ConnecPath: Ushering AI in Student Counseling

Leo Sanada, Co-Founder & CEO, ConnecPathLeo Sanada, Co-Founder & CEO
Despite the empirical evidence of the effects of counseling on student outcomes, when there is just one counselor to attend 491 kids, students become mere numbers. In the thick of increasing student to counselor ratio, there is an opportunity for innovation to take over. As such, a company like ConnecPath was born. The yearning to become a catalyst in the education sector led ConnecPath to provide unparalleled student counseling to address the predicaments in the realm of career education. “Our vision is to increase the college and career readiness of young students on a massive scale to steer them towards a better career path,” asserts Leo Sanada, co-founder and CEO, ConnecPath.

With an aim to increase the college and career awareness of students on a massive scale and maximize the potential of young people, ConnecPath has developed a state-of-the-art mobile application, which also available in the web browser version. The application leverages the huge knowledge base of artificial intelligence (AI)—Cheryl—to cater to the needs of students in terms of career questions. ConnecPath’s AI chatbot interacts with students answering basic questions related to college applications and career exploration—how many schools should I apply for? or how to fill out FAFSA form? If Cheryl’s knowledge base contains the relevant information, students are instantly provided with answers.

In case Cheryl can’t accurately answer a question, it automatically posts it on the “Forum” if a student permits. Exclusively created for each high school, the forum is integrated within the application to enhance counselor productivity while delivering a more personalized way to mentor students. In an effort to consolidate every high school student of a specific school in the same virtual classroom, the Q and A forum offers a holistic view of questions posted by students through a single window.

Our vision is to increase the college and career readiness of young students on a massive scale to steer them towards a better career path

High school counselors can access the forum to respond to each question which is an efficient way of answering essential questions tailored to meet the needs of students of the same grade through complete visibility.

To bolster the privacy of students and the information they share on the forum, ConnecPath generates a school code that is unique to each high school, every time a school administrator creates an account. The code is distributed to students of the same school who can then sign up for the application using the same code. Being a public space, the forum is utilized as an interactive space where students are advised to adhere to certain mandates. Students are strictly instructed to refrain from sharing personal or confidential data on the forum. Should a student upload private information inadvertently, like their GPA or parents’ income level, the counselors possess the ability to delete them from the forum.

ConnecPath’s chatbot and interactive forum that pertain to college applications is a major differentiator for the company in the education technology space. The unique communication forum, although a public domain, can be accessed by selective people who are identified users and bona fide school counselors. “We seek partnership with admission consulting companies and budding content creators to boost the accuracy of the knowledge base that the chatbot possesses,” asserts Pradeep Reddy, co-founder and CTO, ConnecPath.

Advancing one learning step at a time, ConnecPath intends to refine the chatbot experience for students by implementing a conversational communication system in the intuitive application. “We also plan to leverage predictive algorithm to evaluate huge data sets, after the 2018 college application cycle, to provide more educational and instructional suggestions to the next cycle of students,” concludes Sanada.