Arizona district turns to tech to improve equity and access in college and career readiness

Dysart Unified School District partners with Hobsons to help all students succeed after high school

Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, all students in grades 9-12 in Dysart Unified School District in Maricopa County, Arizona, will be able to more effectively collaborate with school counselors to identify their strengths, plan academic coursework, determine career aspirations, find best-fit colleges, and discover scholarships using Naviance by Hobsons, a digital college and a career planning platform.

Having tripled in size since 2000, Dysart USD is recognized as one of the fastest-growing school systems in the state, serving a high population of Latinos and English Language Learners (ELLs), as well as first-generation college-bound students. Despite its unprecedented growth, the district has maintained an 85 percent graduation rate among its four comprehensive high schools. The district’s goal is to graduate all students ready for college, career, and a productive life in the 21st century.

“We take our responsibility to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges beyond high school graduation very seriously. We work as a community—of teachers, parents, students, and community leaders—to provide a supportive learning environment that empowers students to achieve life-long success,” said Dysart Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, who was named Arizona Superintendent of the Year in 2015. “As we continue to grow and serve a more diverse student population, we consider Hobsons a strategic partner to help us scale our college and career readiness initiatives and inform our district-wide strategy, ensuring that all students are set up for success.”

Counselors will use Naviance to scale their already successful college and career readiness program, as well as to improve student engagement and parental involvement for English Language Learners and students who are the first in their family to go to college. Students will use Naviance to manage their entire Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP) process.

“We are proud to partner with a leading district like Dysart Unified, that has a proven track record in providing students with a strong academic foundation and the opportunity to explore a range of education opportunities,” said Stephen M. Smith, President of Advising and Admissions Solutions at Hobsons. “We are committed to helping schools and families work together to ensure that students have the skills and opportunities they need to be successful in their learning and in life.”

Naviance is used by 10,000 schools and districts in the United States, and enables school counselors, educators, and parents to work together to help students prepare for postsecondary education. The platform helps students identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, and match to best-fit educational opportunities.


Laura Ascione

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