Naviance and the case of the disappearing counselors


Tyler White

Naviando the computer head kicking out his human counterpart.

As college applications come closer for many seniors and curiosity rises for underclassmen, we are reminded of our dear friend, Naviance. From personality tests and career assessments to scattergrams and brag sheets, Naviance is the ultimate tool for creating  a personalized map to plan for college. But what happened to our counselors?

For curious underclassmen, Naviance is a website which provides advice for college and careers. But many of these “career paths” and “college matches” leave students disgruntled and confused because Naviance could never be programmed with the entirety of human experience or understanding. On the other hand, our counselors understand our academic struggles and strengths while this computer program only knows if you answered “yes” or “no” to one of its several never-ending questionnaires.

Carlsbad seniors preparing for college (hopefully already familiarized with the program) begin to use Naviance’s other side that assists in applying to college. The program connects students to teachers and advisors for letters of recommendation and presents scattergrams of admission statistics of previous Carlsbad High students at several universities. Also, linking your Naviance account to your Common App gives you, your counselor and recommenders the ability to access and check for updates on your application process.

Many large schools around the country, just like Carlsbad High, have too many students for the limited amount of staff available. Because each counselor is assigned to several hundreds of students, it is difficult to see each individual and create an in-depth relationship. Long gone are the days in which students could stop by and chat with advisors. Instead, we are met with huge lines in the office and the perpetual “At a lunch meeting” sign on office doors.

But Naviance fills that gap. Offering general advice for students of all grades, it helps to create a basic understanding of careers for underclassmen while also advising upperclassmen in their college application process.

Then when should we see our counselors? Their whole purpose at the school is to advise and help students, but some students believe they are only there to change our schedules.

While Naviance helps advise students preparing for the future, it only skims the surface. Students with any important questions about a college or career should still stop by their advisor’s office instead of blindly taking advice from a simple software program.

Guidance from Naviance should be taken with a grain of salt. Let the counselors counsel, not a computer program. Naviance is merely a useful tool to help assist staff with the massive amount of Carlsbad High students, but it cannot and should not replace our dear counselors.