By Tim Ryan

In an era where digital communication is the cornerstone of professional interactions, the Rubin Propel tool has emerged as a groundbreaking solution, transforming email etiquette for students nationwide. Launched in January 2024, this innovative tool integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook, offering personalized guidance to ensure emails to teachers and employers exude professionalism.

With a participation rate of 37 school districts and 936 students utilizing Propel as an essential email extension, the initial two months have been nothing short of phenomenal. A staggering 5,449 emails have been crafted with Propel’s assistance, sharing 30,019 rules to refine students’ writing skills. Propel’s unique approach encourages students to take ownership of their learning, offering advice on structure, grammar, and soft skills without relying on AI or automated content generation.

This initiative tackles the common pitfalls in student emails, such as inappropriate greetings or formatting errors. It addresses the #1 educator complaint: emails with the entire content crammed into the subject line. Thanks to Propel, 99% of students now craft subject lines that succinctly summarize their message, effectively solving a pervasive issue.

The impact of Propel extends beyond mere statistics; it revitalizes essential communication skills that many students lack. Shelley Roberts, a teacher from Johnston County, North Carolina, praises Propel for its simplicity and effectiveness, highlighting its role in reintroducing students to the fundamental components of emails, such as greetings and the body structure. This tool has not only enhanced the email writing skills of students but also instilled confidence and prepared them for future professional environments.

As Innovate Hampton Roads, we recognize the immense potential of technologies like Rubin Propel to shape the future of our region’s workforce. By fostering essential communication skills among students today, we invest in developing a more competent, professional, and innovative community for tomorrow.