Preparing Students for College and Career

April 7, 2017 – Orange, CA – As part of Orange Unified School District’s initiative to graduate college and career-ready students, students begin Career Exploration and Educational Planning in middle school and build on that foundation throughout their four years of high school.  To support this College and Career Planning at the secondary level, OUSD has adopted the software program Naviance.

Students use Naviance to explore their unique strengths, talents, and interests and reflect on how this information relates to their future career goals. 

  • With the MI Advantage Inventory, seventh-grade students discover the many ways they are intelligent.  For example, are they strong in Math?  Communication?  Are they musically inclined?  
  • Eighth-grade students identify the Industry Sectors of greatest interest to them through the Career Cluster Finder. 
  • The Career Interest Profiler taken freshman year connects students with dozens of potential career options requiring various levels of education. 
  • The StrengthsExplorer provides sophomore students with insight into how they view life and what qualities they have to offer a potential employer. It also   identifies possible Career Pathways based on their skills. 
  • Juniors use Naviance to research which Colleges or Universities meet their specific needs and interests using SuperMatch.  This tool allows students to consider what is most important to them in their post-secondary institution and discover those schools that are the best “match” for them. 

Through these assessments, students discover which potential careers would be a good fit for them.  Having completed two or three career interest inventories, eighth graders work with their counselor to develop a four-year plan for high school.  Using Naviance Course Planner, students learn the OUSD Graduation Requirements, UC/CSU College Entrance Requirements, and begin to set their career goals in motion by creating a course plan that best prepares them for life after high school.

Additional tools in Naviance allow students to explore thousands of post-secondary program options as they begin to ask the question, “Where should I apply to college?”  With Naviance, students can anonymously compare their GPA’s and test scores to those of classmates from previous years, allowing them to make informed data-driven decisions about where to apply to college.  

Through Naviance, the District introduces students to, and then asks them to explore, possible careers based on their own distinctive skills and interests.  Students learn about the skills and training required, labor market trends, potential salaries, and research where they can best prepare for their future career.  The intention of this is to connect each student’s passions to a possible career path and then work with them to create an individual plan to achieve their professional goals fulfilling that District’s mission to prepare students to be college and career ready and equip them to compete in the 21st century economy.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 26,000 PreK-12th grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.