Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Naviance Updates

Last week I attended the Naviance community meeting at Roosevelt High School.  There were about 30 parents and students in attendance.  There was one counselor from Hazel Wolf.

Unfortunately, there is no link to the presentation documentation at the district's Naviance site so I'll have to request that info.

I noted right away that while staff had told the Board that Naviance was useful with just 4-5 lines of student data, the presentation had about 12 including parent name and email.

One item of interest is that Naviance has Road Trip Nation - a series of student videos talking to adults about their careers.  In lieu of school job fairs (which I never found effective myself), this could be quite helpful to students.   And, at some place in Naviance, there is a way to see the college path to take to get to those careers.

They also have "SuperMatch" which is a method of finding colleges, "cultivating a list" by cost, region, offerings, etc.

But they also have personality tests to narrow the vision but students can override those if they so choose.

Ingraham has been piloting Naviance and has over 100 college visits scheduled.  (No data was given on how many they have had previously.)

Questions asked 
  • There were a few parents in the group who had used Naviance previously and gave input, mostly positive.  One parent did ask about migrating her child's info from the previous school to SPS but apparently, that can't be done.
  • Have the counselors been trained?  Yes.
  • The default is opt-in?  Yes
  • How will this be used at each school?  Different school-by-school but mostly thru counselors.  Garfield is doing it thru ELA teachers.
  • Does Naviance share student data?  Yes, it does.  It's doesn't sell data but it shares it.  Who is the question.  (More on this later in this thread.)
  • When does this go live?  September 24th.
  • One major point is how much easier this makes it for counselors to send transcripts and recommendations.  One parent asked who would make sure that teachers get it done (given there will not be hard copies that a student will submit with an application) and it seems that will be the counselors' job.  I believe the student may have to give Naviance the teacher's email in order for the teacher to log-in to send the recommendation.
  • The district is NOT recommending seniors use Naviance as they may already  be in the process of applying and it could be confusing.  
  • You can complete the Common Application with Naviance or, if you are opting out of using Naviance, still complete the Common App via their own website.
  • Not every single college/university in the country will be available thru Naviance but most of them will be.
  • It's not clear about the link between Naviance and any secondary essays that colleges/universities may request.
  • If not interested in college, what about CTE?  Naviance has a whole section for that as well.
  • Its scholarship section is not exhaustive but is updated regularly. 
  • One parent noted a "premium" features and said they did not want to be "nickeled and dimed by Naviance."  Staff said there are those available but most of Naviance will be available without payment.  They want feedback on this issue if it comes up for families.
  • It was noted by one parent that the scattergrams - created for each school showing where students applied and where they got in - needs "marketing" to encourage students to give that data so future students can see that data.
  • Another parent asked about deleting student info and wanted to know how soon that would happen after graduation.  Staff said there is specific info at the Naviance website but that it can be deleted by students/parents.
  • This year, only students will have accounts but next year, parents will be able to access their students' accounts.
  • I asked about what opt-out students will be provided.  Staff said counselors will have the same templates about college admission that they used in previous years.  I didn't say it there but I will here - no counselor should chide any student if they chose not to use Naviance.  If you hear of this, please let me know (sss.westbrook@gmail.com).
  • I also asked about surveys on Naviance and if parents could see them before their student filled out any.  Staff is not sure.  One parent said her student didn't like the surveys and did not use them.

Outstanding issues around Naviance

One is the balance between saying that Naviance will afford students who may be first-generation the ability to move through the process with more supports than are currently available.  But the other half of the glass is this assumption that all students have access to smart phones - as evidenced by some of the presentation - and that's just not true.  It's unclear to me how/when students who don't have computers at home or a smart phone will be able to access their account at school.  The library?

I addressed the Board on some issues at last night's Board meeting.
  • It was not easy for parents to find the opt-out at the Source and, in fact, had initially not been there when it was said to be there.
  • It is still not clear about the data sharing with other companies. What companies get student data? And, do only the companies that have services that students desire to use get that data or does Naviance share the data with all their associate companies.
  • Months ago, I asked staff about the data fields and I was told this: The current student data fields are: first_name, last_name, proxy_id, school_id and grade_level. There's no option for students to provide more information in order to get further access to information in the application. At the presentation, there about 15 lines include parent data. What changed?
  • I am also uneasy about forcing students to identify gender. It may not be a lot of students but some students are gender fluid and may be uncomfortable with this. 
  • Parents are not able to see surveys that their students take. I think parents deserve to know what personal questions their child may be asked using this platform.

Director Burke addressed one of my issues in his comments made after the Board had taken public testimony.  He stated his support for Naviance but noted that the Board was working on their own policy 3232, around surveys used in the district, and that he felt that the use of Naviance had to align with this policy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One note about the 100 or so college visits scheduled by Ingraham - that is not something that magically happened due to Naviance, though it sounds like scheduling and tracking those visits (at the school level) will be made easier by Naviance.

Parent volunteers have worked for years to develop relationships with college reps. There do not seem to be any plans to schedule and track college visits at the district level. If a specific college rep visits Ballard, for example, a student at Roosevelt wouldn't know or be able to schedule a visit. They generally happen during the school day, so logistically it would be a challenge as well.

As to the scatterplots - they compare a student's GPA/SAT/ACT to acceptance or nonacceptance for a given college - they are based on data that's been shared by previous users of Naviance at that school. Since this is the first year, there is no data, so no scatterplots.

HS parent