• Getting In

    This process does not have to be stressful.
    There are many strategies to discuss.

  • Finding A College

    Lots to consider. This is the fun part.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Photo: University Of Redlands

  • Paying for College

    To make this less painful is my job. Financial aid “made easy”.

Testimonials
  • "There is no doubt that you made the whole college process so much easier and less stressful for both me and my family. Your patience and kindness did not go unnoticed." - Female student, San Rafael 2014

  • "Not only have you helped me immensely with the essay process, but it's taught me a lot about myself and my real beliefs. I thank you especially for helping me to grow as a person. I feel prepared for the next step!" - Female student, Santa Rosa 2016

  • "All of your advice has been so helpful. I would honestly be lost without you. It's been great that you've been available whenever I needed you." - Female student, Santa Rosa 2016

  • "The day has come, graduation is here, and I would not be in this place of calm if it weren't for you. It is because of you, your guidance and support, that we have our daughter's next journey planned out" - Mother of student, 2016

  • "I cannot say enough, but thank you for your help. You not only helped me find the right words for my essays, but you also helped me mature and grow." - Male student, Santa Rosa 2016

  • "I was accepted at both UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Thank you so much for walking me through those essays - I truly believe they were a main factor in my acceptances." - Transfer student, 2016

  • “I wish there was a way to accurately express my gratitude towards you. There is no doubt that you made the whole college process so much easier and less stressful for both me as well as my family. Your patience and kindness did not go unnoticed! I know that several years from now, when the college process is a bit of a blur, I’ll attribute my success to you. Thank you so much for your willingness to help me get into college. I am forever grateful.” - Female student in first year of college, 2013
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed working with Christine and would not have been so successful in the medical school application process without her guidance and feedback. She has an incredible attention to detail that made my applications shine. No rock, or word for that matter, was left unturned. Her constructive criticism was detailed, candid and valuable, and her enthusiasm for helping me succeed was genuine and apparent in our conversations." - Male college student, 2013
  • "I think your enthusiasm and tenaciousness are great assets to have and to share with teenagers embarking on this tricky road. You have also been to see so many colleges, which was most helpful." - Mother of college student, Kenwood 2012
  • "I can't tell you how grateful I am for your support throughout this process. I would probably be in a padded cell by now, and my daughter would NOT be anywhere near getting her apps done. We owe you big time! Thank you thank you thank you!!!" – Mother of college student, Marin 2012
  • "Thank you so much for taking the time to walk through this financial process with us. We would not have been able to figure it all out without you. I will definitely stay in touch about a final college decision. Again, thank you so much!" - Student, San Rafael 2012 
  • "I am extremely grateful for all of the time and work you put into helping me. It has helped me in so many ways, and I wouldn't have been able to stay focused or determined without you." - Student, San Rafael 2012
  • "I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me. My father knew absolutely nothing about the college process and you were there to play a motherly role in my life when I needed help. You nagged me at times but always applauded me when I did great work. It's because of you that I'm going to college. Thank you so much for sticking with me. I promise I won’t let you or my family down." - Student, San Rafael 2012
Welcome to my site

I want to help you accomplish your goals.

My passion is to help students discover colleges that will present challenges and opportunities to broaden and deepen their true sense of self, and will improve their capabilities to perform successfully in society.
  • Planning:   The college search and selection process can be enjoyable. We will create a plan and a strategy.
  • Be in charge:   I will help students approach the application process with confidence and intelligence.

 “Start the college selection process with a sense of freedom. Open yourself up to the excitement and the opportunities ahead.” –Steven R. Antonoff, College Match

College counseling certificate (UCLA Extension Program)

Credentialed teacher with specialty in writing (Univ of Calif, Berkeley)

Certified financial planner (UC Berkeley Extension)

Bachelor’s degree in psychology (UCSB)

Ed.M Masters degree in Education: Administration, Planning, & Social Policy  (Harvard University Graduate School of Education)

Professional Associations: WACAC Western Association for College Admission Counseling,  HECA Higher Education Consultants Association

Mother of 2 children: a law school grad & a college student


Colleges I’ve Visited

West: Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, Santa Clara University, Scripps, SF State, St. Mary’s College-Moraga, Stanford, U of Pacific, U of Redlands, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Irvine, USC-University of Southern California, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Sonoma State, Chico State, Fresno State, Cal State Monterey Bay, Humboldt State, Lewis & Clark, Reed College, U of Washington, Seattle Univ, Seattle Pacific Univ, Pacific Lutheran Univ, Western Washington State, Univ of Puget Sound, U of Oregon, Oregon State, Western Oregon State, Southern Oregon State, Oregon Institute of Technology, Pacific University, U of Portland, Willamette University, Linfield College, Loyola Marymount Univ, Chapman, Occidental, Univ of Arizona, Arizona State, Arizona Polytechnic, Northern Arizona State, Prescott, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

East: Georgetown, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Amherst, Boston College, Harvard, U Mass Amherst, MIT, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Tufts, Wellesley, Williams, Dartmouth, Princeton, Barnard, Columbia, New York University, The New School, Fordham Univ, Brown, Bennington, Middlebury, U of Vermont, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, U Penn, Temple, St. Joseph’s, Drexel Univ, Swarthmore, Bard, Vassar, Trinity College, Northeastern, Lehigh Univ, Bucknell Univ, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Susquehana Univ, Dickinson College, Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College, Ursinus College, Villanova University, George Washington Univ, Georgetown Univ, American Univ, Johns Hopkins Univ, Washington College, George Mason Univ, Goucher College, U of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon Univ, U of Pittsburgh

Midwest: U of Minnesota, Washington University, Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, U of Wisconsin, Macalester, Carlton

South: Davidson, Duke, Elon, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, U of Texas-Austin, Emory University, Tulane University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oglethorpe Univ, Loyola New Orleans, Louisiana State Univ, SCAD in Atlanta

 

Approach

  • I am committed to helping students find colleges that will enrich their lives.
  • I will simplify and organize the application process.
  • I will focus on reducing their stress by creating a plan and a strategy that will help them be competitive and confident.

 

Personal

I am a California native, having also lived in Boston, Minneapolis, and London.

I now live in Kenwood, a small town north of the Bay Area, with my husband, daughter, and our two dogs.  Our older son is a recent alumnus of UC Davis, having graduated in 3 years, and has graduated from law school at the U of Minnesota. My daughter is attending Barnard College in New York City. We moved here from Boston over 20 years ago, yet I grew up in the Bay Area and consider this my home.

I spent my high school years in Minneapolis, and my college years at UCSB, UC Berkeley, and received my Masters in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

I taught English, writing, and Social Studies in a public high school for 4 years before leaving to pursue a career in the business world in investment advising and business management. I have a current teaching credential from the state of California and a Financial Planning Certificate from UC Berkeley Extension.

As a stay-at-home mom, I enjoyed publishing a boutique events calendar, which received wide distribution under my trademark “California FunFest”. This was before the internet became more accessible. During that time I helped start the Kenwood Education Foundation which has now celebrated over a decade of success.

My brief career as a television news photographer in Monterey was perhaps my most memorable since I was able to record the interview with Joe Montana in the locker room after he won the NFC championship game. I was the second female photographer in history to have been allowed there. That was an exciting day.

 What makes me a good college counselor?

I like working with high school students, which is why I chose to be a teacher. Students at this age are at such a critical time in their lives. They are forming habits that will stay with them forever, at a time when a small turn in the wrong direction can have significant consequences. It is a time when they are exploring and discovering who they really are and what they really want in life. I like to hear their stories and I want to help them get through this college search process as painlessly as possible. With all the stress they are under, they need a helping hand to get through it all. Usually the school counselors are too busy to take the time these students need.

My priority is the student. I see my role as a supplement to their school’s college counseling program. As a former teacher and administrator, I support the efforts the schools are making and I also understand the heavy workload they have.  I also see my role as a support to the parents and will take some of the burden off of their backs. I believe in listening to the parents and involving them in the process in a way that doesn’t distract the student from being motivated.

 

What makes me qualified to do this job?

I am certifed as a college counselor, having completed an extensive program at UCLA. I am part of a network of college counselors who share information and resources. I have personally visited over 100 selective colleges across the country.

I am an experienced writing teacher, with a degree in Psychology.

I enjoy all aspects of college counseling:

  • working with students of this age and their parents,
  • researching colleges,
  • keeping up to date on all the changing requirements,
  • keeping them organized and inspired.

 

Background

Teaching, California public high school: English, Writing, Social Studies  (4 years)

Business & Educational Administration (10 years)

Financial Management (4 years)

Development Writing & Strategy (1 year)

Clients:   Harvard Law School, Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts, U.S. Rowing Association, KQED-TV San Francisco

Television Production & Writing (4 years)

 

Education

Certificate In College Counseling, 2011 – University of California, Los Angeles, Extension

Certificate in Financial Planning, 1988 – University of California, Berkeley, Extension

Single Subject Teaching Credential Program, 1977 (Social Sciences) – University of California, Berkeley

Life Credentials in English & Social Studies (California: Preschool through Adult)

Masters in Education: Administration, Planning, Social Policy (Ed.M., 1975) – Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA

Psychology (B.A. with Honors, 1974) – University of California, Santa Barbara


Additional:

  • Sonoma Academy, Co-chair of Annual Fund, 2012-2013
  • Marin Academy Parent Association, President & Board Member, 2007-2008
  • Kenwood Education Foundation, President & Founding Member, 1998-2001
  • The Preparatory School Board of Trustees, Santa Rosa, Board Member, 1995-97
  • Stanford University, Mass Media Institute, Broadcast Management & News, 1980
  • University of California Writing Institute, Bay Area Writing Project for Teachers, 1979

The Search

Evaluation of your personal interests & needs; academics, standardized testing, & extracurricular activities

  • Self-survey
  • Financial aid
  • Fine Tuning Your Academic Plan and Resume;
  • Standardized Testing Strategies

Alignment of your needs with the characteristics of the colleges

  • The importance of the college visit
  • Researching your options
The Application
  • What These Colleges Want
  • Recommendation Letters
  • The Essay
  • The Application
  • Transcripts
  • High School Profile
  • Interviews and Visits
  • Special Situations: Athletes, Legacies, Disabilities, etc.
  • When To Apply: Create a strategy
Timeline
  • Calendar
  • Pre Freshman Academic Planning
  • Freshmen
  • Sophomores
  • Juniors
  • Seniors
The Final Selection
  • How to Evaluate
  • How to Choose
  • How to approach the Wait List


Services

My main role is to support the student and family while giving guidance and advice. Often parents will worry that their child isn’t going to follow through and try hard enough. Usually, the child is very interested in doing so, but not while being nagged and coerced. I can be the go-between, who will allow the student to achieve goals that are usually in sync with what the parents also want. This particular time in a student’s life is full of stress and complexity. I see it as my job to support students while they are moving towards this next phase of their lives. I also sympathize with the parents’ concerns since I have 2 children of my own, one who has been through the process once and one who is going through this transition now.

Initial consultation is half the regular rate (fee if materials are requested).

Hourly rate is $100 per hour, which is a going market rate.

I have found it makes sense to have an initial consultation that includes an articulation of your real needs, an estimate of the amount of time it will take to accomplish your goals, and devise a plan that fits within the parameters of your budget. During this time we will determine if we can work well together, we will discuss your hopes and fears, and we will evaluate your students’ transcript, interests and any special situations. I will also provide you with a timeline that tells you how you might like to approach the search and/or application process. Packages also available that include group work.

Workshops and Information Sessions 

Information sessions are designed to provide overviews about the college process so they are tailored to the grade levels of students, and parents are encouraged to attend. Information Sessions can be held in someone’s home if 15 people can be assembled. This number includes parents as well as students.

Workshops are designed to help students complete college applications.

Samples of workshop titles are:

  • Creating a Plan of Action
  • The College Essay
  • Financial Aid

 

Print Materials:essay books

  • Fiske Guide to Colleges     
  • The College Finder, Steven Antonoff
  • The Best 366 Colleges, Princeton Review 
  • The Road To College, The Princeton Review
  • College Match, Steven Antonoff
  • The College Admissions Mystique, Bill Mayher
  • Colleges That Change Lives, Loren Pope
  • K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD, Princeton Review        
  • Admission Matters (3rd Edition)  Springer, Reider and Morgan

Websites:

Comprehensive:

Planning:

Admissions:

Financial Aid:

Specialized:

Phone: 1-415-847-6406

Email: Christine@SonomaCollegeCounselor.com