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 other education professionals. In service to our mission, we strive to be responsible stewards of student data and are committed to protecting the privacy of the students who use our products.
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 students discover their strengths, explore college and career interests, create actionable goals, create academic plans, 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 supports 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. Our ability to address the needs of students and the education community has allowed under-resourced schools and districts to scale their counseling efforts and provide individualized support for students while fostering thoughtful collaboration with parents and guardians. Naviance also provides district 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, our first priority is to ensure that 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, 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, health, biometric, financial or behavioral data about students.
What does Naviance do with personally identifiable student information?
The purpose of collecting the required data elements noted above is to allow the student to log into Naviance, and 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 their 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 agreements.
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 include student surveys?
Naviance offers four types of survey tools to our customers:
- StrengthsExplorer from Gallup: This is an in-product feature that schools or districts may choose to activate to allow their students to take this survey to help them identify their strengths. The feature is off by default and must be activated by the school or district customer via their administrative dashboard in Naviance. Customers 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’ AchieveWorks supports individualized learning initiatives. The AchieveWorks package includes The Learning Style Inventory, Multiple Intelligences Advantage, and Do What You Are 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.
Schools and districts must purchase the Human eSources package – they are not included as part of the core Naviance purchase. Once purchased, these features may also be turned on and off at any time, by grade level, at the customer’s discretion via their administrative dashboard within Naviance.
- 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 customer.
- Career Interest Profiler: This is an in-product feature that schools may activate to allow their students to take the survey to help identify career areas that may be of interest. As with the other features described above, this feature is off by default and must be activated by the school or district customer via their administrative dashboard. It may be activated for all grades or just some, and may be turned off again at any time.
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.
How can schools, districts and parents see the student information in Naviance?
Schools and districts always have the ability to directly manage their student information. We provide schools with an account dashboard within Naviance that allows them to easily correct, delete or amend their student data at any time.
In addition, 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.
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.
In addition, there is no requirement that students take surveys within Naviance. It is a feature available to customers to use or not use in their sole discretion.
What does Naviance do with the survey results?
The survey results are available in the system to the student and their high school counselor. We do not do anything with the survey results except ensure that they are visible to the student and their high school counselor.
Do higher education institutions receive the survey results?
No. They are available only to the student and the student’s counselor.
Are the survey results submitted to higher education institutions as part of an application or marketing?
No. They are only intended for and available to the student and the student’s counselor.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents: please contact your school or district with questions, and we will work directly with the school or district to provide the needed information.