Naviance program remains useful despite glitches

Brianna Glase, Managing Editor

With classes, college applications, and senioritis setting in, some students find it difficult to keep everything organized.

With the implementation of the online program Naviance, senior Becca Falter is enthusiastic about how much easier it is to keep track of all of her college applications.  “It helped me keep track of when things were submitted.  It helped me not to forget anything,” Falter said.

Senior Shawn Pessagno echoes her sentiments.  “I like how Naviance tells you the due dates for things.  Even colleges don’t tell you that,” Pessagno said.

Despite its helpful nature, there are still imperfections with the new program.  “If a guidance counselor forgets to put something in, it would slow down the whole process,” Falter said.

The guidance counselors are the ones responsible for submit ing information into students’ Naviance accounts.  This year, after purchasing Naviance for $2,000, the guidance department jumped right into training to use Naviance beginning with the class of 2012.  In August, all four guidance counselors attended two four-hour professional training sessions to learn the ins and outs of Naviance.

“We felt very good as to what we had accomplished.  We were very impressed with the possibilities,” Guidance Counselor Carol Heflin-Shupe said.

When it came time for seniors to submit their college applications, guidance counselors found a few problems with the program. 

Naviance is tied into the Common Application, which allows students to send one application to any of the 400 schools that accept it.  Some schools, in addition to accepting the Common Application, have their own individual college application that students may choose to submit.

According to Heflin-Shupe, the guidance department was under the impression that, if a student would chose to use the school’s own application, Naviance would allow them to submit that and all of the other required letters of recommendation and transcripts electronically.  This was not the case. 

“If [a student] applies with the school’s application, you still have to print it out and mail it in. The [Naviance] trainers didn’t tell us that,” Heflin-Shupe said. 

Naviance made guidance secretary Rita Malone’s job easier.  Malone’s job is to send out students’ applications.  “The process used to be very hectic.  Now [with Naviance], I can just click on a student’s progress and submit their application.  Some schools still require you to mail it in, but all I have to do then is print it out,” Malone said.

“[Naviance] is helpful because I’m able to check if they’ve sent my college stuff without asking Mrs. Malone,” senior Olivia Dunbar said.

“With every new computer program, we have discovered a few glitches along the way, but nothing that can’t be worked out.  Overall, it has been a very positive step in the right direction for our guidance department,” Guidance Counselor Carrie Siemsen said.

Brianna Glase is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.