Life Skills at Work

June 26, 2020

When the State of Texas required schools to close physical campuses, Alpha moved into “Alpha Anywhere,” a new, remote version of our program. Alpha Anywhere was a real-life test that required students to collectively demonstrate the life skills they’ve learned.

Life skills are one of the three commitments we make to families. Self agency, focus, and intensity are among our core life skills, and Alpha Anywhere particularly tested students in these areas. The asynchronous nature of remote schooling meant that successful academic performance relied on students being self-agents. The remote setting also required students to adapt to doing work at home while maintaining a high level of focus. We were so confident in the students’ ability to be self-agents and maintain focus and intensity that we asked the parents to leave school to their kids.

When quarantine started, the typical Alpha student designed their own school schedule. They plotted out 3–4 hours per day (with breaks) in which they would do their schoolwork. They also scheduled a daily 10-minute check-in with their Alpha Guide. They made this schedule their routine, and checked in with their Guide every day to discuss the work they’d done the previous day and the goals they had set for themselves for the rest of the week.

Did it work? It did. Alpha students excelled. Here is some evidence:

  • Lesson productivity increased 20% during Alpha Anywhere
  • Students completed 656,177 minutes of work in Session 4 and Session 5 (that’s 10,936 hours, 456 days, or 1.25 years)
  • 100% of Alpha students stayed active in Alpha Anywhere; students made 95% of daily check-in calls.
  • Students’ productivity earned $18,696 for Austin non-profit organizations in only 11 weeks as a part of our Learn, Earn, Give initiative (yes — Alpha students used their ability to focus and be productive to earn money for their community!)
  • You can read student feedback on Alpha Anywhere in this blog post.

While all levels approached their work with intensity, the rising L4 cohort had a particularly intense final session. A group of 16 students had to complete their Alpha Talks, Learning Plans, College Essays and required coursework to earn a spot in L4.