Method Test Prep Spotlight seeks to highlight MTP clients, friends, and acquaintances who are doing amazing things in education. For each installment of the Spotlight, we will select a dedicated individual or organization to profile, and will then interview the awardee to share their story. Through the Spotlight, we hope to develop a bank of successful experiences and practices for other schools and educators to learn from.
Amid tightening school budgets, expanding student caseloads, and an ever growing list of responsibilities, counselors in many high schools across America have been stretched to their limit. As a result, some parents feel their students can benefit from additional hands-on support and attention throughout the college admissions process. It’s no surprise, then, that college admissions advising services have grown from a boutique, highly localized phenomenon to an international juggernaut. Increasingly, families are seeking the assistance of Independent Educational Consultants (IECs) to address their students’ needs.
IECs may specialize in different sub-fields of college application and admissions advising—including financial planning, essay writing, and test prep—but many strive to provide all of these services. The challenge of demonstrating all-around expertise, paired with recent news about college admissions scams, has raised the level of scrutiny in the field. This is why a competent, ethical IEC like Portland, Oregon-based Kristen Miller of College Bound & Ready can be worth her weight in gold to the families she advises.
Through her organization, Kristen works with over 20 families per year, creating and refining college lists, identifying financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and helping her students complete their applications and write their essays. To ensure students are properly engaged and well informed, Kristen helps them create a “College Business Plan” that involves holding regular meetings with students and their families to discuss each aspect of their applications. Kristen strives to help her students learn more about themselves and what they want to accomplish; in this way, she positions them to apply to schools that will best foster their long-term success. Through the process, her students gain insight into their personalities and develop decision making skills that will extend far beyond applying to college.
Kristen supplements her college admissions expertise with access to Method Test Prep's self-paced ACT and SAT prep program. She feels the program’s 15-minute segments are perfect for students’ attention spans, and that the structure provides a low stress approach to preparing for the high stakes exams. Her belief in the program was solidified early on when one of her first students saw a 5-point increase in a single ACT section after using the Method Test Prep program. The resulting score helped the student gain admission to all of her schools. By providing a test prep program that can help students secure acceptance letters (and sometimes even scholarship money!), Kristen builds great value into the services she offers to her families.
At Method Test Prep, we’ve been working hard to collaborate with the IEC community and to foster our relationships with both IECA and HECA. The “White Label” version of our web-based, self-paced prep program enables IECs and other organizations to provide our ACT and SAT prep platform to their clients under their organizations’ respective branding profiles. This helps IECs build their reputation and presence in their respective hometowns. It's a unique way for MTP to lend our expertise while empowering independent small business owners to be viewed as test prep authorities, all without engendering undue competition.
To say we've enjoyed working with individuals like Kristen Miller would be a great understatement: MTP’s expansion into the IEC market has opened our eyes to the great work individuals like Kristen are doing all over the country. We appreciate playing a role, however small, in helping Kristen and others build sustainable businesses that provide value to students and their families.
If you'd like to download a short overview about the ways we can help build your business, click on the link below for information about our White Label Program!
More About Kristen Miller
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I love when a student feels really good about their personal statement. I feel incredibly honored when a student feels comfortable sharing really personal stuff, and I love being invited to graduation parties!
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love to run in the woods and do hot yoga.
Q: How do you like to spend your summers or vacation time?
A: With my family. We have a place in Central Oregon where we can hike and boat. I love having my college kids home so I can spend time with them
Thanks again to Kristen for being a shining example of great things happening in education!
If you would like to nominate an individual or organization working with MTP to be considered for a Spotlight Award, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Spotlight. Please also share this story with people in education as well as with parents and other interested parties!
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