The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Naviance Online Counseling System Introduced

A new addition to the school’s online college resource, Naviance, will give staff the option to send letters of recommendation for prospective college students online. This is a change from the traditional form of handwritten and mailed letters of years past.

According to counselor Dafna Tarle, the decision was made after several years of district consideration.  The change was implemented at both high schools in the MVLA school district.

“It’s a lot less work for [the students],” Tarle said.  “[The students] don’t have to bother with the stamps and envelopes.”

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The new system lets students put all of their information online, allowing teachers to view it in an organized manner and write their letters based on the information given. Teachers still have the option of submitting letters by mail, but are encouraged to try out the online method.

College/Career Center counselor Kristin Joseph sees the benefit for students and teachers.

“I think it will streamline the [college application] process immensely for teachers,” Joseph said.  “For students, it gives them the ability to track the progress of their applications.”

The Naviance method is optional for all teachers who are willing to try it; however, some teachers haven’t been introduced to the new system.  Math teacher Carol Evans said that she has yet to be contacted by a counselor encouraging her to adopt the new system.

“Someone has to tell me how it works before I can use [the Naviance system]. I haven’t heard anything about it,” Evans said.  “[Students] have heard all about it, I’ve heard zero.”

The system will still require face-to-face interaction and the teachers will all see the same resume and essays on Naviance.

Like the students, many of the teachers want to have personalized information on what they should be writing about.  Having Naviance do everything discourages the student’s personalization.

According to Tarle, everything will also be visible online, allowing students and teachers to easily view resumes, prospective colleges and other information used to write the letters of recommendation.  The website will stay updated and will show the status of all letters and schools, notifying students and teachers whether or not schools have received all the necessary parts of their application.

Joseph and the counseling department as a whole hope the new system will impact application  process positively.

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