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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learn from Other Schools’ Success Stories

By: Bill DeBaun   |   February 2023

Learn from Bill DeBaun, Senior Director of Data and Strategic Initiatives at the National College Attainment Network, as he shares different examples of successful college and career advising efforts from across the country.

Before I jump into the rest of this awesome blog post, I’d love for you to save the dates for April 17-21. During this week, NCAN will host at least a webinar a day organized around the idea that everyone in a school has a role to play in students’ college and career readiness. Students’ postsecondary pathways aren’t just a school counselor’s focus, or a teacher’s focus, or a principal’s focus. No, every caring adult in a school, along with external partners, parents, and students themselves has a role to play.  

Our great webinar lineup will examine topics like helping students reach different kinds of college and career pathways, how to build a college and career readiness team, and what kinds of frameworks are useful for understanding what students should know and experience. Interest piqued? We hope so. Full details are coming soon, but giving us your name and email here will make sure we get you more information and an invite ASAP! 

Onto this post’s main business. Lots of districts and schools really want to improve their college and career readiness efforts. You may even be associated with one of them! But it turns out lots of districts and schools can also benefit from help figuring out how to do that. Don’t reinvent the wheel! It feels bad. Instead, borrow someone else’s wheel and make it yours! 

I’ve pulled some blog post from NCAN’s blog that focus on different aspects of college and career advising. These are mostly from a high school context, but some also feature K-12 and community-based partnerships. Have questions? As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at, and I hope you’ll reach out! 

Still with me? I’m grateful, thanks for reading! As a bonus, here’s three more of my favorite posts: 

Next month we’ll have more information on how to freeze summer melt early. Summer melt starts way before summer starts, so it’s never too early to start thinking about it. In the meantime, I hope this post got some ideas going on different practices districts and schools can adopt to help students be more successful! 


Bill DeBaun is the National College Attainment Network's Senior Director of Data and Strategic Initiatives. In that role he researches and writes about college access and success programming that demonstrates significant results for students’ college enrollment and graduation rates while additionally providing technical assistance to other initiatives. Mr. DeBaun leads NCAN’s Benchmarking Project, an on-going collaborative research effort with NCAN members that examines the enrollment and completion outcomes of students served by college access and success programs. The Benchmarking Project contains key demographic, service, and outcome data on more than 500,000 member-served students and provides insight into the college access and success field.