Academic Master

Software Engineering, Technology

Naviance Essay

Naviance is a web-based technology solution that offers differentiated quality guidance to each student to assist them to achieve their greatest potential after secondary education. This software is also important in assisting them to remain engaged as they progress towards achieving their ultimate career and educational goals.

Helpful features of Naviance

  1. Course Plans – this feature enables learning institutions to be able to import a student’s course data from their transcripts or report cards and add it to the individual account of the student. Students, as well as counselors, can thus prepare four-year course plans using the simplest means.
  2. Data Tools and Information – this feature is most useful to the counselors in preparing reports and information as well as enabling them to be able to track students’ performance and career progress. This feature also has an add-on key, an Alumni Tracker, which offers essential historical information and enables the management of an institution to be able to track who is enrolling for the programs and in which period are they doing so. Therefore, this feature is essential for the administration and school board.
  3. College Search and Application Tools – this is the primary function of the application. It assists applicants and candidates to be able to narrow down their searches through nearly 30 attributes that they select. For instance, one can select locations, clubs, or sports on campus. This feature also enables the student and the counselor to search seamlessly to the point of application as long as their accounts are up to date and track each progress they are making at each stage.

Things that need improvement

  1. Despite the excellent features of the Naviance application, there are some of its components that require improvement. One of the critical issues that need urgent attention is the lead time required to implement the program, which is quite significant and takes considerable working hours to undertake.
  2. Besides, the system lacks an avenue that can enable a student to remove their college applications, which can result in student confusion and skewed data. It is not possible to remove an institution once they are added to the list of ‘colleges am applying to.’
  3. Moreover, the system for creating resumes is quite rudimentary. It is thus essential for the management or creators of this system to be able to acquire a different tool that can go in-depth by indicating the basics of the suggested layouts and critical sections.

Students – Naviance is quite important to students in some ways. First, it assists in academic planning, which will ultimately enhance the student’s ability to be able to achieve their long-term goals by enabling them to align their interest with their chosen path. Moreover, the software puts the student on the path of self-discovery thus enabling them to build confidence. Naviance provides a haven that gives candidates the opportunity to focus on their strengths, explore various future options, and reflect on their areas of interest.

Counselors – can use Naviance to track and analyze information relating to careers and institutions, transfer crucial data and connect with parents and students.

Parents – this system is also useful to the parents. They can use the platform to make critical decisions involving careers or learning institutions.

As a college counselor, I envision myself using the Naviance application to assist students and parents to make decisions involving colleges, courses, and their future careers. Since this resource is connected to the office of the counselor to enable an analysis of college data and career plans, I will be able to have access to up-to-date information specific to my institution.

  1. Guidance Direct

This is an interactive online career and college planning resource.

Useful Features

  1. This is perhaps the only all-inclusive counseling resource for parents, students, and counselors. As a result, the users can get instant answers to their questions, network with colleagues; access the latest information, and search for scholarships and colleges among other features.
  2. Online knowledge base – that comprises Q&A posted by professionals and moderators. This enables a user to be able to find answers to any of their questions immediately.
  3. Electronic Messaging System – this feature assists in connecting and enabling easier communication with counseling professionals. This feature, therefore, erases the need for conferences to network or share knowledge and information.
  4. Electronic Library – this constitutes a significant reservoir of information with up-to-date information. It also contains the latest school counseling guidelines.

Features that require improvement

  1. Privacy is a major issue that the search tool must give thorough consideration to. Users have often complained about the likelihood of their basic information being shared with colleges, which then pump them with considerable messages that urge them to apply for admission. It would be great if the search service maintains the privacy of its members.
  2. Similar to Naviance, the resume generation platform is quite rudimentary and thus requires improvement.

Benefits to:

Students – the application provides parents and students with an exclusive college search and database with powerful but simple to use tools that enable users to customize their searches using preferences and characteristics to identify institutions and faculties that satisfy their interests and needs. Besides, it has a convenient career and college portfolio that stores all sorts of information online.

Parents – just like in the case of students, Guidance Direct provides parents with easy-to-use tools.

Counselors – Guidance Direct is an invaluable tool for counselors. It assists them to access answers to questions at the click of a button besides providing them with an extensive knowledge base from their colleagues within the network.

Q4. As a counselor using the No Cost feature of Guidance Direct, I will be able to conveniently access recorded and live webinar sessions at the click of a button. I will also be able to access professional development webinars easily through the computer.

  1. College Board

College Board is a web-based tool that enables learners to navigate to college and careers through high school. The application offers consistent feedback on all assessments to ensure that students are up-to-date while also assisting counselors in adjusting their instructions to students.

Useful Features

  1. Resource library – this is the section where users can browse or search resources from the teaching community. The segment, “Classroom-Ready Materials,” for instance, contains lesson plans, student activities, and labs. Besides, the application has most of the materials organized using curriculum alignment and keywords, which a user may bookmark to their library for reference in the future.
  2. Discussion Board – this is the section where members can engage in conversations with colleagues, share documents, hints, and challenges.
  3. Members section – this provides members with the opportunity to view the profiles of other members of the community and has a messaging application that one can use to communicate with others. The community has approximately eight thousand members comprising of mentors and experts.

Downsides of College Boards

  1. College Board classes are not created equal. A student can only acquire optimum assistance when the instructor has a skill. It is, therefore, a fact that poor teaching will not guarantee high-quality instructions.
  2. It is not mandatory for colleges to accept College Board classes for credit. Therefore, one can spend a considerable sum of money but fail to secure college credit.

Benefits of College Board to:

Students – the application through its programs and services assists millions of students each year to prepare for a smooth transition to college. College Board works as an education community on behalf of students through advocacy and research.

Parents – College Board contains adequate information and tools that enable parents to identify colleges that match the needs of their children.

Counselors – this group of persons often face tremendous challenges while assisting students and their parents to stay organized and manage demands leveled on them by colleges. It is in this light that the College Board contains sufficient critical information that they can access at the click of a button.

Q4. College Board resource recognizes and is committed to assisting counselors to spend the most time with students rather than searching for necessary information. Therefore, as a counselor, I will be thrilled to find a one-stop page that consists of timely and easy-to-use resources that will make my job more manageable as well as enhance my professional services to provide students with information that will enable students to utilize the opportunities at their disposal.

  1. College InSight

College InSight is an easy-to-use online resource for people concerned with issues related to a college education. The application is a reservoir for a significant amount of data from nearly 12,000 colleges across the United States with almost 200 variables. College InSight, unlike other resources, contains both totals and averages for sectors, states, and other means used to group colleges. Besides the information from the U.S Department of Education, College InSight features information relating to financial aid for undergraduates from Common Data Sets.

Useful features

  1. It is possible to save and email results from the webpage.
  2. The website also enables an applicant to quickly revise and regenerate queries that had already been entered into the system.
  3. The system also provides one with the opportunity to view aggregated information and compare enrollments in each college.

Areas that require improvement

  1. Immediate navigation is not user-friendly.
  2. The provision of data on ethnic and racial diversity may be construed as bias and thus may make some students shy away from using the resource.

Benefits to:

Students – College InSight helps students to grow and advance by assisting them to develop an educational plan that it in tandem with the student’s aspirations and goals. The resource is also important to students as it assists in creating study plans and schedule designs among other components of a college education.

Parents- whenever college application season nears, parents often overwork themselves to finalize paperwork and submit them before deadlines. However, the advent of College Insight has eased the agony of parents during such a busy period by offering invaluable advice and taking the students through the application process. In this way, parents can save time and money.

Counselors – the vast repository of information at College Insight equips counselors with critical information that they can use to assist students to identify the courses that will best fit with their interests and needs as well as align the students’ needs to their future careers.

Q4. As a future high school counselor using this application, I envision myself tapping from the comprehensive packages of this system to assist my students and their parents through each step of college search and application. This resource will be helpful with its rich repository of information that will be critical in assessing the interests and goals of my students to assist them up to the final point when they decide on college education.

College Guides

Book of Majors – experts suggest that this is an invaluable resource that takes one throughout the college search process. The book is also essential even during the first two years of schooling before one can declare their major. Although Fiske Guide to Colleges is vital for an individual in the process of selecting a school, this book exposes a student to their interests and enable them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, which consequently inform them about what they will study in college. Despite the fact that it is mandatory for an individual to identify their major before they can select an institution, it is still important. In fact, an individual who knows what they want to study will redesign their college search by focusing only on the institutions that provide the specific major. As a result, a student will not need to transfer their college search process midway because the institution they are searching for does not provide their major.

Useful features

  1. The resource provides the most comprehensive description of each major.
  2. The book outlines the probable experience for students for each major.
  3. The book is well-arranged starting with the subject and major.

Areas for improvement

  1. Although the book is appropriate for finding what each major entail, the organization, outlook, and arrangement is not quite good. It would be better to arrange colleges and attach descriptions for each major against it.
  2. The book is poorly edited and disorganized.

Benefits to:

Students – the Book of Majors is important to a student because it assists them to understand what their major is, the institution that offers it, and the careers that they will likely pursue after graduation.

Parents – this guide is quite crucial for parents. Since the student figures out their major in advance, the parents can start preparing regarding looking for sources of finance for their child.

Counselors – as professionals, counselors will use the information to inform the student about how the major is taught and the necessary preparations needed to enroll in the program, and even alternative programs that can as well fit the interest of the student. Moreover, it presents counselors with up-to-date information on employment prospects and career options.

Q4. This book contains in-depth information about each major and the most appropriate institutions for pursuing those majors. Therefore, as a high school counselor, I will use the information contained in this resource to assist the students to make appropriate, well-informed decisions about the majors they should pursue. Besides, I will be able to identify for my students a list of alternative courses, the appropriate colleges, and the experience of pursuing each of the majors.

Fiske Guide to Colleges – this is perhaps the most popular college guide. It is updated annually and has numerous higher learning institutions listed depending on the states in which they are located.

Useful features

  1. Among other pieces of information, this guide contains an overview of each institution, student life, location, available majors and facts on financial aid among others.
  2. It also indicates suggestions of similar institutions thus making it easier for users to conduct comparisons and make an appropriate decision faster.
  3. The resource equips each college page with a sidebar of quick facts, which enables users to access some statistics regarding the institution quickly.

Areas that require improvement

  1. Despite the excellent information, the book is not entirely unbiased. It does not offer honest criticism and glowing praise for each college.
  2. The book does not contain pictures and only summarizes each institution, which makes it hard to be entirely useful.

Benefits to:

Students – this guide is very important for the students because it contains comprehensive information that gives a vintage point for starting the college search process.

Parents – the parents also find this guide useful since it delineates each institution and puts them into context by elaborating the distinguishing features of each institution. Moreover, parents can decide on where to send their child to study based on the information on competing colleges and overlaps contained in this resource.

Counselors – Fiske Guide to Colleges is a repository that offers counselors useful information for their clients. They can make good judgment and decision and thus advise their clients accordingly based on the available pieces of information.

Q4. This book will enable me as a counselor to provide students with a pretty breakdown of colleges with supporting statistics and other facts on each institution. However, as a professional, I will not majorly rely on this resource because it only provides a little information about many colleges.

The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges – this guide provides an accurate description of more than three hundred colleges. The guide also contains different kinds of data that range from popular majors, acceptance rates, student life and nightlife among others.

Useful features

  1. Since the book comprises first-hand information from the students, it has critical accuracy and insight that is missing in others.
  2. The book has personal appeal because it is written in the perspective of the existing students.
  3. The book is cost friendly

Areas that require improvement

  1. The resource fails to characterize the weaknesses and strengths of academic focus areas per institution.
  2. The insider comments are mostly negative, without any positive reports, which begs the question as to whether all schools are as bad as depicted in the book.

Benefits to:

Students – For more than 41 years, Insider’s Guide to the Colleges stands out as a reliable resource for students who are concerned about getting honest information about colleges directly from the students themselves. As a result, the student applicants have access to first-hand, honest information that will assist them in making informed decisions about college education.

Parents – this group of users can also utilize the information contained in this book to guide their children on the best decision to make regarding their college education. The book presents updated information that enables access to critical data that make is possible for parents to stay on top of trends.

Counselors – Moreover, since this is firsthand information, counselors are better placed to provide accurate advice to students and parents, thus enabling easier, efficient, and informed decision making.

Q4. Owing to the considerable period (41 years) of excellent service, this book will be a critical resource for me as a professional high school counselor. Through it, I will be able to access honest, firsthand information from each institution and hence will be able to deliver accurate advice regarding each college and program to my students. Besides, using this book will make me a reliable counselor will up-to-date information about programs, colleges, and career prospects.

Colleges That Change Lives – this classic was penned by Loren Pope, an education editor with the New York Times. Pope was the first person to create awareness that education activities going on inside college classrooms was more important than prestige and recognition.

Useful Features

  1. The book is fully revised and updated regularly to give the students up-to-date information on their college search.
  2. The book is organized into five major regions and features rural, urban and suburban campuses to enhance easier and quick browsing.
  3. It also outlines admission standards and other relevant statistics in each profile to ease decision-making among the users.

Areas that requirement

  1. Most of the information and outlook of each institution comes from the president or an administrator of that particular college, thus may lack objectivity.
  2. The book also fails to give priority to the budget of students.

Benefits to:

Students – This book is quite beneficial to the students with ivy tunnel visions who need information about amazing institutions that are not entirely popular. As a result, such students are likely to access superior educational services.

Parents – The book is also useful to parents because it can assist them to identify low-profile yet good learning institutions that will not only provide quality services but also offer low-cost education.

Counselors – will also find this book useful because of its importance to a particular student niche. This makes the information contained in this book to be helpful to counselors in providing critical guidance and advice after assessing their clients.

Q4. As a counselor, this will be a useful resource for finding good programs and colleges that are not likely to be identified by individuals concerned with college rankings. Therefore, I will be able to advise my students with invaluable information that they are not likely to find online or on other sites and books that only focus on the prestige and popularity of colleges.



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