College Decisions: Where vs. How

High school students, their parents, and K-12 school counselors spend a lot of time and energy exploring where students should go to college. But best-selling education author Jeffrey J. Selingo says how they go to college is much more important in determining their success in the workplace and in life.

Selingo, who spoke to more than 600 attendees on the closing day of the Naviance Summer Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz., said combining classroom work with experiential learning, internships, “bridge years,” and jobs will be the key to securing meaningful employment upon college graduation, especially in an era where half of all jobs are threatened by automation. 

“There is no such thing as a linear path to a job,” said Selingo, author of There is Life After College. “We need to rethink the concept of college and higher education in general. Stop thinking of college as a box that you magically enter at age 18 and exit at 22, ready and done. We need to think of it as a platform for lifelong learning with gradual transitions in and out of it.”

During high school and in college, Selingo said, students should incorporate internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities into their education plans to gain the so-called “soft” skills employers want to see, including the ability to think critically, communicate, and work in teams. While researching his book, Selingo surveyed employers nationwide and identified five key traits they want to see in job candidates: curiosity, creativity, digital awareness, contextual thinking, and humility.

Selingo’s remarks were part of a full day of NSI training sessions, panel discussions, a networking lunch, an awards presentation, and a fun-filled closing contest. 

Naviance co-founder and Hobsons’ President of Advising and Admissions Solutions Stephen M. Smith awarded Flagstaff High School the 2016 Naviance College and Career Readiness Award. The award, determined by an independent panel of education experts, includes a $2,500 donation toward the high school’s college and career readiness efforts. Finalists for the award, who will receive $1,000 each, were Emmaus High School, Emmaus, Penn., and the Metropolitan School District of Decatur in Indianapolis.

To learn more about the award winners, read our press release here.

The final day concluded with a new closing session – Take 5! Participants had 5 minutes to present to the audience their best practices and success stories. The winner, who will receive a free trip to Naviance Summer Institute 2017 in Orlando, Fla., is  Dustin Tamplen, the House Counselor at Allen High School in Allen, Texas and the Naviance District Coordinator for Allen Independent School District.


For photos from day three, visit our Facebook page.

And, revisit day one here and day two here.

We want to thank all of our participants, partners, sponsors, and staff for joining us for the 2016 Naviance Summer Institute and making it such a special time for sharing, learning, networking, and rejuvenating! We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Save the date for the 2017 conference, which will be held July 11–14 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  Subscribe to our newsletter to learn about early bird discounts, speaker and session details, and other special promotions.


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