idea of mentorship is a strong one, of course, but actually finding these mentors and connecting them with students can prove difficult. Where does a teacher, professor or student even begin to look for such a connection? Where do these mentor types go if they want to reach out to the next generation of people in their fields?
Nepris connects classrooms with real-world pros
I recently received some information on Nepris, an online program that is succeeding in making the meeting between professionals and students easier. Nepris matches up teachers with qualified professionals in the desired topic area, and specializes in STEAM experts. The way is works is simple: Teachers submit a request for the type of professional they need, and Nepris assigns a well-qualified, vetted individual to fit that request. Nepris then manages the logistics of an online video session between the professional and the classroom.
It’s such a strong concept that recently the Orange County Pathways initiative in California partnered up with Nepris. Orange County Pathways, or OC Pathways, is a countywide program that attempts to give students firmer direction along their career paths through connections with local workplaces, colleges and community partners. There are 14 school districts that benefit from the OC Pathways program.
Through the partnership, every K-12 teacher and community college instructor in that area will have access to the Nepris system. This means wide ranging access to professionals in one of the world’s largest economic systems, and well beyond it. Local connections are certainly helpful and encouraged through Nepris, but there are no geographic constraints. A law professional in Washington D.C., for example, could talk with an Orange County class about the Supreme Court. The remote opportunities that Nepris presents mean that students are not bound by their zip code when it comes to career connections.
There’s a reason why one of the most progressive career-path programs in the country has adopted Nepris: it provides a service not offered anywhere else. It is convenient AND needed. With all of the extra demands on teachers, asking them to spend a lot of time matching up students and industry professionals is unrealistic, even though students can learn invaluable lessons. Nepris has essentially taken the guesswork out of that connection process and provided technology to facilitate the classroom sessions, too.
How Nepris works
I had a chance to log in and try out the functionality of Nepris and I was impressed with its ease of use. Most teachers are pretty savvy online, but Nepris would be pretty simple even for the technologically-challenged. I was able to peruse past sessions and watch archived material. I clicked to create a session, just like a teacher or instructor would, and was asked to “align standards” which allowed me to pick from options like Common Core or other state standards. I filled out the rest of the information based on needing a science expert for my class then submitted it. After that I was able to review my session requests and see track when professionals responded to them (though this was all in a test environment). From log in to hitting “submit” the entire process took under 3 minutes.
Just Googling a professional in the field I want, and then perusing initial search engine results, would take me longer than 3 minutes (let alone the time to contact those professionals and then cement the details of our session). Nepris has already done all of that work for teachers, and better yet, the professionals in the network actually WANT to be contacted to be in sessions. It makes finding professional input, and mentorship in a way, convenient for all the parties involved.
Want to know more?
Check out the three-minute Nepris demo to see how it all works. If you’re interested in seeing more of what Nepris offers, check out the webinar at Nepris.com/webinar. If you are ready to sign-up as a teacher or professional, head to Nepris.com.