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Collegestrategyblog.com isn’t just another college website.  It’s the blog for a real-life college planning and intervention program founded by Jeff Ludovici, who began working with students in 1997, and now consults with students and families throughout the U.S.  The uniqueness of collegestrategyblog.com is that it’s based on actual work with students and colleges, and not just on general “advice” that can be found at other sites.  While based in Pittsburgh, Jeff consults with students and families through the U.S.

Services Offered

Help For Failing College Students

A frequent reason parents and students contact Jeff is help for a student who is doing poorly or failing in college. Even bright students who did well in high school can end up doing poorly in college. Jeff can help identify the reasons why a student does poorly and then help them improve their academic performance. Improvement depends on how much a student wants to finish college. While some students do not improve, others have gone from below a 2.0 GPA to passing, and some have improved to a 3.0 GPA and above.

College Re-Start/Re-Entry

When a bright student leaves a college they often need help to regain their academic path. College re-entry services help a student decide on their next move, find a college at which they may succeed, and then offers direct support as they begin there. In some cases, a student has fallen below a 2.0 GPA, and an effort must be made to find a college to work with them and to identify the reasons for under-performance. College re-entry work is especially needed when a student has been placed on academic probation or suspension and they need to develop a plan of action to present to the college, or to find a new college that will accept them with a low GPA.

High Potential But Under-performing Students

Students with above average or exceptional abilities are not insulated from college problems because of their natural talents. They can end up under-performing in some way, get stuck, or even become paralyzed when having to choose a career direction or decide on graduate school. I have a number of high potential students that fell below the 3.0 GPA required for their department and found they made it very far just on natural ability and actually had few true academic skills. Adding “tweaks” to what they’re doing can often improve their GPA enough to keep them on their path.

Academic Coaching Services

As part of his work with college students, as well as high school juniors and seniors that he is helping with college planning, Jeff offers academic coaching services. Because of his background in psychology, he can teach research-based methods of remembering more when studying, effective test taking, study methods for various types of material, writing skills, time management, organization, and other critical student skills.

Career Mentoring

Many students are not clear on what career pathways might fit them, or what to do after graduation with their current major. While most colleges can offer career assessment, these tests are only one element for overall planning. There are many known trends, both at the national and global level, and students must consider these when planning for their future. Career Mentoring considers a student’s interests, skills, any assessments, and puts these in to the context of what they should consider for the future. In some cases, a career pathway may include attending graduate school, identifying internships, or post-graduation preparation for licensure. In other cases, entrepreneurship should be part of what they consider to tap in to their creative abilities. Ultimately, Career Mentoring is meant to help students identify a major and school that will lead them to a field that they will find satisfying.

Transfer Services

Some students find that they cannot be their best at their current college. It can be a daunting task, however, to explore new possible colleges while they are actively attending classes. College transfer services can help a student by identifying the characteristics of a school they want and matching those against colleges. This can be both a time-saver for the student and family, plus help to find a school that will support the student to help ensure success.

General College Planning

Many students who are considering college are unsure of where to begin when picking a college. They can become overwhelmed, and often make mistakes in the process that can lead to later problems. The U.S. higher education system has low graduation rates, and ranks only 15th out of 29 developed nations in terms of students graduating from college. Many problems that can interfere with graduation are preventable, and Jeff works with students and families on how to choose a pathway that not only the student will like but will lead to their success.

College Planning For Students With Disabilities

The importance of quality college planning for students with a disability can never be over-emphasized. College accommodations are not automatic for students with disabilities, even if they had a 504 plan or IEP in high school. Colleges get to set their own threshold for who merits accommodations and who does not. Finding the right school that a student with a disability will succeed at can make the difference between success or outright failure. Many students with a disability who went to college did poorly there because they picked the wrong school to attend, were not granted the accommodations they needed, or had too little support once there.

Transition To College Services

Transition support for a student’s first year can be very important. Their freshman year can set the tone for the rest of their college career in terms of whether it’s marked by success or barely staying in school. Transition to college services follow college planning and ensure that their fall freshman semester is successful. It includes not only the customary considerations like class scheduling and housing, but also first-semester support for academics and overall adjustment.

Transition To College Services For Students With Disabilities

Transition to college services is especially important for students with disabilities, since they will have other issues to consider. The filing of documentation for accommodations, meetings with the disability department, professor notifications, and the procedural workings of how to use the accommodations once on campus must all be considered. Also, students with a disability may need consistent academic support and someone who will “reach out” to the student since colleges do not.

Specialized Services For Students With Disabilities

Jeff offers a number of specialized services for students with disabilities. He offers post-discharge support services for students who are re-entering college after inpatient hospitalization or from a residential setting. Also, Jeff offers supports for home-bound students, such as those with severe social anxiety, agoraphobia, or other conditions. Students who want to go to college but cannot attend regular classes can often succeed in college by taking online or self-study classes. Due to the highly independent nature of these types of classes, they may need extra support while using these formats. Jeff’s background allows him to understand treatment or discharge recommendations and integrate them in to a college support plan.

Graduate School And Post-Graduate Planning

Many college juniors and seniors realize that they want to attend graduate school, sometimes in specialty areas such as business, engineering, law, or medicine. Jeff applies the same college planning perspective to graduate education as he does to undergraduate in order to help students find a pathway to a professional school that will help them attain their goals.

Parent Consulting

Jeff routinely consults with parents on a broad variety of issues pertaining to high school and college.  Some parents want to work at the “parental level” to do research, explore options, and identify possible solutions to problems prior to the student getting involved. In other instances, a parent may be taking the first step toward helping a student get re-started in college, or to develop a re-entry plan for a student that has below a 2.0 GPA. Also, planning for special situations like a student returning to college after discharge from an inpatient or residential setting are other reasons that parents contact Jeff.

Services For Colleges:

Jeff offers consultation services for colleges to help them improve their own efforts at helping students. This type of consultation can be about establishing or improving retention efforts (especially at small colleges) or training and supporting new staff. Sometimes newly appointed Directors of disability services or retention programs need to understand more thoroughly what factors must be considered when trying to help students. This type of training is also available for managers and new staff in disability or retention departments. Colleges need not disclose their identity upon contacting Jeff, and all conversations are confidential.

About Services

All services, whether ongoing or brief, are on a consultation basis unless otherwise arranged. There are no formal contracts or commitments, and if you feel that you or your student are not benefiting from services, they can be discontinued at any time. All student and family information is protected by the FERPA privacy standard, and student and family identities are confidential, as are the identities of other types of clients.