Frequently Asked Questions
At Hobsons, our mission is to help students succeed with the support of the caring adults who know them best: parents, teachers, school counselors, and education professionals. In service to our mission, we strive to be responsible stewards of client data and are committed to protecting student privacy.
We have provided this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to answer some of the questions you may have regarding our data privacy practices.
What is Naviance?
Naviance by Hobsons is a comprehensive college and career readiness platform. Naviance helps middle and high school studentsdiscover their strengths, explore college and career interests, create actionable goals, and find their best-fit path after high school, whether they wish to attend a 2- or 4- year college, a CTE [program, or go directly into the workforce or military. Naviance is a comprehensive online solution that promotes college and career readiness through encouraging academic rigor and aligning student strengths, interests and passions to long-term goals.
Since 2001, the Naviance platform has evolved through the active guidance of our diverse user community, with a specific focus on supporting the workflows and processes that are central to increasing college and career readiness. The platform’s ability to address the needs of students and community has allowed under-resourced educators to scale their school counseling efforts and provide individualized support for students while fostering thoughtful collaboration with parents and guardians. Naviance provides district-wide administration with powerful, centralized controls that enable informed and actionable district-wide school support.
What is Hobsons’ commitment to privacy?
At Hobsons, we understand and take very seriously our obligations and responsibilities to act as good stewards of the student data that schools and districts entrust to us in order to provide them with tools to support their college and career readiness programs. As such, it is critical that we ensure the data remains private and under the control of the individual school or district at all times, and that the product is configured in the way that works best for each school or district in alignment with their contractual requirements.
What personally identifiable student information does Naviance collect?
Naviance receives only the personally identifiable student information that schools wish to house on the platform. To utilize Naviance at a school, we require only the following student information: last name, unique ID number, class year, and district campus. The ID number may be an actual student ID or any unique, random number.
All other information from or about students is provided at the sole discretion of each school or district. Naviance does not allow for collection of any psychological or behavioral data about students.
What does Naviance do with identifiable student information?
The purpose of collecting the required data elements noted above is to allow each school or district to view their students’ activity within Naviance. For example, a school counselor may log into Naviance to review how a student has progressed in achieving a stated goal. Any other personally identifiable data that a school may upload onto the Naviance platform is at the sole discretion of the school or district, and is also used solely for the internal school purpose, for each school’s internal review, analysis, and reporting. We adhere to state and federal laws to make no other use of the personal information other than to serve the school or district purpose in compliance with regulation and the requirements of our contractual agreement.
Personally identifiable student information is – at all times – under the direct control of the school or district. We do not ever sell or rent student information.
How do schools manage their student information in Naviance?
Schools and districts always have the ability to directly manage their student information. We provide schools with the ability within Naviance to easily access, review, edit and delete their student data at any time.
How do schools respond to parent requests to review their child’s personal information within Naviance?
We provide schools with an account dashboard within Naviance that allows them easy access to their student data. Schools always have access to this dashboard, and can use it to respond to requests from parents who may have questions about their child’s information.
Schools and districts may also choose to allow parents to create accounts within the Family Connection portal of Naviance, through which they may view some of the work their children do within Naviance.
How can parents learn more about what their children are doing in Naviance?
Naviance is designed to facilitate parental involvement. Schools and districts may provide parents with access to create their own account through the “Family Connection” portal of Naviance. Accessing this portal allows parents to review the work their child has completed in Naviance, see postsecondary institutions their child is interested in attending, track their child’s progress towards completing applications, and see where they may need help. Schools and districts can also provide parents with information about how Naviance is used in their school setting, including information about the specific Naviance features the school or district makes available to the students.
What third parties are operating within Naviance?
We offer schools the option to choose from a select list of third party tools that are embedded into the Naviance platform to support their students’ college and career goals. All of the third party partners providing features within Naviance are publicly available here.
What do third parties do in Naviance?
All third parties provide optional features to schools and districts on our behalf. These features are part of the Naviance experience, and are designed to support the students’ education and career goals. Examples of features provided by third parties include serving videos about different careers, sending transcripts to a college as part of an application, providing preparation for college admissions tests and providing information about scholarships. Schools may turn these features on or off at any time, at their discretion, via a dashboard within Naviance.
How does a school manage third party features within Naviance?
We provide schools with a dashboard within Naviance that allows them to control the product features that are available to students, including the features provided by third parties on our behalf. Schools may turn the features on or off at any time at their discretion.
Do third parties operating within Naviance receive student personal information?
Many of the third party tools simply provide information on potential career paths or help students explore learning styles. These third parties do not require, and do not receive, any personally identifiable information. There are third party tools that some schools enable that do require minimal personally identifiable information in order to properly function. Each of these has been configured to ensure that only the minimally required personally identifiable information is sent to the third party and utilized only to fulfill the functionality that the school has chosen to enable.
When information is not required by the third party in order to operate the feature, it is not provided. 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.
Does Naviance require a student to waive their FERPA rights?
No. Naviance wholly respects and aligns with the requirements of FERPA, and does not ask students or school employees to waive any of their privacy rights.
In limited circumstances, when a student is applying to a higher education institution through the Common Application portal available within Naviance or by other electronic means, the student may be asked to waive the right to review letters of recommendation that the student has requested of a teacher or other student employee. This is commonly referred to as a “FERPA waiver.” If a student agrees to the request, the recommendation letters are not shared with the student. There is no other impact of agreeing to this request.
How does Naviance ensure that the student data remains secure?
We are committed to protecting the security, integrity and confidentiality of the data through the use of a variety of administrative, physical and technical safeguards.
We host student data in secure server and cloud-based environments that use a firewall and other industry-standard technology in an effort to prevent interference or access from outside intruders. We also require unique account identifiers, user names, and passwords that must be entered each time schools, districts, students or parents sign on to Naviance.
All Naviance employees receive annual privacy and security training.
In addition, only a limited number of employees are allowed to access student data, and only for the purpose of providing support and services to schools and districts. These employees sign confidentiality agreements that are strictly enforced by Hobsons.
Did Hobsons/Naviance sign the Student Data Privacy Pledge?
Yes. We were proud to sign the Student Data Privacy Pledge, and have renewed our pledge annually since signing.
Where can I learn more about Naviance privacy practices?
Who can I contact with additional questions about Naviance privacy practices?
Schools and districts: if you still have questions, please contact your account representative or email us at email@example.com.
Parents: please contact your their school or district with questions, and we will work directly with the school or district to provide the needed information.