SHS Pushes Naviance for College and Career Readiness
Early college preparation is the key to ensuring students find the right fit for their post-secondary plans. Luckily for Sherman High School students, they have their school counselors and access to an online digital tool to help them along the way.
“Having the opportunity on a daily basis to help students gain confidence and the know-how to go beyond their high school days and into their post-secondary education is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” said Mary Ann Hill, Sherman High School Counselor. “I advise about five students each day for one reason or another with a question about the college experience. As counselors, we all take our time to ensure we are helping our students on an individual basis and giving them the best information and advice for their journey.”
Academic advice, coupled with students utilizing the online digital tool Naviance, has been the key to enhancing the college and career preparation efforts at SHS. Naviance is an online college and career readiness tool that helps districts and schools align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals. Sherman High School is utilizing the system to aid students in their college and career preparation process and high school course selection.
Post-Secondary Readiness and Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Katie Morris, who manages the Naviance system for SHS, said the use of Naviance helps students make the connection between high school, college or career and the number of steps they need to take before graduation.
“I think it is critical to take the time out and focus on the process and details needed for our students to attend college, Morris expressed.” “With Naviance, we can streamline that focus and help our students be intentional with their college or career preparation. They enter their information and Naviance sorts it out and provides information specific to their academic needs.”
This semester, students in grades nine through eleven will spend time developing their scope and sequence in Naviance to generate their specific information. Students will take a series of academic and personality assessments that will allow Naviance to determine which high school courses are best for that student. Additionally, the program will also use the information to match students with potential colleges or certification suggestions.
Assistant Superintendent Student Engagement and Support, Dr. Tamy Smalskas oversees the district’s post-secondary readiness program and believes that Naviance is an excellent resource for students and aligns with the state’s 60x30TX Higher Education Plan.
“ Our District supports the Texas Higher Education Strategic Plan goal for 60 percent of the 25 to 34-year old Texas population to hold a certificate or degree by 2030. We are focusing on the use of Naviance to connect student interest to their potential career paths early on, ” she explained. “Naviance allows for the school, student and parent to become involved in one of the most critical life decisions a student will make.”
Having access to the Naviance program has already proven to be beneficial for many SHS students. Junior Matthew McMenamy is currently using Naviance to research schools that align with his post-secondary education interest.
“Naviance has helped me organize everything from my student portfolio to creating my resume. It has helped me find different colleges based on who I am and what I want to do when I get to college,” he said. “I want to major in music and attend NYU. That school may not be in my budget, but Naviance generated a list of schools that fit my personality and are more affordable. It is a huge help for me and everyone else.”
This week, SHS students will complete the full development of their Naviance profiles and utilize the information during the upcoming course registration process. For additional information on the Naviance tool, students and parents may contact their counselor.