Student Individual Success Plan at Harvard: In-Depth Guide

Student Individual Success Plan at Harvard: In-Depth Guide

When Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid,” he couldn’t have been more right.

Unfortunately, this animal analogy from school times is what has been predominant in our educational system. But now, it is high time for a change.

The idea of personalized education has been circulating among educational circles for a long while now. But there was always a lack of a clear set of plans and organizational policies of how it could work.

That is what the Education Redesign Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education has been focusing on. Their new initiative, the By All Means, explores the concept of individual success plans and its impact on students.

To know better how deeply it could revolutionize the education system, it is necessary to understand what individual success plans are.



The Need for Individual Success Plan

We are used to a system where standardization applies to everything. A set of tests measures a student’s academic performance. As a result, we have seen many learners resorting to external resources to at least stay on board during their educational path.

Tutoring centers and other essay-writing services have been helping students in many ways. One such platform is where best writers help learners in need. These are the measures that help save the day, yet, in the long run, the reform is imminent and necessary.

With the turn of the century, there have been many studies that investigated a different approach in the education system. Research publications show that on average, a student spends approximately 70 percent of each day outside the school. Thus, many external factors influence their mindset, character, and personality development.

Whether it is the socio-economic status or personal relationships, numerous elements contribute to the child’s achievements. Yet, the one-size-fits-all base of our school system does not take into account any deviating from regular needs or challenges faced by individual students.

The Aim of Success Plans

Education Redesign Lab proposed Success Plans that fundamentally aims to redesign this system to align it with each child’s needs. Through tailored strategies, the authors hope to build and strengthen communities and develop a system that suits different individuals well.

The Guiding Principles

Among the initial steps of the program, the main objective was to identify the main factors.

The initial report for Success Plans focuses on these ten ideas for guidance, to arrive at the best strategies.

  • Personalized – to celebrate the individuality and needs.
  • Comprehensive – to offer a support system from birth to launch of careers.
  • Student-Centered – to empower children to pursue their interests.
  • Actionable – to establish transparent services and plans.
  • Equitable – to reduce the gaps in the system.
  • Relationship-Driven – to help foster respectful relationships.
  • Information-Driven – to utilize the feedback effectively.
  • Cross-Sector – to partner with multiple sectors to contribute comprehensively.
  • Secure – to protect student and family privacy.
  • Sustainable – to identify sources to fund long-term implementation.

These points ultimately form the base for developing the plans to identify the many strengths and needs of students in order to facilitate the right infrastructure and to coordinate educational and community resources.

The Implementation

Perhaps the biggest challenge is how the concept might still seem far-fetched to many. However, the ED Lab has done more than just create reports. Success Plan is already on its way to implementation in many parts of the United States.


Earlier in 2016, a program called By All Means was successfully launched and impacted several communities positively. With the help of community leaders and other organizations, a coordinator has been assigned to collect data on the requirements of students to create a database to provide individual and personalized education.

This program has been successfully running in Oakland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Kentucky, Rhodes Island, and many other parts of the country.

The insights and inferences from the initial stages have contributed tremendously to identify several areas for improvement in our education system.

Wrapping Up

The personalized plans with enough support services have the power to reshape the educational system. It is significant that we try to reduce the opportunity gaps currently shadowing our society. Another way to reshape the education system is the use of education kiosk. There are a lot of benefits of education kiosks for the students.

The initiative of Success Plans has great potential that could truly change the social landscape if executed correctly. In the long run, we can hope that such a commitment will encourage other communities and future policies to diminish social disparities.


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