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American Student Assistance Center for Digital Learning Models

Located on the Becker College campus in Worcester, Massachusetts, the American Student Assistance Center for Digital Learning Models (the ASA Center) is a research center established jointly by American Student Assistance® (ASA) and Becker College to advance knowledge and understanding around the use and efficacy of interactive media tools as a platform for young students to use for self-discovery and career exploration.

What is the mission of the ASA Center?

The ASA Center will create and evaluate the use of digital learning tools to assist and educate young people toward specific life goals, as well as pioneer significant advances in digital learning via emerging media and technology.

What are the goals of the Center?

The ASA Center will engage Becker College faculty, staff, students, and ASA to work in a collaborative environment to meet the following goals:

  • Promote thought leadership in the areas of career exploration and higher education preparedness.
  • Pioneer significant advances in the digital learning tool space.
  • Become a driving force for success by connecting with a wide array of college students, including first generation,
    and applying key indicators and predictors of success that these students have experienced to target audiences.
  • Be a nexus and clearinghouse of academic and practical interactive media development for digital learning products and activities such as colloquia, symposia, and conferences.
  • Leverage the existing student population at Becker College, including partners (e.g. Worcester Public Schools), to hold focus groups around new product designs.
  • Establish and maintain long-term sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships across the campus and between the campus and the community.

Why is career exploration so important right now?

For more than 30 years, career success and learning power have been tied closely to a college education. Now, more and more high school seniors are taking a critical look at the value proposition associated with a college degree. A common feeling among these students is a fear that they will choose the wrong major, leading to a failed college experience. Potentially worse, they fear being stuck with significant tuition debt while having to work in a low-wage career for which they have no interest nor aptitude. This is most keenly felt by first-generation college students.

How will the ASA Center help prepare the next generation for meaningful careers?

The work of the ASA Center is built around the development of digital tools, which could help students more clearly see the benefits of post-secondary education through better career pathway exploration and preparation. This can include a myriad of applications, such as aptitude identification, persistence tools, college/major selection, career identification, financial management tools, time management tools—almost anything that can help a young person prepare and clarify the steps they must take to meet their life goals.

Who is ASA and why is it partnering with Becker College?

The mission of ASA® is to help students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. The organization is committed to working with students online, in classrooms, and through like-minded partners. Becker College is a recognized undergraduate and graduate career-focused college—and a world leader in interactive media education. This partnership is a testament to the expertise that Becker College offers in the collegiate space in terms of career offerings and the dedicated connection that ASA provides to the K-12 community.

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