Despite the mild climate and rich, diverse history and culture of the Gulf Coast, some people are reluctant to move to this part of the United States. For example, they might worry about the weather; states like Alabama and Mississippi are known for experiencing tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and other natural disasters. Potential homeowners might also show concern about the Gulf Coast’s educational systems, pointing to graduation rates in states like Alabama as low as 72%.
Fortunately, real estate agents can set homebuyers’ minds at ease about Alabama education this year. As part of a project called Vision 2025, Baldwin County will begin building a new high school in 2015. Also, graduation rates are up to 86% since 2011, a 15% increase with more improvement expected.
How Alabama Schools Have Improved
In the past four years, Alabama schools have added several programs that not only raise students’ grades, but encourage them to guide their own learning experience. Alabama schools use technology to keep learning methods as relevant as possible. For example, Baldwin County Public Schools now use Moodle to stay in touch with students. Moodle allows teachers to input grades and assignments in real time and make changes as needed. Moodle also allows students to communicate more directly with teachers rather than waiting for an after school lab session or a one-on-one meeting to have questions answered. Teachers can input quizzes and technological activities that utilize immediate feedback, as well.
Baldwin County has also recently shown an interest in updating foreign language education. Students can now use Rosetta Stone, a popular language-learning program utilized by NASA, the CIA, and the military, among other professional institutions. Rather than repetition and memorization, Rosetta Stone relies on total immersion. Students build on what they already know; learning the words “eat” and “drink” on one screen lays the groundwork for complete sentences using these verbs on the next one. Feedback is immediate and the structure is game-like, making students more likely to absorb what they’ve learned.
Baldwin County’s graduation rates have also increased because administrators are making expectations clearer. On the Baldwin County Public Schools website, the ideal graduate is described as “multilingual, collaborative, [and] civic-minded,” with an awareness of events and structures in countries not their own. Students are also constantly exposed to classes and activities that encourage career readiness, including dual enrollment in local colleges, career-based academics, and advanced placement courses.
How Will This Help You Sell Real Estate?
An ever-changing and ever-improving educational system like Baldwin County, Alabama’s is great news for real estate agents. As the economy continues improving, more families are looking at travel and relocation as a way to broaden their cultural experience. Families where the adults still struggle to find work also relocate often, and one of the parents’ first concerns revolves around the school system. Being able to assure parents and guardians their children will receive a quality education makes it more likely you will sell homes and other property.
In addition, knowledge of the educational system helps you, the real estate agent, build rapport with your clients. Children and teens are different in many ways but they all have one thing in common – they go to school. Discussing school experiences with parents and children will let them see your interest in their family life as well as your level of investment in the community. If families are comfortable with you, they are more likely to let you guide them through the major decision of a home purchase.