Just as the college application season began heating up last month, Sonoma Valley High School began welcoming students to a new and improved College & Career Center on campus. The new suite of rooms is about four times the size of the center’s previous location.

“UCLA came last week to present and we were able to comfortably fit 40 students,” said CCC director Lisa Conner. “That never would have been possible before.”

Another three dozen colleges are scheduled to present on campus before the application season is over.

The College & Career Center now houses Conner, who is full time and part-timer Mary Klenow. Workplace Learning Coordinator Wendy Swanson is also there full time. Teen Services uses the space for workshops and AVID classes come in regularly for presentations.

In addition to helping students with their applications and with financial aid information, they are also helping students transition to the Naviance software that is now a primary means by which SVHS students work on post-graduation plans.

The Naviance platform provides students with college research and matching tools, course planning, career assessment and personality tests, and surveys to help students connect what they are doing in school to what they would like to do once they complete their education.

School counselors can track the progress of individual students and create reports on their entire student population using Naviance. Students can submit their applications on the site as well as transcripts, school forms and recommendations.

The site’s most sexy feature is its scattergrams that show the acceptance history of students within a particular high school to a specific college or university using past data of student GPAs and test scores. Naviance shows students within a high school who were accepted, denied and wait-listed by a specific college using symbols in the graph legend.

Conner and her team are working on getting the site’s SVHS Naviance scattergrams up and running. For confidentiality reasons, the school had to wait a few years to activate those pages on the site until there was enough data so that it would not be possible to guess which student was represented by any one symbol on the graph.

The entrance to the College & Career Center is to the west of the Dragon at the main entrance off the SVHS parking lot.