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Getting Smart Podcast

Jan 22, 2020

Whether you’re a parent, an educator, or someone who has worked alongside youth, you probably understand the confusion that comes up for learners and their parents when it comes time for college. They’re trying to figure out where to go, what to major in, and how to pay for it. But that’s why American Student Assistance, the non-profit also known as ASA, provides advice and support starting in middle school!


In today’s episode, Tom Vander Ark is speaking with Jean Eddy, the CEO of ASA. She has been a leader in higher education in America for 20 years and has held senior roles at Northeastern, Brandeis, and Rhode Island School of Design — all vibrant institutions. At ASA, Jean has expanded its scope to career exploration for 13-18-year-olds and college and career planning services, as well as advocacy and research on the evolving education and career landscape.


Also joining the Getting Smart Podcast today is Annabel Cellini, the Chief Strategy Officer at ASA! For more than 20 years, Annabel has been a leader in education policy and technology. She knows as well as anyone what’s new and interesting in higher ed!


Together, Tom, Jean, and Annabel are discussing ASA, how it is moving the needle in terms of getting younger and younger learners prepared for college, what they’re currently doing at ASA to expands its work in advocacy and policy, and what’s on their roadmap for the next 1-2 years to continue to support learners, their parents, and their teachers!


Key Takeaways:

[:07] About today’s episode.

[1:14] Tom welcomes Jean and Annabel to the podcast.

[1:26] Jean speaks about her university education and why she decided to study what she studied.

[2:41] Why Jean decided to work in higher education.

[4:35] Annabel speaks about her university education and what drew her to her major.

[6:46] Jean tells the origin story of ASA.

[8:50] Why early guidance about college is more important than ever.

[10:22] Why does Jean believe that America has fallen out of love with higher ed?

[12:02] Annabel speaks about how she thinks about the changing nature of work and the drivers she sees that have the most significant implications for education.

[16:06] Annabel highlights some of the important key skills that are becoming more important in this innovation economy.

[17:44] As a parent of middle school, what advice does Annabel have for other parents? What kinds of activities, in particular, are most productive for middle school students?

[20:37] In 2018, Jean expanded the mission at ASA to start in middle school. She elaborates on why that change occurred and the kinds of services that they now offer for middle school students.

[25:17] Tom gives a shoutout to their friends at Cajon Valley!

[26:26] Anabel explains what ASA is currently doing to expand its work in advocacy and policy.

[28:38] Jean speaks about why ASA supports Learn Launch and what she’s excited about in regards to the work that they do.

[30:15] As Jean looks one to two years down the road at ASA, what are her hopes for the future of the organization? And where would she like to see them make an additional impact?

[31:47] Annabel speaks about some of the things she’s excited about on ASA’s roadmap.

[33:03] Where to go to learn more about ASA!

[33:29] Tom thanks Annabel and Jean for joining the Getting Smart Podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

American Student Assistance (ASA)

Jean Eddy

Annabel Cellini

World Economic Forum


Cajon Valley Union School District


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