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38CompuMentor Seeks Business Planning Services

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  • Beth Sutkus
    Nov 2, 2000
      CompuMentor Seeks Business Planning Services--please contact Hilary
      Naylor at hnaylor@... if you are interested.
      ---------------------------------------
      CompuMentor in undertaking a planning process to expand our
      Educational Services. We wish to improve our coordination of
      CompuMentor's school technical support services with those of other
      technical assistance providers, and focus on disadvantaged students
      in schools in low-income communities. Based on the outcome of this
      planning process, we will redesign our education services program
      and reach out and market our services to low income San Francisco Bay
      Area school districts.
      BACKGROUND
      CompuMentor's major work to date (since 1987) has been to provide
      computer technical assistance to nonprofits in the Bay Area and
      across the country. We have worked to help schools develop their
      computer systems as well, but on a much more limited basis, with
      recent emphasis on one federally funded project. We seek to develop
      our program for schools and employ our considerable experience as a
      technical assistance provider to elevate the quality and amount of
      support we can give to education in the Bay Area.

      CompuMentor is now in its fifth and final year of partnership in the
      Pacific Southwest Regional Technology in Education Consortium
      (RTEC). RTEC is a US Department of Education (OERI) program created
      to
      work with educators and community members to develop access to and
      meaningful uses of advanced technologies for education reform,
      school renewal and the development of technology-enhanced lifelong
      learning communities inside and outside of schools. The fundamental
      purpose of this project has been to help implement the use of advanced
      technologies to improve learning and educational success to high
      standards for all students.

      Through our participation in this program, CompuMentor has developed
      a range of services to schools by adapting and implementing our
      nonprofit services. Some of our services have not been offered or
      requested by schools, primarily because they are more expensive and
      schools do not usually have the funding to engage the services of
      independent consultants, even at nonprofit rates. The services that
      we have most successfully ported to the educational arena are Mentor
      Matching and Technology Assessment and Planning (TEAM). Both of these
      services have been subsidized by the RTEC contract. For a more
      detailed description of these services see
      http://www.compumentor.org/cm/services/education.

      However, the adaptation is not always successful. Mentor projects in
      schools take longer to complete and need to get started early in the
      school year. School computer installations are large, even in small
      schools, much larger than the small-to-medium sized nonprofit that
      our TEAM program was designed to serve. We have also found that we
      are encountering other impediments to out delivery of assistance to
      schools. The first is that we are not well known in the educational
      sector. Thus, even if we have excellent services to offer, the
      decision-makers at schools are often unaware of them. Second, our
      expertise is primarily in the successful deployment of technology
      into organizations, but schools are often looking for expertise in
      the pedagogical application of computer technology, as well. We hope
      that by collaborating with one or several agencies with expertise to
      complement CompuMentor's, we will be able to overcome these
      impediments.

      PROJECT

      We are seeking the assistance of a business planner to work with
      Dr. Hilary Naylor and Dr. Mark Liu of CompuMentor staff in the
      development of this plan. The Business Plan should include the
      following elements:

      1. A target market analysis describing:
      Client type: The variety of our current client-base is large:
      public schools, charter schools and community based organizations
      (CBOs) that serve schools, families or the education/learning
      community. It may be desirable to focus more narrowly on a certain
      type of institution.
      Client Size: The size of the schools that we work with at the
      moment also covers a large range, from small (150 students) to
      large (2000 students), and from elementary to high school. The
      majority of these schools and the CBOs associated with them are
      located in urban communities.
      … Potential client base
      … Key client needs to be addressed, for example:
      … Enabling classroom teachers to understand how to use
      technology
      as an integral part of the learning process.
      … Guiding school principals to an understanding of the
      applications of technology for students and staff.
      … Access to appropriate curriculum specific software.
      … Ongoing professional development for teachers, assistants,
      administration.
      … Supporting programs that increase technology access for
      parents.
      … Consultation on the installation of technology other than
      computer networks, such as two-way video conferencing system, taking
      into consideration school size, available support, training and
      experience.
      … Onsite technology support (long-term).

      2. An assessment of CompuMentor's current educational program,
      including:
      … A review of our core competencies
      … An analysis of the potential for enlarging our repertoire of
      services for schools.

      3. A competitive analysis, including
      … Identification of potential collaborators and their points of
      complementarity
      … Identification of competitors and their points of competition
      … An analysis of our niche among other Bay Area educational
      service
      providers

      4. A revenue analysis, including reviews of
      … Funding mechanisms
      … Affordable means for potential clients to obtain our services

      5. A marketing analysis, identifying
      … Strategies to market to schools and school districts

      ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
      Hilary Naylor, Ph.D.
      Senior Associate, CompuMentor
      487 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
      Voice: 415.512.7784 x313
      Fax: 415.365.2870
      Email: hnaylor@...