Young students naturally think about the question, and are often asked, what do you want to be when you grow up? We recently asked this question to elementary school students and got many creative responses:

“I want to be a scientist and find dinosaur bones.”

“I’m going to make autodrive and flying cars!”

“I really want to cheer for the basketball team.”

The conversation about students’ futures starts with helping them to explore their interests today and think about what they do best. Because students are eager to explore their interests beginning at a very young age, it’s critical that all students have access to quality information that will help them later in life to make the best educational decisions.

Elementary school is the perfect time to begin that discovery because it’s when students are most engaged in school. To keep students engaged, it’s critical to make the connection between their interests, learning, and life ambitions.

Students who engage in self-discovery at an early age are more likely to remain engaged in their studies through high school graduation and are better prepared to create postsecondary plans that fit their life goals. Research shows that during childhood, crucial career-related concepts are first formed through interests, exploration, and the development of a self-concept.

We’re committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to explore their interests, consider a wide range of options, and develop the skills they need to be successful in school and in life. That is why we've launched Naviance for Elementary School, a new digital exploration tool to help students in grades K-5 explore the connection between their interests and long-term academic and life goals.

The new solution is built to complement our college and career planning platform Naviance, used by more than 8 million middle and high school students around the world, including close to 30 of the largest 100 school districts in the United States. It’s aligned to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) standards, which reflect the importance of supporting early college and career aspirations, particularly among low-income and minority students.

Naviance for Elementary School was developed in response to educator demand for tools to integrate college and career exploration into the classroom early by helping students understand their individual strengths and interests and learn how what they’re doing in school connects to what they may want to do later in life. Naviance for Elementary School includes interactive, age appropriate, online lessons for students, teaching guides for instructors, and readiness inventories to help educators gauge student growth.

Early interest exploration is about enabling educators to develop a culture of self-discovery early on. Fifth grade students who piloted the curriculum at Sable Elementary School in Aurora, Colo., are building a foundation through the college knowledge and career awareness conversations with their teacher that are prompted by the Naviance for Elementary School activities. 

All schools have an opportunity to help all students reach their full potential by helping students connect the dots early. Naviance for Elementary School helps ensure an equal starting place for all students to achieve future life goals, which in their not-too-distant future will include making important decisions about choosing a college and/or career. With Naviance for Elementary School, we want to give these students a leg up now that will pay off for years to come.

Visit our website and learn more about how Naviance for Elementary School can help students begin to shape their own path today.

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