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Monday, November 29, 2010

Using Course Planner in Naviance

As you know (if you don't, you really should), Naviance is a relatively comprehensive web-based program that the Guidance Department uses in addressing issues related to the three components of a developmental guidance program - social/emotional, academic, and postsecondary issues.  Students complete surveys on-line, conduct research on career and college options, prepare for the SAT, and plan for their futures in a variety of ways.  One such way is through a component of Naviance called "Course Planner".  Here's how it works.

Students (and parents) can access "Course Planner" by logging in to their accounts and clicking on the "Courses" tab in the menu bar.  From there, four-year plans of study may be reviewed simply by clicking on course plans.  Several plans are available and each is based upon the kind of schools - defined by competitiveness (how difficult it is to be accepted - the lower the percentage of students accepted, the more competitive it is) - that a student may wish to pursue.  By clicking on any one of the plans, you will see the types of courses available to choose from that will comprise a four-year plan of study compatible with the kinds of competitive schools for that particular category.  For example, a student interested in attending a highly competitive school would click on that plan and see that the vast majority of courses from which to choose would be at the "A" level.  What is not taken into consideration are the grades that a student earns in these courses.  Rather, the strength of the four-year plan is based upon the rigor of one's course selections.

A design flaw that Naviance has not yet corrected relates to the schools of interest that are listed below the "meter" that measures rigor.  A plan that may be appropriate for admission to ECSU may not be sufficient for acceptance to UConn, even though Naviance is indicating otherwise.  For more accurate feedback, students should speak with their counselors.  Still, Course Planner may be very useful in the course selection process when taking into consideration postsecondary aspirations.

There are other very useful features that Naviance offers.  I'll be releasing a screen-shot video tutorial in the next week or so that will show you how to navigate around the program.  Stay tuned for more information.

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