Three years ago I was relatively new to my role as Career and College Specialist at Andover High School. Andover is a part of the Anoka Hennepin School District, the largest district in Minnesota, and one of six high schools in the district. I decided to attend my first Naviance Summer Institute (NSI) in Naples, Florida alone and report all I learned to my colleagues once I returned. Together, we were to roll out Naviance to the entire district. As one of the administrator’s in my building told me, “Naviance is coming. Either we get on the train or get run over by it.”

Luckily, NSI was exactly what I needed to get on board the Naviance train. Here are three reasons why I would encourage anyone who needs the knowledge, support, and training to get on the Naviance train at his or her school or district to attend NSI 2016.

The People

After a cancelled flight (thanks to Minnesota summer thunderstorms) I was a day late to NSI 2013, but I eventually made it and was ready to learn about this Naviance train I was told was coming. As I settled into my first session, I looked around at the group of people and I could see the excitement on their faces. I remember sitting with a group from a school in San Diego who shared resources with me, talked me through some of the obstacles we were going to face, and helped me understand how their students were taking advantage of all the tools within Naviance.

Later, I had lunch with a college representative from Clemson. In between talking about SEC football and what my Minnesota Golden Gophers had to do to become relevant, he mentioned all of the benefits for high schools in submitting letters of recommendations and transcripts electronically. Being able to have these meaningful conversations with others in similar positions was priceless. The networking and sharing of resources I was able to accomplish helped me feel comfortable and prepared to share all I had learned with my colleagues back in Minnesota. I was ready to get on the train!

The Direction

Last summer I attended NSI 2015 in Tucson, Arizona, and this time, I brought those colleagues of mine with me. We had spent the last three years creating a Naviance plan, rolling it out to our students at our respective schools, and implementing Naviance as part of the college and career cultures in our buildings. However, we were three years in and felt as if we had plateaued. We didn’t get run over by the train – we were on it – but now we wanted to drive. We approached our district about attending NSI as a group because we felt we were ready to take the next step. We had our plan in place, it was working, and our students and schools were on board – but we knew we could do more.

Attending NSI together allowed us to grow as a school district in what we were offering our students. We divided the sessions up as a group and attended sessions that best fit our needs. Some attended sessions on how other states were using Naviance as a tool to meet the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) legislation. Some attended sessions on how to implement course planner, a tool that we were not yet using in our district. Some attended sessions on how to use Naviance with our first generation students; some focused on Test Prep. All of us attended and were moved by Arel Moodie, the keynote speaker, who taught us all The Art of Likeability.

The Experience

We left Tucson energized, excited, and had an abundance of ideas on how we could get out of our Naviance plateau and rise to new levels in our use of Naviance as a district. It is the only time in my life I’ve been able to travel with a group of coworkers and strengthen my relationship with them at a beautiful resort, network with others who have the same interests and passions, and learn about a tool that I use every day in my work with students. All aboard the Naviance train!

Are you ready to experience all that Naviance Summer Institute has to offer? Register before March 1 and take advantage of our early bird pricing discount.


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