DATE: September 23, 2016
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

New Program Will Help Students Identify, as Early as Sixth Grade, Careers and Colleges That Match Their Strengths and Interests

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Albemarle County Public Schools unveiled a new program this month that is designed to improve the ability of students to identify colleges and careers that offer the best fits for their long-term success. Beginning as early as the sixth grade, the program will align student strengths and interests with the most promising pathways for each student’s academic, career and college preparation.

The program is Naviance, a web-based resource that, in its own words, “aligns student interests to post-secondary goals, improving student outcomes and connecting learning to life.”

Through the use of the program, students will be able to explore, refine and match their personal strengths and interests to their career and college planning. They also can identify courses, internships, and field research that will support that planning.

“This will be a great fit with High School 2022, our work now underway to improve the high school learning experience,” said Dr. Matt Haas, the school division’s deputy superintendent. “Our goal is to equip students with the precise skills and competencies they will need as adults to succeed in a world of constant and rapid technology change, one with greater industry automation and global diversity,” he added.

The new program tracks with a new state initiative, Profile of a Virginia Graduate, in which content knowledge, community engagement and civic responsibility, career exploration, and workplace skills will be integrated throughout a student’s academic experience.

Dr. Haas said that the goals of High School 2022 will be to design and offer a more contemporary instructional model around the development of five competency areas: critical thinking, collaboration, communications, creative thinking and citizenship. The model will be in place for high school students starting with the 2018-19 school year.

Through Naviance, students currently in grades 6 through 12 will have continual access to their academic and career planning information over their entire academic career in Albemarle County. For seniors, the program also will be linked to Common App, whereby students can apply to multiple colleges and universities by filling out one application.

School counselors are discussing the new program with students this month and assisting them with their program participation. Through a new link in Parent Portal, Naviance Family Connections, each student’s information also will be available to parents.

Naviance is a natural fit with our emphasis on broadening real-world learning and career exploration opportunities and will be an invaluable asset to the school division in achieving our one strategic goal for all students—to prepare them for 21st century success as learners, professionals and citizens,” Dr. Haas concluded.