Podcast: Andrea West: The Power of Reflection in College Admissions

Today, I talk with Signet’s Director of Operations and senior academic coach, Andrea West about the benefits of combining traditional college admissions consulting with coaching. Coaching can not only improve a student’s academic performance, but it can also shift them into more of a growth mindset and self-knowledge, two things which are vitally important in having a positive experience in the college process. Andrea shares how even high achieving students can benefit from this approach. Tune in to hear about some of the transformations she’s witnessed and had a hand in, and the joy that comes from sending a young adult off to college with full confidence that they can handle whatever they may face.

TRANSCRIPT

Andrea Signet Education: 

I think that is really the most valuable thing that we’re offering to students by connecting them with coaches, because I’m not worried about any of our students who have a coach, right? That they’re not like that they’re going to be okay, once they get to campus, students who just came through to just bang out an application and make it the best that they could and kind of kept their blinders on that rigidity that you were talking about. In the past, I’ve been worried about those students. I was like, Oh, you got in. But like,I’m not sure how this is going to go for you if you can’t expand the way that you’re thinking about your life. So it’s like I almost see coaching sets kids up for, you know,getting through the college process, but also just for being successful in college.

Sheila Akbar: 

Hey, everybody,today, I’m just so excited to have Signet’s Director of Operations, Andrea West, join us, we’re working on somet hing really exciting here at Signet,and that is combining our academic coaching approach with our college admissions practice.Andrea is really spearheading this effort as she is one of our most experienced coaches. And she’s really well situated to kind of put this whole thing together. And she’s also witnessed the power, the transformation that comes when students do both coaching and college admissions with us,you’ll hear her talk about how coaching can improve a student’s academic performance, but also shift them into more of a growth mindset. And help them reflect and think about what they need and how to advocate for themselves, and how all the pieces of their life connect,and how things are going inside,not just outside, and how all of that just feeds into the college process really seamlessly, where you need to know what kind of learner you are, what kind of environment you want to be a part of in college, what you think you want to study how to navigate the surprises that come with adult life, things don’t always go as planned or you think you might be interested in something, but then all of a sudden, something new catches your attention. And so coaching can be a really great way to lay a strong foundation for students to be able to make strengths based and value based decisions about the trajectory of their own lives. So I invited Andrea to come and talk to us about what she’s seen when students approach admissions in this way.And also some of the key benefits for coaching, when there isn’t a clear academic challenge to focus on and how even high performing students can really benefit from coaching. So take a listen. All right, Andrea, thank you so much for joining me, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you. And I’m really excited for people to hear about what you’ve been working on and what you’re excited about at Signet. So let’s start there. Tell us what you oversee? And what your day to day work is like, and then we’ll get on to the exciting stuff.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yeah,of course, well, first of all,I’m like really excited to spend this time with you too. I am focusing on lots of things. You know, in my role as director of operations here, I kind of feel like, you know, everything can be turned into an operation and something that I want to stick my hands into and figure out how to support and solve problems.But the area of our business that’s really most exciting, as I look into this coming year, is thinking about the way that our students and our staff and our company combined some of the services that we do. So of course, you’ve talked a bunch in this podcast already about admissions, and coaching. And you’ve learned from a lot of wonderful people. So my focus in this year is like how do we meld them all together and serve our students in different kinds of ways. So I have a lot on my mind.

Sheila Akbar: 

Clearly, clearly you do and as you should,because your mind is particularly good at these sorts of puzzles. So the one that I would love to talk to you more about today is how coaching really lays a foundation for college admissions.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yes,that is, I have something I’m thinking about and learning about all the time, but also a place of what I think is magic,right? Because, you know, you think about how some people talk about academic coaching as a way to supplement you know,executive functioning challenges or problems that are popping up in school are really this feeling of like everything’s on fire and we need to put out the fires. So let me hire coach,which is all very valid. You know, we do tons of that. And we’ve seen a lot of success there. But I think Coaching is really under utilized for students who kind of have their executive functions figured out to a certain extent or maybe are actually, you know, as I call it aggressively type A right really, how are you talking about me? Maybe potentially. So,those students benefit from coaching too. And I think a place where they could really benefit from coaching is when you’re thinking about this really stressful endeavor of applying to college. So I’ve seen in the past year, some coaches really dig in with those students who have lofty goals or have these dreams in mind, they know what they want, they don’t know how to get there. And they really unlock some potential for these students that, you know,maybe these days wouldn’t have found without the kind of influence of a coach.

Sheila Akbar: 

So let’s definitely dig into that. But I want to put a pin in it for just a minute to back up a little bit. And think about what does coaching look like for a student who might not necessarily have a learning difference? Or an executive function challenge?What would coaching look like for a student like me, for example?

Andrea Signet Education: 

I think that’s a wonderful way to frame this conversation, all coaching no matter if no matter where the skills are, no matter where the goals are, we like to say is what we call like student driven, right. So the goals and the progress and decisions to try something new, always come from the students, you know,impetus, their ideas, their thoughts, their experiences,their feelings. And I think sometimes really high achieving students don’t get asked a lot of really deep questions about why they’re doing what they do,how they feel about it, what could be improved, what they want, because they’re seen from the outside is like, Oh, yes,Sheila has it all together.Like, she knows what she wants,I’m gonna stay out of the way,clearly, I don’t need to intervene, right? Because we’re seeing all the success, we’re seeing grades we’re seeing, Oh,like, yeah, she qualified to get into the school. Like, we don’t need to involve ourselves. And maybe a student, like Sheila would say, I don’t need help either get out of my way. Maybe that’s that energy that, you know, high achieving students might put out at the same time.But you can imagine kind of like an inner world, or you’ve probably experienced this inner world for the students that,yeah, they’re getting all this success. But there are things that are missing, right? And those students identify deeply why they’re trying so hard or working so hard, or can they say, I’m working this hard because of me? Or maybe they’re working that hard because of other pressures, right? There’s such an opportunity to open up that inner world for high achieving students that they probably don’t get much attention in that area otherwise, right? Because everything the outside veneer could can look a certain way.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah. And it’s very convincing, right? And I think for a lot of those students, you might not need to teach them how to do school.Well, that comes easily. But what are some of the other things they may need to learn how to do or nobody’s ever asked them before, like, coaching? We call it academic coaching at Signet, but you and I know,there’s so much outside of academics that can affect your academic performance, or your goals that you’re trying to achieve through school? So tell us about that a little bit.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yeah, I mean, I think when a student’s executive functions aren’t in order, it’s almost easier to coach them. Because there’s an entry point, there’s a clear,obvious pain point, you can talk about the consequences, they become very clear. And then you kind of get past talking about their backpack is a mess, and you’re always late. And you can under cover, like lots of things about, you know, who they are,what they care about what they want, what they fear, with the idea of like, okay, we’re going to help these symptoms, right.But I think sometimes it’s like high achieving students are just really good at masking the symptoms of what is stressful and hard about their lives as a teenager, right? So compare it to like, go into the doctor,right? If you show up to the doctor, and you’re bruised and banged up, and you get a stomach ache, and a headache and can’t sleep, you’re gonna get a lot of attention, and you’re gonna figure out these things that may not be right with your body, and you’re gonna try medicines and treatments and whatever. But there could be something. I think we all probably have things that aren’t right with our bodies or things that feel uncomfortable or aren’t settled or don’t feel right. But if you’re not exhibiting all these symptoms, it’s really hard to get treatment for those or it’s really hard to even identify where things could be better or your health could be improved,right.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, it’s a great analogy, because I mean, right now I’m struggling with a stiff neck. And I probably wouldn’t go see a doctor for Are this right?What are they really going to do for me, they’re going to tell me to rest and, you know, put some heat on it? Well, I can just do that on my own. Right. But in the context of academics, it might be, I have to work a little harder in this class, or it keeps me up at night or I’m stressed about the ACT, I get nervous on tests, right? Maybe the student just over prepares,so they can do well on tests.But, you know, students shouldn’t have to work that hard.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yeah.And it’s like to think about you working with a stiff neck here,right? Like, it stinks, you’re probably uncomfortable, you’re probably in a lot of pain, it’s probably taking you so much energy to sit here and look like you don’t have a stiff neck. But from the outside that things are fine. Like, I’m not, I’m not worried about you, I don’t think that your job is in jeopardy because of this, but you’re still suffering that doesn’t take away from the fact that like, there are things internally that could be going better. And I think that’s such the experience of a lot of high achieving students, right? Like,just because they are doing fine, and they’re gonna be okay.And they’re probably gonna go to whatever school they want to go to, or like something really close to it, no matter what I’m all about thinking. I’m just bringing more ease to the lives of our students. And I think that’s really what coaching is supposed to do at the end of the day.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yes, such a great definition. Because we do see so many students who getting good grades, you know, very social,doing well in school, like involved in all the clubs and activities, and their parents would never suspect anything was going on. But if their life could be easier, don’t you want that for them? Yeah. Right.

Andrea Signet Education: 

And not only easier, but like, you know,more meaningful, right? Because the idea of coaching is to ask those questions of who are you?Why do you do what you do? Why are you trying so hard? Like,what’s the end goal? And it’s surprising how many really successful students can’t answer.

Sheila Akbar: 

I mean, I was one of those until I was, you know,late 20s. I couldn’t tell you why, for any of those things.But, you know, outside appearances suggested that I,you know, was very successful and had it all together. But I had no real sense of purpose.And I think that’s what it comes down to right is what’s your purpose? What’s driving you?

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yeah,right. And what what also is coming to mind is, I’m sure you can relate really high achieving students do not like help, they do not like asking for help, you do not like advocating for help.They do not like anybody helping them because they want to feel this sense of, you know, they did it all themselves, they grinded it out, whatever, which I think, is a skill that they do not have, right, asking for help is a skill, advocating for yourself is a skill, saying something isn’t right here. And I need some intervention is a skill that high achieving students often don’t have. So I see coaching also as an opportunity to like, break that stubbornness so early, before they get to college, and things get a lot harder. Before they’re kind of thrust into some really big decisions. They have developed the skill of getting an asking for help, which makes a huge difference.

Sheila Akbar: 

Because you can’t you can’t be mentored. If you can’t ask for help, right? And we know the value of mentorship,we don’t usually think about it as asking for help, but that’s exactly what it is.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Sure.And then to connect it back to admissions, you know, I’ve seen students be kind of hesitant about getting this this type of support coaching or even consulting help, because they’re like, you know, again, I want to do it all myself, I don’t want to feel like I’m not independent, like, you know,whatever, I’m resistant to getting support through this process. But like, it’s such a competitive edge to have so many people in your corner, right?Not just because you know, you know, you’re getting a special consultant or whatever, you know, we don’t work any magic in that way. But like to have more people understanding your story and your goals and to hold you to them and to keep you aligned through the whole process. Like,it makes so much sense that students with that kind of support, not only go through the college admissions process with less anxiety, but they have better results at the end of the day, right?

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah. So yeah,let’s let’s talk more about that combining that coaching mentality and some of those skills that you learn through coaching into our admissions program.

Andrea Signet Education: 

So currently, what we’re spending a lot of time doing is really connecting in syncing up our coaches and our Admissions Consultants, when they’re working with the same student and it’s gone so well, because at the end of the day, you know,the goals for both kinds of services are the same, right? We want to understand our students as people, we want to help them identify what they really want to do in their lives and what can be most meaningful. And we want to set them up with the logistical steps that have to happen in order to set up that,that life that they are imagining for themselves. So when our consultants and our coaches are working together,they’re meeting one on one with students. They’re also meeting kind of behind the scenes to say, Hey, what did you see? What are your challenges? What do I need to know about where they’re at in the admissions process,and they’re also meeting both individuals, with their students with their parents on, you know,semi regular basis to just kind of take these checkpoints during the the really important admission season especially. And it is just provided such an opportunity for a student to have a space where they are doing the deep thinking work,they’re answering these tough questions, they’re reflecting on their values and their vision for life with their coach,before they even really start writing an application and setting up their common app and making their school list. So by the time we’re getting to those points in the process, so much really deep and interesting groundwork has been set. And then the consultant kind of jumps in to do the more logistical advising right to make some recommendations to talk about the strategy of the application. And then they also have that coach, that mentor relationship to lean on, when things are getting stressful when they’re questioning decisions when they want to make changes, when all of the you know, legwork in the writing that has to be done gets really overwhelming, and they need some help getting organized. They’ve already spent time in a mentoring coaching relationship.So it’s not starting new with all these people in this big new process and stuff that’s confusing. You’re kind of building those skills and building that bandwidth right up until application season. So then by the time application season happens, everybody’s prepared for it. And yeah, that sense of ease appears for those students and places where it might not appear for others.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, it’s so great and very exciting because it for a long time cygnets sort of philosophy has been around process, not results. We know if we do good process, the results are going to be great. But let’s not focus so much on the results. And try to turn this student into the perfect, you know, let’s say Harvard student,or whatever it is, let’s focus on the process, which means helping a student get the most out of their education, build meaningful relationships,understand what they’re really interested in pursuing at a higher level, explore, you know,career and academic pads and practice articulating their own motivations and vision for their lives. So they can make decisions around, you know, what classes do I take? Or how should I prioritize this club versus that club, whatever it is, and then that just extends into the admissions process, right. And by focusing on the coaching aspect, before they’re even thinking about, I want to go to this college or that college,who really gives truth to that,that philosophy really brings it into reality that we want you to build a great life for yourself,whatever that means for you.Right? Everybody is different.And college is maybe an important step on your journey to the life you want. Right? For most of our students, it is right. But it’s not the destination. It doesn’t define your trajectory, you actually define that before you start thinking about college. So I love that so much. And I think it’s in this world, there’s not a lot of like there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. It’s all shades of gray.I think this is a clear right way to do things.

Andrea Signet Education: 

I absolutely agree with you, as you’re saying that I was like,it occurred to me that like,college is truly just a tool to achieve something bigger and a greater purpose and a life that you’re happy about. And I don’t think a lot of high schoolers think about it that way. I don’t know if anybody does, right. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it organically, right? I think people might come to that conclusion. But so many people come to us being like, yes,college is the end goal, or like this, even the career I’m gonna get after college, because I went to Harvard is the end goal,whatever. And I think coaching really helps kids step back and say, Yes, college is a part of my journey, but it’s only there to get me to live out the certain value that I have or live a life that’s going to look this certain way or, you know,whatever it may be. It’s, yeah,a stop along the way. Along those same lines, like college itself is a step along the way and a tool that like the application process is is a tool and a stop along the way to right because kids do this work to answer their questions of, or practice answering, right? Why who they are, what their values are, you know, where they want to see themselves. And the college process really forces you to define that right to really write compelling essays that kind of summarize all of those things. And to put yourself out there in a way that says, hey, this is who I am. And I want to be a part of your institution. And I’m going to bring all these wonderful things to your campus. So in that way,you know, not only does coaching support the admissions process,but the admissions process really supports coaching, too,because it just forces you to put an answer on the paper.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, it prompts you yeah, to answer those questions. So let’s talk about some actual results. Here. We just talked about what does that process look like? What should it be? What should be emphasized, but what are the results? What can you tell us about students who’ve done both coaching and admissions and how they’ve grown through this process?

Andrea Signet Education: 

Sure,I’m going to answer that question in terms of more like intangible results, instead of admissions, like school results,knowing the students that I know who’ve approached admissions this way, hearing, the way that they talk about their experience, kind of tells me everything that I need to know,right, because there is such a sense of honesty, the community around the process, right, the way that they talk to their families, and coaches and their consultants, they come together,they’re able to see this progress, they’re able to reflect on where they started and where they ended, that I haven’t seen when we’ve done it differently. So you know, those students are going into the next phase of their life, with all these people in their corner,but also with the skills developed to create a new corner, when they go to college,they know what it’s like to have that kind of experience, and they want to replicate it when they get there. I’ve also just seen like, yeah, it’s so much less terrible, to be honest,because like, maybe I’m being hyperbolic, but like, terrible would be a word that a lot of students would say when they say applying to college. Yeah, feels terrible. And our students who go through it with a coach, I don’t think would use those words, I think it’s much more of a transformative experience for them.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, and I think to bring that down into more specifics, we’ve seen students really come in with like, maybe some pretty rigid expectations of where they want to go. And then that rigidity just sort of evaporates, when they get in touch with the thing that is so meaningful to them. And then they realize, oh, it’s not about the ranking, or how famous this school is, or whether it’s the school my parents went to, or better than the school my parents went to, or whatever it was, it’s, I’m so fascinated with this subject, that I want to do this really specific,really interesting, super meaningful thing to them with that subject. And there are only five programs in the country that I could do that at. And I got into all five of them,because I was able to say this to them.

Andrea Signet Education: 

And I’d also expand on that as like,yeah, we’ve seen plenty of that,right? But I also don’t want it to be like, okay, coaching gets you to one very specific thing and you get your whole life planned out. But coaching allows students to, to open up to possibility and say, this is where I’m going to start, but I know like they have the skills to evaluate and be like, is this right? Is this feeling good? Can I do I need to adapt? Do I need to pivot or whatever? Because I actually feel like in some cases, that’s more the reality,right? We have some students who are narrowing in a lot, but I’m just more interested in sending kids off to college with the skills they’re going to need to be successful, even if that idea of success kind of shifts or changes or they want to try different things.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, because it does, right. That’s life, right?I think we’re we’re sending kids off to college who are ready for college. They are ready for all of those challenges and decision points and experiences because they have built skills and tools for themselves to navigate those things that could come up. So even if they even if they’re completely undecided. When they go to college, they know they’re going to be able to figure it out. You know, we did this great resilience training with the whole team back in January and our trainer said something about anxiety, right? The sort of layman’s definition of anxiety is not knowing what the world is going to bring, and being worried that you can’t navigate that challenge, right? Because of course, we can’t control the world or time we don’t know what’s going to happen. But if you’re not sure you can meet,whatever the challenge is,that’s where the anxiety comes in.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Absolutely.And that I was starting to,like, think down that path,right when, when you were talking about it, because I was reflecting on it, you know, a really close mentor of mine, who used to run the Counseling Center at my college. And she just left that job, she’s starting something new. And I was talking to her through that transition. And she was like,You know what, my job got a lot harder in the last couple of years, because I’ve seen everybody who’s showing up to college, they got the grades to get in, they’re doing fine in their classes, like, whatever they’re going to graduate, but they cannot cope with the world.They are, they’ve never done kind of deep thinking on resilience and values and how to navigate tough situations and how to ask for help. And all of those kind of like more emotional and social skills,that you absolutely need to not only be successful in college,but to go through college with ease, right. And I think that is really the most valuable thing that we’re offering to students by connecting them with coaches,because I’m not worried about any of our students who have a coach, right? That they’re not like that they’re going to be okay, once they get to campus,students who just came through to just bang out an application and make it the best that they could and kind of kept their blinders on that rigidity that you were talking about. In the past, I’ve been worried about those students as like, Oh, you got in, but like, I’m not sure how this is going to go for you,if you can’t expand the way that you’re thinking about your life.So it’s like I almost see coaching sets kids up for, you know, getting through the college process, but also just for being successful in college

Sheila Akbar: 

and beyond. I mean, there are so many parents and who call us who are like, Oh,you went to Harvard. And you’ve got all these fancy Admissions Consultants who worked at all these very selective universities. So you’re going to help my kid get into one of these highly selective universities that everybody seems to want to go to and then they’re going to be set for life. And I always have to tell them my story, which honestly,I’m a little tired of telling.But, you know, I worked very hard in high school, and I went to Harvard. And I didn’t know how to figure it out. I did not know how to put the pieces together. And it looked like maybe I was okay. Like you were saying, right, I did internships, every summer, I got a very high paying job on Wall Street. As soon as I when I had the job before I graduated from college. And I was lost, and terrified, I had no sense of purpose, no vision for my life,no understanding of how to build, like you said, that corner of, you know, mentors and supporters, that community that I needed to be able to learn from, and rely on. I didn’t know, I just didn’t know how to do it. And it wasn’t because my parents did everything for me.They didn’t write, I really had to figure out a lot of stuff on my own. But these are just adulting skills that are never really taught. And it took me a while to figure out, oh, I need a mentor, oh, I need to think about what’s actually important to me in a job or in a workplace or in a friendship. And let me move towards those things that I’ve identified as good for me.And that’s how I started piecing it all together and how I ended up putting it. And if we can do a little bit of that for kids when they were in high school,they’re probably still going to make decisions that lead them to challenges or maybe wasn’t the,you know, they look in hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best way for them to do something, they’re going to feel like they’re struggling or failing or lost. But hopefully,if they have gone through this process with a coach, they will understand. This is the process of life. Everybody takes the scenic route. And when you get to a place a certain point in your life, you’re gonna look back and be like, Wow, I’m glad I took the scenic route, and you’re going to feel less anxious about it because you aren’t going to feel like you’re failing and everybody else has got to figure it out and you don’t, you’re gonna have the tools to reflect the tools to plan them the tools to seek out mentors, the tools to ask for help, as you said, and you’re gonna be okay. So I love that with the way we do admissions,yes, your student will go to a great college, that’s a good fit for them for whatever it is they want to do. But more importantly, they are going to learn these skills grow into the person that they want to become,and understand how to identify and solve their own problems.And for me, that’s so much more valuable than just acceptance at X or Y college.

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yeah,absolutely. It makes that acceptance feel so much smaller,doesn’t it? Right, like, of course, acknowledging, yes, very important. But I think, you know, people come into us with the idea that it’s everything,and now it has become such a smaller piece of the whole vision, you know, which is not a perspective teenagers get often it’s not a perspective adults get often right, it’s such a unique opportunity, right to offer students to really step back and consider all of these other things, right, I think some of my most successful coaching students, my own students, and to them, so that I know working with other coaches talk about more than just their academics, and more than just their plan for applying to school or whatever it might be.So students who like, talk a bit about some of their friendships and some of the drama that’s happened or struggling in, you know, a romantic relationship for the first time and how to balance that with school, and you know, how to deal with, you know, managing their own money for the first time, all of these other kinds of factors, of course, you know, we’re, we have certain boundaries, you know,we’re not going to go too far into any kind of emotional relational spaces. But all of that affects school, and it affects the relationship, that they have the school and to be able to navigate that or teach them how to navigate that, as part of the whole picture. I just, I send these kids off to college, with so much more confidence, right? Because they’ve experienced working through these things expressing verbalizing these things before.And I know they’re going to be able to do that again. And when I think about success, that’s what I think of right? The student who’s like, you know,who’s even said, like, yeah, my mental health is like, a little weird this semester. And I think I’m gonna go make an appointment at my colleges Counseling Center. And I’m like, I didn’t have to say anything. No, they knew exactly what to do. Because we had that conversation,sophomore year of high school,right? Like, hey, this is something that’s part of your life, who’s in your corner? What are your resources? What do you think the next step is? To, to feeling more confident in this area of life? So I don’t know, I just think it allows students to practice things in a bit of a lower stakes environment in high school, where the stakes become really high in college and in adulthood. And they’ve all done it before. So back to your point about describing anxiety, like,yeah, things are unknown. But what you do know is you’ve had practice, and you’ve survived this thing before, and you’ve navigated this thing before.It’s pretty magical, when you think about it.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah. And then to be able to capture all of that growth in a college application,what college is going to say no,to a student like that.

Andrea Signet Education: 

I know,one of our Admissions Consultants, I was talking to her recently, about how when she would read applications for the university she worked at before she worked here, she wouldn’t care very much about the prompt that they chose for their personal essay. Or like, if it technically answered every single part of the question, or,you know, judged, like, oh, they pick this prompt versus that prompt. She was like, if I read that essay, and there was a beautiful person here, and there’s a story that shined and I saw where this person could reflect on their life. Like if that shone through, like it did not matter which of the commonest prompts that they actually picked. And that really stuck with me, because there’s kind of validation for how I felt about this for a while that like, it’s kind of not even about what question you’re answering. If you can present an answer that shows growth,development, reflection, all of these things that

Sheila Akbar: 

yeah, a deep real human

Andrea Signet Education: 

Yes.Right. I really believe and I’ve got some validation that like,colleges just want to know that there’s a human being there, and know that that’s a human being that’s going to bring something to their campus,

Sheila Akbar: 

Right. Yeah, the chairs, their values is going to be a great addition.

Andrea Signet Education: 

And that’s where that like removal of rigidity really helps. The college process, right?

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah. Well, great.I mean, thank you so much for sharing all of your enthusiasm So for the combination of these two things, I’m sure we’ll have you back on to talk about some of the other great things that you’re working on at Signet.

Andrea Signet Education: 

I had a great time

Sheila Akbar: 

Me too, Andra,talk to you soon. I hope you all enjoyed hearing from Andrea as much as I enjoyed talking with her. And I hope you can see the benefits of approaching college admissions in this way, it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to hire a coach and an admissions consultant. But what I’m hoping to do is encourage you all to think about how we can use the admissions process this sort of behemoth gauntlet that students all have to run through how we can use it to actually motivate reflection and growth. And helping students get the most out of their education.Instead of just seeing it as this like dreadful process they have to go through in order to achieve some kind of desired college outcome, that in a way you can use the rigors of this flawed system that we have to encourage a really holistic and transformative process. It’s a way for you to have a little more control, take an intentional approach, and have some great results in the end,because at the very least your student will come out knowing themselves so much better having a sense of confidence and a sense of vision, and a sense of possibility in their lives.Instead of just feeling beaten down by the college process and told that their options are so limited and them feeling they need to conform to somebody else’s expectations. So I hope that you can marinate on that for a little bit and think about how to integrate it into your parenting, your advocacy, your approach with students if you are an educator, and reach out if you have questions. Thanks,everybody. We’ll see you next time.

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