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    What is Naviance?

    Naviance by Hobsons is a comprehensive K-12 college and career readiness tool that provides information and resources that enable students and their school counselors, teachers, and parents and guardians to collaborate on identifying and planning for a student’s life after high school.


    • Naviance allows students to explore, apply to, and enroll in a post-secondary path that is a best fit for the student, based on education and career goals, learning style, and personal preferences regarding where and how they would like to continue their education.
    • Naviance equips students and their families with information on the true cost of a particular college, based on their own family income, and allows them to explore scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
    • Naviance provides easy access to information about thousands of colleges, schools, and universities both the United States and around the world, including over 110 options in Washington state.
    • Naviance eDocs supports electronic document transfer to the more than 140 Coalition for College member colleges and universities; more than 750 Common Application (Common App) colleges and universities, plus the more than 2,500 colleges and universities that receive submissions through Parchment.

    Read more on the Naviance website.

    What is the difference between Naviance and the free Coalition App?

    Please see Hobson’s response and FAQPDF icon

    How do students benefit from using Naviance?

    Students benefit from using Naviance by exploring what makes themselves unique, connecting their interests to careers, and by creating their personal plans both graduating from high school and for “beyond high school.”

    What features and tools in Naviance enable students to obtain these benefits?

    • Strengths Explorer - identifies your student’s three strongest emerging talents and includes strategies for capitalizing on strengths to apply them towards success in school, career, and life.
    • Career Cluster Finder survey - ranks which career clusters your student might find most fulfilling based on activities your student enjoys, personal qualities and school subjects of interest.
    • Career Interest Profiler - provides your student with suggestions for matching careers based on student answers to questions related to their career interests Careers are added to a list of favorites.
    • Resume Builder – Your student keeps a log of school activities, personal awards, volunteer experience, skills, and more using this tool.
    • College Application Process – Tracks colleges your student is thinking about and documents a list of in-progress college applications. Students – can request electronic transcripts to be sent to colleges they are applying to.
    • Local and National Scholarship Database – Thousands of local and national scholarships are available for application by your student.
    • High School and Beyond Plan Lessons – School staff use Naviance to deliver High School and Beyond Plan lessons in grades 8-12. The High School and Beyond Plan is a Washington state graduation requirement, which helps your students and their counselors make sure graduation requirements are met and are aligned with identified goals.

    How is Naviance used at Seattle Public Schools?

    Naviance is licensed by the district for student use in grades 6 through 12 for three (3) years (February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2021).

    The following list outlines the planned Naviance tasks that are assigned to students based on their grade level.

    Grade  Task  Objective
    6 Explore Roadtrip Nation Interview Archive and complete a Short Reflection Survey Students learn about career pathways of interest from people in the field. They reflect upon how these interviews affect their post-secondary goals or other thematic elements.
    7 Complete Career Key Students learn about their Holland interest code, dominant personality types, and career interests.
    8 Complete Learning Styles Inventory; Create a course plan Students boost academic potential by recognizing their natural learning style, discover better learning strategies, and gain career development skills.
    9 Complete Strengths Explorer; Review and update course plan; Create a resume Students gain understanding of their strengths and how they can be used to accomplish their goals.
    10 Complete Do What You Are 2.0 Assessment; Review and update course plan and resume Students understand the relationships between educational achievement and post-secondary options.
    11 Complete a Super Match College Search Based on previous self-discovery, students explore colleges that offer majors that connect with their career interests.
    11 Complete College Costs Scavenger Hunt Students complete a scavenger hunt with Naviance to better understand the different costs of college.
    11 Review and update course plan and resume Students make their plans for high school courses that meet their personal goals and district requirements. Students understand how to market their skills via a resume.
    12 Add at least two colleges or other applicable activities to application list Students review college application and transcript request process. Students discuss and explore other post-secondary options.
    12 Review and finalize resume Students understand how to market their skills via a resume.
    12 Complete the Senior Exit Survey Students complete the SPS Exit Survey. It provides evidence of all students having a post-secondary plan.

    What are the experiences of other local school districts with Naviance?

    Common themes from the Everett, Kent, Highline, and Spokane school districts:

    • All districts reported that purchasing Naviance was about equity. The goal was to level the playing field and provide all students and parents with the same robust college and career-planning tool. Naviance streamlined the college and career planning process and changed the conversations around future planning. To close the opportunity gaps in their districts they needed to look at the data. They needed to identify what was going on with their students to address the disparities in college going rates. Naviance provided this data (student plans, interests, college applications, etc.) and allowed these districts to identify and address gaps in real time. For example, Everett noticed gaps in college application rates for their ELL students. They could create targeted lessons to support these students and increase the application rate in the same school year. Everett has a 98% login rate for their district.
    • Naviance provided counselors with time saving features like electronic delivery of transcripts and letters of recommendation. Counselors send all college documents via Naviance, instead of logging into the individual college sites and/or sending paper documents. This allows counselors more time to provide support directly to students and provides a more secure transfer of student information.
    • These districts have been using Naviance for 3-5 years and they did not report any issues with data security.

    Who are possible third-party vendors that Naviance might collaborate with?

    Read the Naviance Third Parties Data Disclosure

    All third-party vendors must abide by Naviance's privacy policy:

    “Like Naviance, our third party partners are legally obligated to only use students’ personal information to provide their services to the school and for no other purpose. All of our third party partners are contractually required to comply with applicable laws, to use the personal information only to provide the feature to the school on our behalf, to not share the personal information with any other parties, to delete the personal information when no longer needed or when we request that it be deleted on behalf of one of our school partners, and to comply with the Naviance privacy and security policies.”

    What types of student based surveys does Naviance include?

    Naviance offers four types of survey tools to our customers:

    • Strengths Explorer students take this survey to help them identify their strengths and interests. The feature is off by default and must be activated by the school or district customer via their administrative dashboard in Naviance. The district may activate the feature for all grades or just some and may turn it off again at any time.
    • Do What You Are by Human eSources: Human eSources’ Achieve Works supports individualized learning initiatives that help students identify career interests, strengths, learning styles and personality types. They help give students information they need to take charge of their own learning.
    • Counselor-created surveys: There is functionality within Naviance that allows high school counselors to create their own surveys for their students. Naviance does not review the content of these surveys, as they are done at the sole discretion of the district. For example, schools may use this tool to create a senior exit survey to gain feedback from students on their post-secondary plans.
    • Career Interest Profiler: Students can take the survey to help identify career areas that may be of interest.

    In all cases, the survey results are only made available in the system to the student and their high school counselor. They are not shared with higher education institutions.

    Does Naviance put students on fixed career paths based on surveys or other data?

    No, Naviance does not put students on fixed career paths. Students have the opportunity to take multiple surveys to explore their interests and careers.  Survey tools housed within Naviance make suggestions and recommendations, but the final decision is the students.

    Do the surveys in Naviance deal with sensitive information covered by the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)?

    No. The surveys provided in Naviance do not include sensitive information covered by PPRA.

    What does Naviance do with the survey results?

    The survey results are available in Naviance to the student and their high school counselor. Naviance does not utilize the survey results for any other purpose. They are not sent to higher education institutions for any reason. Additionally, Naviance does not sell or rent any student data per the Terms of Service contract. Terms of Service PDF icon

    How is student data corrected, changed, or deleted in Naviance?

    Data in Naviance originates from two sources:

    1. the district’s student information system, PowerSchool, and
    2. data that is entered directly into Naviance by a student.

    If any of the district-provided data is incorrect, parent/guardians can work through their student’s school office to correct the data in PowerSchool. Once data is corrected in PowerSchool, the corrections are sent automatically on a nightly basis into Naviance, replacing older/incorrect data.

    Student-entered data, such as goals, portfolio items they have uploaded, or college choices, can be deleted or updated directly by the student.

    The district can delete both district-provided data and student-entered data from Naviance at any time.

    Can a student be partially opted out of using Naviance and still have access to some of its features and functionality?

    Due to operational complexities, it is not possible to partially opt out. The parent guardian decision to opt out their student out of Naviance results in the student having no access to the tool.

    I have chosen to not consent to the release of directory information (FERPA) about my student, except as authorized by law. Can my child use Naviance?

    No, as both student access to Naviance (the creation of a user account) and subsequent ongoing student usage of Naviance, require that “directory” information about a student be released.

    How do I know if my student has been opted out?

    When parent guardians opt out or change their preference to opt back in, an email is sent to them confirming their current decision.

    What are we doing for students who opt out?

    The district is committed to providing meaningful post-secondary planning activities for all students in grades 6 through 12. Central office staff regularly connect with school counselors to provide ideas, new resources, and materials, so that they can in turn, support students in their high school and beyond planning.

    High school students who do not use Naviance will be given alternative activities to complete while their peers are using Naviance in the classroom and to meet the Washington state high school and beyond graduation requirement.

    Middle school students who do not use Naviance also are given alternative activities to complete while their peers are using Naviance in the classroom.

    How does opting out impact courses such as Career Essentials?

    Like the High School and Beyond Plan, the district has offered courses like Career Essentials in prior years and teachers will continue to use the activities and lessons that have been available previously to work with students not using Naviance.

    What is the tiebreaker if a parent/guardian and student disagree on whether to opt out of Naviance?

    The parent/guardian makes the decision until the student is 18 years old or legally emancipated.

    How do school staff, district staff and families see the student information in Naviance?

    Authorized school and district staff are provisioned with user accounts that enable them to view and manage student information. This includes the ability to easily correct, delete or amend student data at any time.

    For the 2019-2020 school year, parent guardians and non-parent guardians will have the option after the start of the year to access Naviance, where they can view their child’s work in Naviance.

    Does Naviance connect to other technology platforms and software used by Seattle Public Schools?

    Naviance connects to the Clever portal and PowerSchool (district’s student information system). The Clever portal allows students and staff to access Naviance without having to login a second time. Clever also provides basic student and staff data necessary to make an account in Naviance. See Data Sharing Agreement Attachment B PDF icon for a list of the data provided to Naviance by Clever.

    There are currently no plans to interface Naviance to any other application the district uses. Future plans may be to import Naviance data into Atlas (district’s data warehouse) for district reporting purposes. The district has not signed any contracts with 3rd parties and no discussions are currently occurring with 3rd parties.

    Naviance does not have access to the data collected in any other platforms other than those mentioned above. If the district wants Naviance to be connected to any other applications, parents and guardians will be informed.

    What data is shared with Naviance and how does Naviance protect student data?

    Seattle Public Schools takes data security and privacy very seriously. Naviance’s policies and practices with respect to preserving data security and student privacy have been thoroughly vetted. Per their privacy policy, Naviance may not sell or use student data for commercial purposes. In addition, a comprehensive Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) is in place to further ensure Naviance abides by the data security and privacy requirements outlined in the contract for this tool.

    • Naviance is both FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) and COPPA compliant – Federal laws that protect the privacy of student education records
    • Hobsons/Naviance signed a DSA with the district that explicitly states what data can be exported from the district to the Naviance application
      • The data sharing agreement has been co-developed and vetted by senior, expert SPS staff and represents their exhaustive efforts to ensure student privacy is protected to the extent possible
      • Please see Data Sharing AgreementPDF icon
      • Please see Data Sharing Agreement Addendum 1PDF icon for additional data fields to be sent to Naviance

    The district owns all district and user data that is hosted on the Naviance website

    Data Protections

    • Naviance encrypts all student data at all times.
    • Naviance logs all changes and views to student data – this log data is fully auditable by the district
    • Naviance is a mature company with well-established Business Continuity processes.
    • Naviance uses proxy student ID numbers that are both hashed and salted, making them difficult to reverse
    • Naviance promises data destruction as requested by SPS, in written form within 30 days of notice
    • Naviance holds subcontractors legally bound to the same privacy and security provisions as themselves
    • Naviance/Hobsons have signed the SIAA pledge (Software & Information Industry Association pledge to safeguard student privacy) promising not to sell student data. Read more on SIAA Pledge

    Can the district develop a system where students enter some of the data fields included in the DSA on their own? (e.g., date of birth)

    No, because that would significantly hinder the ability to share transcripts, one of the key features of the online tool.

    What is a proxy ID?

    A proxy ID is a mechanism the district uses to avoid providing the real district/state student ID numbers to vendors and other external agents.

    What are the benefits of using a proxy ID instead of a student’s school ID?

    When using real IDs, it is easier for a vendor to data mine, or potentially link the student’s information to other external data sources. A proxy ID helps prevent this. A proxy ID also makes a potential data breach much less of a threat, because the data itself has no direct value or use without associated data.

    Why does Naviance need to collect student personally identifiable information?

    Naviance collects student personally identifiable information to ensure that students can access their account and save their work, and so that SPS counselors can support students in that work. Naviance and SPS have partnered to ensure that students are providing only the minimally required information.

    How does Naviance (and their partners) gather, use, disclose and manage district data?

    Naviance is committed to protecting the privacy of Client Data and maintains a detailed privacy and data-retention policy. See Naviance’s privacy and data-retention policy.

    In addition, the district requires Naviance to enter into a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) that outlines exactly what student data Naviance receives from the district and how long Naviance has the data. This agreement contains details that are not covered in the Terms of Service contract, such as disaster recovery parameters, intrusion protection and testing, security screening of Naviance employees with access to student data, data breach notification and penalties and data backup requirements. The DSA refers back to the Terms of Service (TOS) for penalties.

    Does student entered data affect the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) signed between the district and Naviance?

    The district’s Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) outlines what data Naviance can use and how they can use it. Any 3rd parties who work with Naviance are contractually obligated to abide by the Terms of Service (TOS) contract and the DSA. The DSA can only be updated if both parties agree in writing (addendum to DSA).

    Any data provided by the district conforms to the TOS and the DSA (and addendums). Please see DSA appendix B and DSA Addendum 1 for specific data that can be used in the Naviance application. Data entered directly by a student is not covered specifically in the DSA, but is covered via federal regulations – FERPA, COPPA and the SIAA pledge (Software & Information Industry Association pledge to safeguard student privacy). Please see “How does Naviance protect student data?” question for additional information on these regulations.

    Using surveys does not change the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) as survey data is entered by the student, not provided by the district. Only district provided data will be on a DSA.

    Is Naviance held liable for student data breaches?

    If Naviance shares any data outside of what’s been agreed to in the DSA, Naviance can be penalized the lesser of $1000 per student account or an amount equal to two (2) times the annual contract value. Additionally, FERPA can invoke fines to Naviance and Naviance (Hobsons) has signed the SIAA pledge (Software & Information Industry Association pledge to safeguard student privacy) promising not to sell student data. The FTC can bring civil enforcement actions against companies who do not adhere to their public statements of practices. If a company acts in contradiction of their own public statements, they risk an enforcement action for “unfair or deceptive trade practices”.

    • SPS logs and triages internet access from the district
    • SPS monitors COPPA "Operator" compliance and administers management/controls for parent consent
    • SPS formally adopted a data destruction schedule and process to minimize long-term exposure of data

    Is Naviance ADA accessible?

    Naviance successfully passed the RFP accessibility component VPAT (US Department of State’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) requirement as reviewed by the district’s accessibility coordinator. Read about VPAT.

    See Naviance's VPAT responsePDF icon.

    Naviance agreed to upgrade their accessibility level to comply with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 AA by the application launch date, which occurred at the start of school 2018-19 school year. This accessibility upgrade fulfills the district’s legal consent decree requirements for accessibility.

    Naviance tested conformance using a certified accessibility analyst who performed manual testing that is more rigorous than automated testing. If for any reason the Naviance software fails to conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA guideline, Naviance had through August 2019 to address any deficiencies. Naviance has also agreed to maintain the AA level of WCAG as they enhance the application over time.

    What is the cost for Naviance?

    Naviance is initially licensed for three (3) years (February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2020), with options to renew annually for 4 additional years. The initial 3-year contract of $594,067 also includes implementation services and training. Each additional year of a contract extension will cost around $180,000 per renewal (potential 5% increase per renewal year).

    Approximately 19,000 students will benefit from using Naviance annually. This includes 14,500 high school students, 4,500 6th - 8th grade students. Average annual licensing cost per student is approximately $10 per student per year.