DERRY — Pinkerton Academy seniors applying to college this year now have a valuable communications tool available for helping them make the transition from high school to higher education.
A new software program known as Naviance was unveiled at the start of the school year and is helping streamline the application process, said Jan Deleault, Pinkerton’s director of guidance. The software program allows students to easily request transcripts and letters of recommendation, explore careers and take interest surveys, Deleault said.
“It encompasses the college application process,” Deleault said. “We are focusing this year on the seniors.”
Plans call for allowing juniors to access the program in the spring, and eventually for all 3,100 Pinkerton students to use Naviance.
Other high schools in the area are already using Naviance, including Salem, Windham, Bow and Bedford.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” Deleault said. “We’re a little nervous, but so far so good.”
Guidance counselors will still sit down with students to determine what colleges and possible careers they might be interested in pursuing. Naviance will provide them with another opportunity to explore those paths even more, she said.
One interesting segment of the program allows students trying to learn more about a particular career the ability to choose from some 5,000 videos on file of recorded interviews with people in various professions. Known as “Road Nation,” students only have to go to the career tab to access the program.
Deleault said she recently watched one student who was interested in fashion design and selected Road Nation. Immediately, there were seven or eight screens available of recorded interviews with people working in the fashion industry.
“This kind of appeals to young people,” she said. “If they don’t want to read something, they can watch it.”
Students are already using the program and know how to request letters of recommendation, Deleault said. The next step will be to give a PowerPoint presentation to faculty with a tutorial to follow.
Seniors will be able to email teachers a request for a letter of recommendation and teachers can respond without having to use stamps or envelopes, she said.
Another feature of the program will allow guidance counselors to track which colleges Pinkerton graduates gain admission to and to keep their corresponding GPA and SAT records on file. This historical, anonymous information will allow parents to assess their children’s chances of going to a particular college.
“It’s done for the purposes of showing what are your chances for getting into this college based on Pinkerton Academy’s past,” Deleault said.