2023/24 Year in Review: What Launched in Xello?

2023/24 Year in Review: What Launched in Xello?

What a year for Xello! As we close out the 2023-24 school year, we wanted to review all of the exciting updates we’ve rolled out in the past ten months. From new college planning tools to additional elementary Missions, Xello has continued to deliver product updates for every stage of a students’ future readiness journey.

We know that educators are already pressed for time, which is why Xello introduced new tools to help streamline communications and processes. We also care deeply about student engagement (it’s their futures, after all!) and created even more personalized offerings. 

These features are more than just bells and whistles; instead, they were built intentionally to drive educator efficiency and student engagement. 

Below is a recap of the updates launched in the 2023-2024 school year (plus a sneak peek of what’s to come!) to help students and educators enhance their college and career planning experience.

Key Feature Releases

Dashboard Feed: (Grades 6-12)

Here at Xello we’re passionate about student engagement, which is why we introduced the Dashboard Feed. It delivers a personalized and immersive experience to help students research careers, colleges and life lessons. 

It’s as familiar as their favorite social media feed but 100% career and college focused.  Dashboard Feed is the first thing they see when they log into Xello and offers new and relevant content based on their interests and goals every time they log on.  

Each video, article, and interview is reviewed and curated by our team of editors to ensure interesting, focused content  is delivered to the students’ feed based on the topics they follow, as well as the careers and schools they save. From architecture to STEM, finance to human services, or even practical life skills like budgeting and interview preparation, the Dashboard Feed empowers students to explore their passions and expand their horizons. 

And an added piece of fun? The ability to react to content via emoji. 

Why It Matters: Student motivation and engagement are critical when it comes to future planning. With the introduction of Dashboard Feed, Xello encourages student-led exploration by consistently offering content that sparks students’ interest and inspires them to discover possibilities for their future. 

A New World of Scholarship Opportunities (Grades 6-12)

This release is a big one – we’ve expanded Xello’s scholarship opportunities database! Xello will now feature national, state, and institutional scholarships, in addition to the local offerings curated by educators. 

Perhaps even more exciting, our scholarship tool is now accessible to students in Grades 6-10 (not just 11-12 like before), empowering them to start exploring financial aid options earlier in their academic journey. 

Why It Matters: Our built-in matching tool takes the guesswork out of the process, connecting students with tailored scholarship opportunities based on their unique profile criteria. This automatic matching feature seamlessly pairs students with top local, institutional, and national scholarships within Xello. The result? More students can better fund their college education. 

Course Planner Approval: (Grades 8-12)

Xello aims to help educators work smarter, not harder, which is why we launched Course Planner Approval. No more printing, scanning, and storing physical documents. Now, you can streamline the course selection process with electronic approvals of course plans. 

You can also:

  • Ensure all necessary signatures are received from parents/guardians on time by tracking and monitoring course plan statuses.
  • Confidently demonstrate compliance with state requirements by exporting reports and viewing time-stamped submissions. 
  • Increase family involvement by providing a secure platform for parents and guardians to review and approve their child’s course plan with the addition of Xello Family.

Why It Matters: Manual course planning takes time and can, unfortunately, be riddled with human errors. Xello’s Course Planner Approval feature promotes alignment and accuracy, all while boosting communication between students, families, and educators.

Test Scores & GPA: (Grades 6-12)

With our new Test Scores & GPA feature, educators can effortlessly upload and access SAT, ACT, GPA, and custom test scores, gaining a comprehensive view of each student’s academic performance.

And when all test scores and grades are housed in one spot, students can seamlessly integrate these documents into their Xello Portfolio and share them when applying for colleges, work-based learning opportunities, and jobs. 

The cherry on top? Xello can automate uploads for you via our enhanced data integration option to make life even easier.

Why It Matters: This feature simplifies the management and reporting of test scores by centralizing your data, allowing you to provide personalized guidance and advice to students, increase scholarship funding opportunities, and ensure compliance with state mandates.

Surveys: (Grades 6-12)

It’s important to have feedback and data at your fingertips, which is why Xello introduced its survey functionality. With Surveys, you can easily create and send fully-customizable questionnaires to specific student groups, making the tracking of college application outcomes, self-evaluations, and feedback more organized and efficient.

With survey results in hand, you’ll gain valuable insights to better support your students’ college planning journey, improve engagement, and monitor outcomes.

Why It Matters: Customizable Surveys empower counselors and educators to target and track specific student groups to ensure kids are meeting deadlines, completing Xello assignments, and moving along their college planning journey. 

College Admission Decisions: (Grades 11-12)

The admissions process is comprehensive, but that doesn’t mean it has to be confusing. With Xello’s new College Admission Decisions feature, students, educators, and parents can record, review, and edit self-reported admission decisions, ensuring a collaborative and organized approach.

Wondering how this feature affects each stakeholder?

  • For students, this means gaining a comprehensive overview of their applications, to effectively manage waitlists and pending decisions.
  • For parents, this means remaining informed and actively involved in their child’s college application journey, and collaborating with educators to support their child’s success.
  • Meanwhile, educators can effortlessly monitor student progress and provide real-time guidance, streamlining counseling and reporting. Plus, you’ll have more info on popular institutions to make more data-driven decisions for future college-going students, like campus visits or ambassador invitations.

Why It Matters: With the ability to report outcomes for college applications, track enrollment decisions, and access detailed reports, Xello empowers everyone to navigate the admission process with confidence.

Work-based Learning Enhancements: (Grades 6-12)

We’ve made a handful of exciting enhancements to our Work-Based Learning module to help you streamline your program, minimize administrative burdens, and empower students to take ownership of their experiences. 

Here are just a few additions:

  • Submit, track, and verify hours: Students or educators can conveniently record their completed hours and upload optional supporting evidence for their work-based learning opportunities. Educators get instant access to these submissions, ensuring seamless oversight. 
  • Family access to Work-Based Learning: Through a dedicated WBL tab on Xello Family, parents or guardians gain access to a list of their child’s active opportunities, including information about the opportunity type, company, and request status. This feature enables families  to stay informed and engaged, fostering a collaborative support system that ensures their child’s successful exploration of real-world experiences. 
  • Match students with opportunities: Students can now effortlessly identify WBL experiences that align with their favorite or matched career clusters, ensuring a tailored exploration journey. Meanwhile, employers, educators, and admins gain valuable insights into each student’s career interests when reviewing opportunity requests, allowing for a more targeted and meaningful experience.

Why It Matters: Work-based learning introduces new experiences for students: staying accountable with external stakeholders, navigating the real-world, and identifying the right opportunities, to name a few. These latest updates help make Xello WBL a positive experience by promoting organization, providing families with information to provide meaningful guidance, and encouraging students to pursue opportunities that genuinely resonate with their passions and aspirations. 

More Elementary Missions: (Grades 3-5)

Missions are a cornerstone of our elementary offering, so we’re thrilled to introduce three new story-driven Missions to our 3-5 experience in Xello. 

These Missions include engaging narratives and relatable characters to help young learners discover the reasons why people work, develop problem-solving skills, and explore the world of entrepreneurship. 

Why It Matters: These immersive lessons not only foster self-knowledge and career awareness, but also provide interactive prompts and activities that ignite their curiosity and excitement for learning – just like the current elementary missions! Plus, supplementary teaching resources are available on Xello Support to help continue the conversation in class.

Advisement Notes: (Grades K-12)

When you’re juggling dozens (or sometimes hundreds!) of students, it can be difficult to stay organized. With Xello’s Advisement Notes, you have a centralized space to effectively track student communications, log meetings, share resources, and manage ongoing notes for each student. 

By consolidating all student information in one convenient location, you can simplify the organization and monitoring of career readiness progress and foster seamless collaboration. Advisement Notes allows you to record meetings and notes on a shared platform, ensuring crucial information is accessible to everyone involved. As an added benefit, Advisement notes can be shared with students and parents/guardians. 

Why It Matters: Every educator wants to feel prepared before talking to a student or hosting a parent conference. Advisement Notes allow you to house all student information in one convenient location to help provide personalized and proper support, as well as tailor discussions and guidance based on each student’s unique needs and recorded activities.

Coming Soon to Xello

If our recent releases weren’t exciting enough, here’s what we have coming down the pipeline in 2024!

Parchment Unified Inbox: (Grades 11-12)

Get ready for an improved experience of submitting and tracking college application documents as we partner with the Parchment Unified Inbox! 

Xello’s integration with Parchment will allow educators and their students to electronically send transcripts, recommendation letters, and other essential documents directly to thousands of more colleges and universities through our platform.

Why It Matters: With this integration, students will be able to access a much larger network of schools directly from the Xello platform. The ability to monitor the progress of documents throughout the application journey means both you and your students will have peace of mind that these essential documents are sent reliably and that application deadlines are met. 

Survey Reports: (Grades 6-12)

Xello’s Survey Report enhancements will provide a visual breakdown and tally of students’ survey responses, providing educators with an efficient and convenient way to understand students’ experiences, preferences, and needs. 

Why It Matters: Xello’s Survey Reports will help educators dive deeper into their data. By accessing detailed reports on specific responses, teachers can turn survey data into actionable strategies that drive student success. 

Xello Communities: (Grades 9-12)

Ready for a game-changer to the college planning experience? Introducing Xello Communities, which are spaces on college profile pages that allow students to engage directly with college representatives, student ambassadors and other prospective students, providing students with a sense of community and a glimpse into campus life before ever setting foot on campus or filling out an inquiry form. And, with Xello Communities students can easily source information and insights into available dual enrollment programs.

Communities, which is currently active in Wisconsin and Michigan and rolling out state-by-state, will boost student engagement in the college search process. And when students feel more invested in their future, they’re more motivated to take charge of their own education. 

Why It Matters: Xello Communities will provide students the opportunity to connect with college representatives anytime they have questions so they’re no longer limited to the one day of college visits – with no logistical planning required on your end. 

K-12 administrators can visit this landing page to learn more about Xello Communities. 

What’s Next? 

Book Your End-of- Year Call with your Success Manager

Wondering how to incorporate these latest releases into your training plans, or engagement activities? Contact your Xello Success Manager to learn how. They’d be happy to schedule a check-in that’ll kickstart your program for the upcoming academic year.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Xello tools and update your training plans with these resources: