Students Utilize Naviance as New Online College Counselor

Naviance, also known as Family Connections, is an online resource that Superintendent Barry Groves introduced last May to assist students with college planning and applications.

“It’s a great benefit to students because it’s a tool to help them navigate their way through high school, future plans and college,” counselor Judy Prothro said.

The program provides students with several resources, including the ability to compile their profiles and resumé and to search for scholarships and colleges.

According to Prothro, the program benefits both students and counselors, as counselors can review the profiles of students beforehand and use the student-counselor meeting time more productively.

Naviance has generated mixed opinions among students.

“If I can go on Common App and [apply for colleges] myself, I don’t see why the school has to monitor that [I’m] doing it,” senior Zack Zaorski said.

According to Prothro and College Career Center Coordinator Kristin Joseph, Naviance was not intended to be a monitoring tool for staff because they doubt student responsibility, but rather as a tool to assist students in better organizing their college application material. However, several students see Naviance as an extra burden.

Senior Steven Fong and several other seniors have said that some features of the program such as the personality test were unnecessary in the college application process.

In addition, many seniors have criticized the mandatory college visit sign-ups. Joseph praised the new policy, however, and said it promotes responsibility in students.

Despite its unpopular nuances, some students appreciate certain features of Naviance, including scatter grams of acceptance rates of the school’s former students, a comprehensive college search and a scholarship page.

“Seeing which seniors got accepted … was useful,” junior Hannah Thompson said. “That way you can compare your own statistics to them … and see which schools to apply to.”

Naviance is scheduled to be available to all classes by October. The MVLA district plans to update the program next year to integrate district-wide student data into the scatter grams.