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  • Learning Associates

“One size fits all.” When I see a sign like that I doubt it. More likely “One size fits none.”


This question of what will fit is surely appropriate when matching a student to a college, where it’s far more expensive to be mistaken than when choosing clothes. Come to think of it, when considering College Fit, maybe shoes are a better metaphor than clothes.


When I settle in after a long day I might choose house slippers, to help me relax and forget my stresses.

My daily shoes are supportive and comfortable. They take me through a busy day or an easy one. I know they’re right as soon as I slip them on.

Saturday mornings bring running shoes to move through my day efficiently, even if I am just running errands. I want that extra bounce to feel effective.

For a hike in the mountains I might tolerate some discomfort in return for ankle support and traction. Achievement is the goal, and too much comfort is not the order of the day.

When measuring a student for College Fit, it is critically important to accurately assess the student’s character and aspirations first. Sometimes the great challenge for families is to strip away expectations, ignoring the winds of college fashion that blow through high schools. Does the young person show signs of stress and anxiety – then what might be an appropriate college to slip into? Is the student efficient and effective, more workmanlike than brilliant, but not a striver – if so, what strengths can be reinforced at college where diligent focus will be highly rewarded? Is the college applicant a relentless and happy climber – what tools will be needed?


College fit is an art that begins with a clear eye on the student. Searchable data found on the web alone is no more likely to create a great College Fit than shopping unfamiliar shoe brands on the internet by size and color is likely to be satisfactory.


Larry Blumenstyk, CEP


© 2017

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Disorders in executive functioning interfere with student success in college, both academically and emotionally. The result is that many successful high school students become part of the “failure to launch” statistics.


Larry just returned from the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) conference where he moderated a panel of experts who shared how higher education programs are coaching students and teaching them strategies for success. The distinguished panel included Jacqueline Jewett, Mitchell College, Managing Director of Student Relations; William Presutti, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Director, Regional Center for Learning Disabilities; Kevin Mayne, Landmark College, VP for Enrollment Management; Maria Bacigalupo, Curry College, Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL); Stefano Papaleo, Lynn University, Director of Admissions.


The experts presented information to help consultants understand how to differentiate among programs when providing guidance to families.


They explained how to identify at-risk student profiles, and provided detailed examples of coaching and scaffolding. They also discussed the elements and nature of executive functions, accommodations, and supports.


Larry provides college admissions coaching to students of all academic profiles.

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  • Learning Associates

Many parents and professionals know about Assistive Technology tools, such as audio books or text to speech that help students who have difficulty with reading or written language. But did you know that Assistive Technology tools can also help students who struggle in math?


Our comprehensive learning evaluations detect various learning challenges, including dyscalculia which causes difficulty understanding number concepts or using mathematical symbols and functions. Our recommendations are tailored to each student’s specific needs. While calculators and manipulatives can help, there are also equation solving tools that are helpful for algebra, digital graphic organizers for problem solving, and graphing tools. Other students have handwriting problems that cause them to misalign columns or resist writing out their work, all leading to errors and unhappy teachers. For these clients, we suggest graph paper and Assistive Technology tools, such as math notation tools for equations, digital drawing tools for geometry or trigonometry, text to speech, and dictation to help them work around those handwriting issues that affect their performance in math. We have many grateful clients who have overcome their math difficulties by implementing our strategies.


For more information, look at the excellent article on Assistive Technology for Math at www.understood.org. If your child or student struggles in math, please contact us to schedule a learning evaluation. We will pinpoint the root cause and provide customized solutions.

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