Developing OneGoal’s Culture of Testing to Scale Equitable Post-Secondary Success

OneGoal identified an opportunity to expand their impact by adopting a lighter-touch model that enhances schools' ability to deliver essential postsecondary support during students’ high school experience. They partnered with Spring Impact to establish a systematic approach for ongoing testing and learning.


In the US, students from low-income communities are three times less likely to earn a postsecondary degree or credential.

OneGoal leads the movement to transform postsecondary advising and support. OneGoal’s proven model ensures postsecondary planning, preparation, and support are integral components of the high school experience. Students participating in OneGoal’s model enroll in postsecondary institutions at far higher levels than their peers in low-income areas, and even at a slightly higher rate than students from high-income schools.


OneGoal saw an opportunity to scale their impact significantly through a lighter-touch model that builds the capacity of schools to implement the most critical elements of postsecondary support. The OneGoal team began to design this new model but needed help testing and validating key decisions related to the lighter-touch curriculum, approach to school partnerships, and enabling digital tools. OneGoal also wanted to establish a shared language and method for testing and learning across their program team.

The team helped us assess where we are, define where we are trying to go, and learn about how to do that through Lean Impact. Looking back at all the tests we ran and all the learning, there is no way we would have been able to do that alone.

Maria Alejandra Canales Managing Director, Program Implementation - National, OneGoal


Spring Impact partnered with OneGoal to embed a systematic approach for continuous testing and learning. We also supported OneGoal to design and implement multiple cycles of real-world tests to iteratively develop the lighter-touch model, ultimately improvising the viability, impact, and sustainability. Our teams worked together to: 

  1. Facilitate the program team to map out their hypothesized lighter-touch model and  narrow in on the highest-priority risks 
  2. Coach OneGoal through a series of tests that explored a wide range of risks – including school willingness to commit and pay for the lighter-touch model, usability of digital tools, and effectiveness of teacher-facing resources
  3. Integrate Testing and Learning into OneGoal’s organizational culture and ways of working. Spring Impact provided Leadership advisory support including change management, responsibilities frameworks for cross-functional teams, and best practices to reinforce learning mindsets.

Outcomes and Impact

  • Established a shared mindset, language, and skill set for Lean Testing through training over 20 cross-functional OneGoal team members so that they can continue testing and learning in their respective areas of focus
  • Created Learning Roadmaps with prioritization frameworks that focus on the riskiest and most unknown parts of OneGoal models to guide future testing strategies
  • Helped develop clear critical rates for test results that their lighter-touch model must achieve to realize their goal for impact at scale 
  • Supported the development of robust data collection and analysis processes and data analyses using established critical rates
  • Countless iterations, improvements, adjustments, pivots and new creations made by testing teams as they learned from their tests, including:
    • Improving the process and guidance to upskill teachers in postsecondary advising 
    • Adjusting time commitments for program delivery and flow of program module activities
    • Improving the student experience of 1:1 advising through adjusting milestone activities, introductions to new material, and advisor relationship-building
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