December 6, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Hobsons District Success Manager

Dec. 6, 2012 at 09:01 AM | By Marlysa Connolly | Comment Count

Whether at Hobsons University or Naviance Summer Institute, time and time again our clients have praised the passion, responsiveness, and dedication of Hobsons staff. That’s why we would like to introduce our monthly “The People Behind Hobsons” spotlight, a monthly one-on-one with a member of our super innovative and talented team.

This month we ventured to the K-12 frontlines with Hobsons District Success Manager Liz Hoang for an inside look at common challenges facing Naviance clients and how school districts can use Naviance to address those challenges.

Hobsons: Thanks for joining us Liz! Before we dive in, can you give our readers a little insight into your background?

Liz H.: I’ve been with Naviance for three years hailing from the business IT consulting industry. My first position with Naviance was in new business. Then, since I enjoyed working one-on-one with clients so much, I transitioned to the account development side. After two years in service, I am now a district success manager for the New England territory.

Hobsons: So, your current job allows you to partner with clients everyday. Are there any challenges you see common among school districts?

Liz H.: There are three challenges that I’ve noticed a lot of schools share: college and career readiness, time and lack of resources, and apprehension to emerging technologies in the classroom and on the administrative level.

The issue, only 43% of college-bound students are prepared for the next step. From trying to meet federal and state K-12 mandates to overwhelming caseloads among school counselors to poverty and the achievement gap, there are many factors that can be argued to contribute to college and career readiness challenges.

How can we combat this? I like what Steve Smith promotes, we need to connect learning to life. It is important for the students to understand that if they want to be a sports journalist they will be taking English until they graduate from college which is 8 years of English courses!  Also, technology isn’t the end all solution to this, but it’s the beginning. An emphasis on continued professional development and plenty of training opportunities can help ensure educators and school leaders are properly equipped to leverage educational technology to advance student achievement.

Hobsons: Connecting learning to life. What exactly does this mean?

Liz H.: Connecting learning to life can be defined as an important step in a student’s journey to self-discovery and eventually post-secondary success. To do this, we as adults need to help students discover their interests, guide them to see the connection between their interests and their futures, and advise them on how to set clear goals to ensure they have successful futures. You need a clear plan to reach a goal.

Hobsons: One last question, how can Naviance users tap into the solution to aid students in creating their college and career pathways?

Liz H.: Naviance is a great tool that can enable self-exploration. It helps students create goals (Try these goal-setting tips) and then charts out paths to achieve those goals. School districts and their leaders can use college and career readiness solutions to track student progress and predict student outcomes. Using this information can help schools make informed decisions that will ensure their students stay on the path to successful futures.

I like to recommend school districts develop six-year success plans for students using Naviance. This plan should start in middle school. Starting in middle school allows student data to be easily transferrable into high school, proving high school counselors with a historical representation of the student progress. This means that high school counselors are better prepared to advise incoming students on what they need to do in high school in order to make sure they are successful upon graduation.

Liz Hoang is a district success manager at Hobsons. Connect with Liz on Linkedin.

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