Gator Ready helps Heavener persevere during pandemic
The Heavener School prioritized Gator Ready years ago as an app for tracking career readiness by evaluating a student’s involvement and skill development. When the COVID-19 pandemic shifted business education online, the app was a perfect way for Heavener to continue leveraging student involvement.
The app improved student accountability, encouraging them to continue attending student organization meetings, advising appointments and career presentations. It strengthened the student experience because of the strong buy in from students, as Gator Ready had 2,751 unique student users who completed 19,311 activities in the app during 2020.
“In many ways, Gator Ready was tailor made for our circumstances during the pandemic,” Associate Dean and Director Alex Sevilla said. “It helped us maintain student interest in key leadership development opportunities when all activities were forced to move online. We were able to inspire our students to remain highly engaged, and track and reward their engagement in a new and innovative way via Gator Ready.”
Gator Ready also provided a chance for first- and second-year students to get plugged into Heavener during a pandemic. Of those two classes, student adoption was 86 percent.
But even before the pandemic, Gator Ready was growing. The app allows for both tracking of leadership and career development activities and the ability to showcase skill building and competency development. This helps students clearly define their career readiness, build their self-confidence and highlight their top capabilities directly to recruiters.
“Gator Ready gave us a natural way to connect with our students in a virtual world,” said Catherine Coe, Director of Gator Ready & Data Strategy at Heavener. “We were able to track what our students were doing to ensure they stayed connected to Heavener.”
Each skill has a 1-5 ranking to show how students are targeting and developing each of eight NACE competencies. Skill competency can look the same on a resume, but through Gator Ready, students have a tangible way to quantify how their skills differ from other students.
Heavener will continue to lean on Gator Ready well beyond COVID-19 to ensure students are prepared for immediate impact in their careers.