[Podcast Trailer] Don’t Force It: How to Get Into College Without Losing Yourself In The Process

For all the stressed-out parents trying to help their teenagers navigate the complicated world of college admissions.

Each episode offers insightful and in-depth conversations with admissions experts and professional educators with practical advice for getting through the process without losing sight of yourself, your kid, or your sanity.

From building a strong academic and extracurricular profile, developing the college list, managing standardized tests, to crafting the perfect essay, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned high school parent or a first-timer, join us for candid conversations and expert guidance on making it to, through, and beyond college.



As I was envisioning this podcast navigating high school and the college admissions process and thinking about what I really wanted to pull the curtain back on, I pictured a conveyor belt leading to a set of mechanical jaws, just waiting to chew up our kids.

It was really dark! But here’s the reality: in a lot of ways, our kids ARE on a conveyor belt – food for the system, mindlessly checking boxes – doing standardized tests, ignoring their mental health – and being pushed towards decisions that could affect the rest of their lives.

But let’s also talk about the bright side. Instead of seeing it as THE goal, let’s see college and the process of getting there as an amazing, empowering tool to help young adults achieve THEIR goals.

Now, the process is the process for the foreseable future, but let’s make it work for your kid and your family. And the more you know about how the machine works, the more you can do that.

So that’s what you’re going to learn on this podcast. I’m Sheila. I have two PhDs, and I live and breathe this stuff. I run a company where we walk families who are unfamiliar with the US process or are just really stressed about it through all of this. And I’m going to bring in a bunch of my friends to talk to you about all of these things. You’ll hear from experts in admissions, executive functions & study skills, standardized testing, the business side of higher education, and so much more.

And most importantly, because I know how overwhelming this can be, you’re going to learn practical strategies and tactics from all of them, so you can get through this without losing sight of yourself, your kid, or your sanity.

Sheila A.

Sheila A.

Sheila Akbar is President & COO of Signet Education. She holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Harvard University and two doctoral degrees from Indiana University. She joined the team in the summer of 2010, bringing with her a wealth of experience teaching SAT, ACT, GRE, literature, and composition in both one-on-one and classroom settings.

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