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Career Readiness | Digital Curriculum

What is Naviance? An Honest Review For Career Readiness Teachers

May 17th, 2022 | 6 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through teaching experience of his own, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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As a middle school career readiness teacher, you may be anxious about the kind of curriculum you’re using in the classroom. After all, the right curriculum will set your students up for success in their careers, while the wrong one may leave them more confused about who they want to be.

Are your resources engaging? Do they help your students explore career options while giving them the autonomy to discover where they’ll be the most successful?

As a developer of middle school career readiness curriculum, teachers often come to us with these concerns about their courses. One of the curriculum options they ask about is Naviance, and whether it’s the right fit for their students. 

In this article, we’ll examine Naviance closer to help you decide if it’s appropriate for your career readiness classroom.

Along the way, you’ll discover answers to these questions:

  • What Is Naviance by PowerSchool?
  • How Is the Naviance Career Readiness Curriculum Structured?
  • What Topics and Skills Does Naviance Cover?
  • What Types of Assessments Do Students Take in Naviance?
  • How Much Does Naviance Cost?
  • Who Is Naviance For?

By the end of this article, you should have a good picture of what the Naviance career readiness curriculum offers, so that you can decide if it’s best for your middle schoolers.

What Is Naviance by PowerSchool?

May be an image of text that says 'NAVIANCE BY POWERSCHOOL #MovingEduForward'

Naviance by PowerSchool is a digital college and career readiness platform that directs students to explore potential career opportunities and the steps they need to meet personal and professional goals.

Naviance guides students through a set process of determining their future career options and goals. The program frames this journey around five key questions learners should be able to answer when characterizing their chosen career path:

  1. Who Am I?
  2. What Do I Want to Be?
  3. How Will I Get There?
  4. How Will I Succeed?
  5. Am I On Track?

Over the course of the Naviance program, students develop responses to the first four questions. Teachers, administrators, and parents receive answers to the fifth question, “Am I On Track?” through analysis and reporting tools within the system. These analytical tools indicate if students are completing the necessary academic work to reach their goals.

After completing the Naviance curriculum, students should have a postsecondary career plan they will take action on during middle and high school.

How Is the Naviance Career Readiness Curriculum Structured?naviance-career-readiness-curriculum-structure

The curriculum is structured to provide a guided experience through the Naviance Framework so students can create a personal career plan. Naviance includes constant monitoring and automated “coaching” along the way to navigate students towards specific best-fit careers.

Teachers, guidance counselors, or other educators assign students a series of tasks to complete within the electronic system. Learners first undergo personality and skill assessments before beginning career exploration.

Based on how they are characterized by the evaluations and the interests they indicate in career exploration, students are prompted to consider personal post-secondary options. This includes particular colleges and universities Naviance suggests are the best fit.

Teachers can use Naviance data to prepare reports and share them with students and their families if they are on track to meeting their goals.

What Topics and Skills Does Naviance Cover?teach-career-readiness-skills-naviance

As an overarching college and career readiness curriculum, Naviance covers several key topics necessary for a successful transition after school.

These topics follow the College, Career, and Life Readiness (CCLR) Framework:

  • Self-Knowledge
  • Academic Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Career Knowledge
  • College Knowledge
  • Transition Skills

Each of the topics within the CCLR framework is designed to help students develop different sets of skills they will need to achieve their future career goals.

What Types of Assessments Do Students Take with Naviance?naviance-career-readiness-assessments

A distinction that sets Naviance apart is its use of popular personality and skills tests to direct students towards suggested career outcomes.

To accomplish this, Naviance includes several different types of inventories that help students identify their personality, learning preferences, skills, career interests, and personal strengths. Within the platform, Naviance refers to these as “self-discovery assessments.”

When completing the entire career readiness program, students undergo these eight assessments, ideally in this order:

  1. AchieveWorks Intelligences
  2. AchieveWorks Learning and Productivity
  3. AchieveWorks Personality
  4. AchieveWorks Skills
  5. Career Cluster Finder
  6. Career Interest Profiler
  7. Career Key
  8. Strengths Explorer

Although the names of these tools are unique to Naviance by PowerSchool, you may recognize many of these tests under other terms.

For example, the AchieveWorks Personality inventory is a version of the well-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which classifies individuals into one of 16 four-letter personal types. The Strengths Explorer tool uses the popular Gallup Strengths Explorer, an inventory originally developed by researcher Don Clifton for middle school students.

These assessments form the backbone of the Naviance system and influence the program’s career recommendations for students. 

How Much Does Naviance Cost?cost-of-naviance-career-readiness-curriculum

PowerSchool prices Naviance per student. Since each institution has its own population of students, the price you pay will vary from school to school.

For the most accurate information, you’ll need to contact PowerSchool directly to determine how much Naviance will cost for your classroom or district.

Who Is Naviance a Good Fit For?naviance-career-readiness-curriculum-fit

Depending on your particular program needs, it may or may not be in your students’ interest to use Naviance for your career readiness lessons.

On the whole, Naviance is a good fit for teachers and schools who want to automate the college and career readiness process. 

Since some school counselors and teachers are swamped with students who need guidance in their future careers, Naviance is a way educators can replace many of those personal conversations with a digital system that gives learners advice and recommendations.

Since students complete the program mainly on their own, educators who use Naviance can focus on overarching institutional goals, using the system’s robust data analysis and reporting tools to meet state requirements. This can save instructors time when juggling multiple obligations simultaneously.

On the other hand, Naviance is not a good fit for teachers who prefer to rely on traditional teaching materials and classroom projects for their lesson plans. 

Because students go through a set experience of surveys for college and career exploration, it’s also not ideal for teachers looking for a truly personal career readiness experience for their students. These educators may miss the experience of individually advising learners on their future goals.

Find the Best Career Readiness Program For Your Students

Choosing the right career readiness curriculum for your students is critical to ensure they receive the best possible preparation for future success.

Depending on the type of college and career readiness program you want to implement in the classroom, Naviance by PowerSchool could be a good choice for you. If you use career readiness assessments with your students and want to focus on the reporting and analysis of student data, Naviance has powerful tools that can help you meet your goals efficiently.

However, many teachers don't want to sacrifice personal classroom connections with their students. If you need a career readiness curriculum that balances a digital platform with tools that will help you engage students personally, consider Business&ITCenter21 from AES.

Business&ITCenter21 features a full career readiness curriculum for middle school students that gives teachers the flexibility to blend traditional and digital resources to create an engaging learning experience.

Learn more about the AES career readiness curriculum on the Business&ITCenter21 catalog page:

Explore the Business&ITCenter21 Catalog