Friday, February 3, 2006
Naviance Program helps with college search at CCHS
This year, students at the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) used a new on-line software tool called Naviance to help in the often challenging college search process. On January 24, Brad McGrath, chair of the CCHS Guidance Department, Tom Curtin and Allison Furey, also of that department, showed the software to the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC). Students and their parents can log in to the program from home at any time, once they have been given registration codes by CCHS.
On Naviance, families will find the student's personal information, including SAT scores and GPA, which has been entered by the guidance counselors. Students cannot change that information, but they can enter other data about their academic interests. One of the most heavily used functions is the college "scattergram." For a particular college, a graph will be displayed showing the GPA, SAT and admission results for CCHS students who applied to that school in recent years. Naviance shows the prospective applicant how he or she fits into that graph, providing a quick indicator whether this college is a "safe," "possible" or "reach" school. In the past this data was available only during school hours and was kept in a loose-leaf binder in the CCHS Guidance Office.
Another Naviance feature is a student questionnaire that helps students start to think about what kind of college they would like. Students answer a set of questions about where they geographically want to be, what area of academics they want to study, what size school they want to attend, what price range, etc. and the program comes up with a list of schools that meet that criteria. There are links to each school's web site. The search can easily be repeated, and students can change parameters to see differences in the college list generated. The software also provides facilities to help students create a resume and keep track of college contact information and application deadlines.
McGrath said the number of early applications is on the rise, "About half the senior class is applying early now." He recommended reading the book, The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite, by Christopher Avery.
© 2006 The