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Project: Empowering Louisiana Students: Launching an Individualized Graduation Planning Vendor Guide

In a collaborative effort to support students in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Education joined forces with the Region 14 Comprehensive Center to create an innovative platform to enhance graduation planning and postsecondary education transition services.

This ambitious project identifies and promotes high-quality providers of graduation planning, college exploration, and career transition services for students in the state. The ultimate goal is to empower Louisiana students to make informed decisions about their future by utilizing existing online resources. 

The Need

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), aware of the need to provide students with effective tools for graduation planning and postsecondary transition, embarked on a journey to make these resources readily available. To turn this vision into reality, LDOE enlisted the expertise of the Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC), a team dedicated to improving educational outcomes. 

Through this collaboration, students and their families can access tools that help them discover connections between their interests and high-paying, in-demand careers; explore academic pathways to these careers; and identify postsecondary options, whether it be college, job opportunities, or work-based learning experiences, that align with their interests and requirements. 

Similarly, this tool allows teachers, school counselors, and school district officials to use a one-stop guide to available graduation planning vendors to select the vendor that best suits the needs of their students. 


“Students will use the products identified in this guide to explore potential careers and college programs that align with their interests and help them plan their course selection in order to graduate high school on time and well-positioned to pursue their chosen career pathways.”

-Boris Granovskiy, PhD


Students smiling while looking at a laptop

Our Approach 

A Collaborative Effort

One of the initial steps in this endeavor was the analysis of surveys conducted among Louisiana school counselors. These surveys aimed to gauge the current use of Individualized Graduation Plan (IGP) tools and identify any obstacles hindering the adoption of electronic IGP tools. This data provided valuable insights into the current state of graduation planning in Louisiana. 

Additionally, the team at R14CC conducted interviews with vendors of electronic graduation planning services to synthesize key characteristics and best practices for high-quality graduation planning products. By identifying these attributes, the LDOE was well-equipped to select the most suitable vendors for their new IGP vendor guide. 


Designing the IGP Vendor Guide

In the preparatory stages of this project, R14CC listened to both school counselors and IGP product vendors. This approach helped in identifying the specific needs of counselors that could be addressed by the vendors. By considering these requirements, the team was able to create criteria for a high-quality, user-friendly graduation planning guide that anticipates student needs without overwhelming them. The guide was developed and designed in collaboration with our partners at Canopy Education, who created the user-friendly vendor profiles and a system of filter to narrow down the options. Individual vendor profiles also feature engaging visual elements to enhance the user experience of students, counselors, and families. The vendor intake form was designed with these considerations in mind. 

R14CC served as a thought partner to LDOE in designing the intake form for vendors applying for inclusion in the Student Support Partner guide. This form was crafted to align with the needs of students and counselors, ensuring that it was user friendly and effective. 


The Launch of the IGP Vendor Guide

Launching the Student Support Partner Guide pilot site was a significant milestone toward creating a resource to assist students and their families navigate their educational and career pathways. The products listed in this guide enable students to explore potential careers and college programs that align with their interests. It assists them in planning their course selection, ensuring they graduate high school on time and well-prepared to pursue their chosen career pathways. 

Inclusion in the guide is also an indicator that the specific vendor has been vetted by LDOE for the quality of services it provides and data privacy requirements to ensure that any student data collected by the vendor is kept safe. 

Advancing Forward

The Student Support Partner Guide is meant to be a living toolkit. Additional vendors are expected to be added to the guide as they complete LDOE’s vetting process. A knowledge base system targeted for vendors and guide users is being developed to help all interested parties get the most out of the information contained in the guide. 

The partnership between the LDOE and R14CC signifies a commitment to equipping Louisiana students with the resources they need to make informed decisions about their future. The Student Support Partner guide is a promising step forward, designed with students and their education journey in mind, and it holds the potential to expand its services in the future.