If you have a high school student ready to begin the college planning process, a college student who is looking for a change, or an ambitious middle-schooler who wants to know what she or he can do now to ensure lots of options for the future, I am glad you are here!
I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working with adolescents for over 25 years. My roles have included psychology professor, academic advisor, leadership mentor, student life administrator, college guidebook author, and educational consultant. Nothing is as rewarding to me as helping students discover their goals and begin their journey to the future.
Every student should have choices for the future. Helping them open many doors that align with their unique academic, social, and personal goals is the essence of my role in their journey.
I am a proud Arizona State Univeristy Sun Devil! During my time in Tempe, I studied human behavior, marched in the award-winning ASU Sun Devil Marching Band, and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
I followed my fascination with the field of developmental psychology to the University of Texas at Dallas where I earned my Doctorate in Human Development and Communication Sciences, with a focus on the social aspects of development.
Of course, my learning didn't stop there! Every unique role I have had during my career has taught me something new about the minds and behavior of adolescents, and I continue to find the greatest satisfaction in being a meaningful part of their educational journey.
With a passion for education, I began my career as an adjunct professor teaching courses in introductory and developmental psychology in the Dallas County Community College District.
I was invited back to UT Dallas to help new students adapt to college life and academics through teaching a course on critical thinking and oral communication. Working with students in this capacity - personally guiding them on their unique path to discover and achieve their goals - became the defining calling of my life.
While teaching in DCCCD, I had the opportunity to take on the additional role of academic advisor to assist students with degree plans and course selection to align with their interests.
Making the move to UT Dallas, I became Director of Undergraduate Advising where I oversaw advising for students selected for the McDermott Scholars Program, as well as students who began college with an undeclared major.
As a member of the Health Professions Advising Executive Committee, I conducted interviews with pre-med students, and reviewed hundreds of medical school applications.
My role also enabled me to collaborate with deans from each school to establish best practices for guiding students academically at the university.
During my tenure at UT Dallas, my most meaningful initiative was heading up the mandatory First Year Experience (FYE) course. I had the privilege of developing the curriculum, recruiting and training instructors, and helping create the First Year Leader student mentorship role.
In addition to working with the FYE course, I was given oversight of my favorite programs on campus including Freshman & Family Orientation, Residential Life, Living Learning Communities, Transfer Student Services, and Student Volunteerism - all focused on engaging new students in campus life and enhancing their success in college.
My love of teaching prompted the desire to expand my student audience through writing. I was thrilled when Wadsworth Publishing commissioned me to create Skills for Success: Developing Effective Study Strategies, published in 2005.
Through my work with the First Year Experience course I met Harlan Cohen, syndicated columnist of Help Me Harlan and author of The New York Times Best Seller The Naked Roommate and 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College. Our complementary expertise in helping high school students make a successful transition to college led to our collaborative publication, The Naked Roommate's First Year Survival Guide: The Ultimate Tools for a College Experience with More Fun, Less Stress, and More Success, published in 2010 by Sourcebooks.
In 2011, I decided to pursue a means of bringing my 20 years of knowledge, skills, and experience with students' educational development directly to families. Driven by my passion for helping teens discover their personal path and navigate it successfully, I knew that guiding them through the college planning process in a realistic and positive manner would be the most rewarding role I could play.
To enhance my knowledge of college admissions following years of a university perspective, I earned my Certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from the Univeristy of California Irvine, and participated in the Independent Educational Consultants Association's Summer Training Institute at Swarthmore College.
After working with well over a hundred families with unique students of all levels of achievement and diversity of interests, I appreciate each new invitation to share in their academic, social, and personal journeys.
Your student’s journey from where he is now to his first day of college involves many steps. Each one should be taken in tandem with the others to create unison in the approach for reaching his future goals. I will guide your student through his journey in a comprehensive and holistic way. I ensure that every element of the process is addressed in a timely and relevant manner, and that each of his unique qualities is highlighted.
Some students discover the college they are attending is not a good fit. The good news is that there are always other options! I help current college students identify schools that better align with their academic, social, and personal goals; and, as the transfer application process is similar to that of a new freshman, we work together to develop competitive applications to colleges where the student will thrive in her remaining undergraduate years.
Gaining an understanding of the college admission process early on can help you and your student feel more in control and develop an intentional path to college. If you have a student in middle school and would like to discover how to optimize his academic and extracurricular choices to build a strong foundation for high school and the potential to become a competitive college applicant, I offer a two hour family consultation. Further guidance options are available based on the student’s interests, goals, and academic profile.
I am available to assist students with a variety of writing needs including application essays for leadership positions, competitive summer programs, college applications, and personal statements for medical and graduate school applications.
For high school seniors who have completed all elements of their college applications and would like guidance with the essays or an essay review, I offer different package options to assist you.
I enjoy opportunities to educate students and parents on the many facets of the college planning and admissions process. I am available for a variety of speaking engagements from casual neighborhood get-togethers to more structured presentations for PTAs, scouting groups, and corporate lunch & learns. I also conduct specialized hands-on workshops for groups of students to complete various elements of their college application.
Your student is my starting point. Through our time together I get to know her and uncover her talents, perspectives, abilities, and goals. Our partnership allows the student to grow through her journey and prepare to make her college decision.
We establish a personalized timeline. Your student will always know where he should be in the process and what is coming next. I set assertive deadlines for students to complete the process as early as possible and allow extra time to alleviate last-minute stress.
Students explore possible majors and career paths through the YouScience aptitude and interest inventory. Each student's personalized results provide a substantial understanding of how he naturally thinks, solves problems, and prefers to work. It is a highly enlightening and effective tool to help him share his story in application essays and interviews; in addition to highlighting a variety of occupations and related majors that align with his most fundamental interests and abilities.
Academic course selections are discussed. I work with your student to help her develop an appropriately challenging high school curriculum based on her academic abilities and interests. In addition, guidance is provided for navigating any particular class or school concerns that may arise.
Students create a high school resume highlighting how they engage with the world around them. As students identify the things they enjoy spending time on, we find a variety of ways for them to do what excites them. We plan for extracurricular activities during the school year and for meaningful and valuable summer experiences.
Developing the college list is a dynamic and deliberate process. Students will learn how to research colleges effectively and determine the elements of what makes a school a good fit for them academically, socially, and personally. We plan college visits and discuss how they can get the most out of their time on campus, and family financial requirements are considered to ground the process in reality.
Every student has a story to tell and colleges want to read it. We take the time to explore their meaningful growth experiences and determine how they can best articulate them in their application essays. I provide guidance with appropriate and effective story development through comprehensive, detailed feedback until the student has a polished narrative he is excited to submit.
Applications are completed thoroughly, correctly, and before the deadlines. Students will fill out their electronic college applications as soon as they become available online. I review each application in detail prior to submission to ensure all elements are addressed fully, accurately, and are in alignment with the student's story.
Honors program essays and special scholarship applications come next. For students who are qualified and interested , we apply the same intentional process to these additional applications, essays, and interview preparation.
Once you get the news, there is still lots to do! I help students and families navigate the decision-making process along with the next steps like orientation and first year course selection.
Preparing to make a successful transition to college can start students off on the right foot. I provide the inside scoop from my years as a college professor, advisor, and administrator to help students make the most of college from the day they set foot on campus. I will share many strategies and techniques for them to apply as needed during their college career.
You've still got me once they're gone. You may find that you or your student still has a question or two as she is adapting to her first year. I welcome any questions and am happy to weigh in on any concerns. Please keep in touch!
For those of you seeking something other than comprehensive college planning, I partner with your student to work intentionally on achieving their personal goals through the particular services you need.