Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Virginia Education Wizard has come a long way in a relatively short period of time – from infancy to adulthood in just five short years. And, it’s still evolving and growing in popularity.

WizardLogoThe Wizard and its interactive avatar “Ginny” have helped thousands of prospective students tailor their academic schedules, chart career paths and successfully navigate the sometimes convoluted world of financial aid.

Chris Pfautz – director of student support technology – oversees the project and keeps an eye out for new enhancements..

“The challenge many academic practitioners face is providing support services to meet the diverse needs of every student. The Wizard has the ability to meet those needs without sacrificing the integrity of academic advising.”

Pfautz says demand for the Wizard mobile app, made available for download earlier this year, underscores the Wizard’s popularity.

“We are also exploring a Veteran’s enhancement that will assist Veterans with the transition from active duty military to college student.”

So, just how successful has the Wizard proven to be? The numbers listed below speak for themselves:

 Wizard Statistics:

Since March, 2009:

 1,708,664                            Unique visitors

2,412,701                             Visits

26,714,088                           Page Views

722,314                                 Accounts created

283,593                                 K-12 accounts since August 2010

974                                         Unique Mobile Users

At least 85% of all public school divisions in Virginia are now using the Wizard in some capacity and indications are that number will continue to rise.

“The Wizard helps open students’ eyes to opportunities they have available to them,” says Bill Fiege, vice president for academics at John Tyler Community College. “From program and course selection to career planning, students can develop a roadmap for success. It is a required tool in our SDV courses for students to more fully understand who they are, where they are going, and how they may get there.”

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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