Creating an education and career exploration tool to wow teens with American Student Assistance

Kadence partnered with American Student Assistance (ASA) to create a research program to inform the development of their exploration tool, Futurescape.

Teenagers playing sport

The challenge

As school systems in the US struggle to fund programs and services, teens are left with access to limited resources to help guide their plans for the future. Agencies, both not-for-profit and for-profit, provide tools, questionnaires and information, but few do so in a way that takes the unique preferences of this digital-native generation to heart. American Student Assistance set out to create a planning tool, called Futurescape, which would be highly engaging to teens, providing them with valuable resources to make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals.

What we did

Our approach was multi-faceted. We first carried out a large, independent online survey with middle schoolers and teens in the US. With this, we helped ASA understand teens deeply – their thoughts and struggles, their successes, sources for advice they trust, among many other topics. We also engaged 90 teens in a week-long online community to dig deeper on these topics and create a video summary for key stakeholders at ASA, bringing them closer to their audience. In parallel, we hosted focus groups with teens to review early designs of the tool itself which informed further design planning.

The impact of the research

Guided by insights from the research, Futurescape has been launched and is helping teens navigate toward their future. Marketing efforts are underway, with Kadence continuing to support American Student Assistance by tracking ongoing awareness and perceptions to understand how well marcomms around the tool are working. What’s more, ASA has leveraged what they’ve learned through social media posts and more formal reports, supporting their position as a respected thought leader.

Kadence International is a partner that has done well in understanding our business needs and driving to the best possible solution. Everyone from the outside design firm to my internal product partners are extremely appreciative and impressed with the level of insights and access to the teen perspective that you’ve provided. With Kadence, I am able to trust the project will turn out great because I know the quality of work your team delivers for me.

American Student Assistance
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