When I was in high school, the college selection process went like this: should I go to college or not? Unless you were a genius with the sort of ambition associated with a lifetime passion, this decision was typically made during your senior year. For a few weeks in autumn, the mailbox would fill with full-color university brochures you might use as a coaster for your cereal bowl. Maybe you’d pick the college attended by a parent, or maybe the school located within convenient distance of your parents’ laundry room. The really creative types linked their hobby, such as skiing, with their academic future: such as the University of Vermont.
My daughter is a Junior in high school, and the following represents her small decisions surrounding the college selection process: What does she want to be when she grows up and which colleges further that goal and how many of those schools should she visit and when and where would she consider living and what classes should she take now to get ahead of the game and what kind of supplemental activities should she join in order to actualize her decision?
Maybe I’m a deadbeat example and these exact considerations have been around longer than I credit them, but I do know navigating the college selection process just got easier.
Introducing an online resource called Naviance, which is marketed as a college and career readiness platform for teachers, administrators, students, and families.
Naviance provides information for every step along the college selection process, from helping to determine your child’s areas of interest through college applications.
With a user-friendly interface divided into simple categories, Naviance is a sharing tool — meaning the parent can also be issued a password to access their teenager’s individual information. This enables both the parent and the teenager to keep a steady eye on the process, from curriculum descriptions through application deadlines.
Here are a few of the other features of the site:
- Learning plans meant to unearth individual strengths and skills that can be matched with career options
- Career Assessments which allow a view of options and the path to get there
- College Matching which you can search by different lists of criteria, such as interest, admission rates, scholarships — and it provides detailed descriptions of college programs including a map of credits and graduation requirements
- An insider glimpse at what schools are looking for and how they accept their student body, with articles such as “Colleges That Have Accepted Students Like You”
In addition, the site offers a blog with current issues, as well as a host of Podcasts and webinars with helpful topics such as Interviewing skills.
Now if only my daughter would carve the time to get on this site and poke around. Perhaps Naviance has a section entitled, Why Taking the Time To Select The Right School is Easily As Important As Your Next Spanish Quiz Trust Me.