Naviance Client Spotlight: Santa Teresa High School
For This Mother and Daughter, Naviance is a Win-Win
Lori and Redding share the different ways that Naviance has helped them succeed.
For Lori and Redding, Naviance is a household name. For daughter Redding, who is a high school junior, Naviance has played a key role in her search for her best-fit college. And for mom Lori, Naviance is at the center of her work as the head counselor at Santa Teresa High School. We asked Redding and Lori to share the different ways that Naviance has helped them succeed.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How has Naviance been able to help you support your students?
Lori: I honestly don’t even know how I would do counseling without Naviance. For me it’s all about empowering the students to find what they’re interested in and then for me to say, ok now I can answer some very detailed questions. When a student comes to talk to me about where they should go to college, I have them start by taking a personality assessment in Naviance. That’s a good first step.
What advice would you give other counselors?
Lori: Make sure that everything is student-driven. Our job as counselors is to help students navigate what they want, and help them find their best fit.
How has Naviance helped students satisfy A-G requirements?
Lori: We use Naviance’s course planner tool robustly in our district. We use it for all of our grade levels and what I love about it is that we have it customized based on our graduation requirements as well as our A-G requirements. So the students can see very clearly whether or not they’ve met those requirements. If you’re missing something, it’s going to show it.
How did Naviance help you uncover your future career interests?
Redding: In freshman year I was excited to take the Naviance assessments because I really wanted to find out what job I would want. I always knew that I wanted to work in a field that was heavily math involved, like engineering. By doing the assessments I was able to see the options that would fit with what I was interested in, and by looking at the related occupations I found biomedical engineering, which sounded very interesting to me and seemed like a fit. From there I was able to use the super match tool to filter colleges that fit what I wanted, and had my major.
How did Naviance help you determine what school would be a best fit for you?
Redding: At first I only considered schools I already knew off the top of my head. But then over this past summer I read Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath, and one of the chapters stuck with me. It was about college and how it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond, and how students often try their hardest to get into their top school only to not succeed because it’s not a good fit for them. That made me think I should not be focusing on the name of the school, but on what I’m interested in. So because of that I changed up my settings in the super match tool and I found three colleges that are not very well known, but are really good for biomedical engineering.
What advice would you give other students as they search and plan for college?
Redding: Have an open mind. A lot of students have preconceived notions about colleges. They may think a school isn’t as good if it has a high acceptance rate or it’s not as well-known as some others. I think if you keep an open mind — about schools as well as what job you might want — then you won’t miss an opportunity to find something you’re really interested in and passionate about.