Naviance used for Career Day

December 11, 2008 — by Elizabeth Lee

College and career planning, which every high school student often hears about, is just one of the functions covered by Naviance, the student-tracking system, which is steadily gaining popularity from the student body. To further expand its usage by students, the College and Career Center (CCC) staff has extended Naviance’s tasks to include Career Day preparations.

Career Day takes place every other year and next year it will take place on April 21. On this day, students can explore up to three careers or paths they are interested in, through presentations from voluntary speakers. Currently, 80 careers are on the list of career topics. Each student will decide which three they would like to hear.

Using a Career Day survey, the CCC staff typically begin preparations early in the year; however, this time, the school decided to stray from the old method and approach “a 21st century one,” according to CCC secretary Bonnie Sheikh.

“We started [the survey] this year with seniors and juniors because we’re doing something different this year,” said Sheikh. “We’re having them do it on Naviance.”

In previous years, paper surveys went to students in their English classes where they would fill them out by hand. Without the help of technology, the staff had to take “all 1,213 of those and tally them.”

Now, Sheikh can immediately look at the results, which are updated every day, online whenever she needs to. She can simply click on a detailed report of a student, which will show his or her Career Day selections, and from there she can begin to make a master Career Day schedule for all 1,315 students at the school.

Benefits of using Naviance to conduct the Career Day survey include convenience and time conservation. However, the maximum number of career topics to choose from has been reduced from five to three, due to limitations of the system. However, like before, students will each have three speakers for the three topics they choose for Career Day.

“The other thing is that we’re starting a lot earlier this year,” said Sheikh. “This way we can tell [from] the early returns which topics are more popular.”

Another reason the school has decided to use Naviance to conduct the survey is to familiarize underclassmen with the system so that they can be more comfortable with it in the future when they use it in their college application process. Counselors will notify underclassmen about the survey in their English classes after Thanksgiving break.

“Naviance is just a huge and wonderful database that shows careers and colleges,” said Sheikh. “[It] is just a portal that has all [sorts of] different data points that you can search by.”

Right now, results surprisingly display that head chef is currently the most popular career selection, followed by psychologist, sales and marketing manager and biotechnologist.

The CCC finds speakers through the speaker committee, which is now headed by parent Shaila Iyer, who is reaching out to recruit 12 members. Each committee member then tries to find eight or nine career speakers. Many speakers are parents of students or volunteers from past years.
One minor drawback of the system is that students cannot go back to change their selections after submitting them, except if they speak directly to Sheikh in the guidance office.

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