Spring 2012 Program Update

The fall term was much busier than I anticipated, and I had a number of students who were in high school and planning for college. Most of these students were students with disabilities, and taking the time to find the right school can be lengthy and quite challenging. Being able to blend the student’s interests, possible majors, and the right types of campus supports can be a difficult part of the process.

The colleges where I had students for the fall and others that I will for the spring term 2012 include Wittenberg, Fairleigh-Dickenson, University of Colorado, University of Alabama, Kenyon, George Washington, University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia. I’m also working with high school students in Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California.

There were a number of specific problems that I’ve run in to for students both in college and high school (that parents should be aware of). A common one that I’ve encountered is time commitment issues while working with student athletes. A common complaint that I receive is that a student is doing poorly academically, yet when I ask about their schedule to determine when they have time to study, they’re booked until 8pm with non-academic activities. They’re often up until midnight and have to get up at 6am to be ready for school. In general, colleges and employers won’t care that a student played sports. College acceptance is most dependent on a student’s high school grades and SAT/ACT scores. Unless the only way the student can attend college is on a sports scholarship, sports must come second to academics for all students, since they can interfere with grades and reduce the chances of a student getting in to college. This isn’t even addressing the students that have had injuries already in high school, like multiple concussions, and their parents continue to let them play the sport and ignore any implications for that child’s future.

I want to announce the addition of Emi Iwatani, Ma.Ed., as an associate consultant for my work. Emi has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown, Wake Forest, and the University of Pittsburgh (where she taught this year). Emi and I have an excellent working relationship and I want to welcome her in to the consulting work that I do to help students.

I’d like to congratulate Catherine Lipson at Sonoma State University on the completion of her master’s thesis. Catherine contacted me during the research phases of this project which covers students with disabilities and their transition to higher education.

I want to say “good job” to Courtney and her mother, whose college planning efforts were excellent and the process with here went seamlessly. I also want to say good job to Ben for his successful transition to a new college; Nick and Josh for their progress in learning new skills; and good job to the other students that I’ve worked with this fall. I’m looking forward to getting started with the new students who contacted me for the spring 2012 term.

I wish all the students and families that I’m currently working with good luck for the spring term of 2012.