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A little more than a year after its launch, a Utah education-planning website has amassed 324,000 accounts and 2 million hits.
The Utah System of Higher Education started UtahFutures.org in October 2009 with the goal of getting more high school and junior high school students to prepare for life after graduation.
"I'm very excited about it. I'm hearing from counselors and kids nothing but fabulous things. The functionality is amazing and the resources available are valuable and really deep," said Dawn Stevenson, counselor coordinator for the Utah State Office of Education.
Portfolios have been set up for nearly all of Utah's high school and junior high school students, and another 44,000 for working adults. State education policy requires every student to have a four-year plan with the hope that by graduation day they will have the tools to achieve their career goals.
"They will have a clearer idea of how to plan. We want to show them the process, 'If you have this goal, what are the resources to plan for that?" Stevenson said. "Research shows that if kids create a four-year plan, they are more likely to complete it and reach their goals."
By the end of this school year, officials expect to have an idea of how many students have activated portfolios and navigated the site.
Other agencies involved with UtahFutures.org are the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, Department of Workforce Services, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, the federal Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs, known as GEAR-UP, and the Utah State Library.
O This website hosted by the Utah System of Higher Educations provides education and career planning. After creating an account, you can:
Learn about education and training programs all over the country
Take career interest surveys
Take practice tests for college admissions
Learn about financial aid and how to get it