in the media
The Parent Compass
Q + A
Ventura Blvd Magazine
By Linda Grasso
The Varsity Blues Scandal blew the lid off the college admissions process two years ago. For many parents, the scandal reinforced suspicions: The process is not only challenging, but it can also be unfair and even corrupt. With so many deferrals and postponements in 2020—and an absence of standardized testing—COVID has made the process even more challenging.
College admissions experts Cynthia Muchnick and Jenn Curtis address the challenges and offer guidance in their new book The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness and Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World. Here VB editor Linda Grasso queries the authors about some of the new challenges that have arisen, gleaning some critical dos and don’ts.
ENJOY THE RIDE:
9 ACTIONS PARENTS CAN TAKE TO SURVIVE THE COLLEGE ADMISSION ROLLER COASTER
Picture a roller coaster. Not a small, beginner-level one but an epic, change-your-life, go-through-all-the emotions one. Envision one with the most stunning twists, the most jaw-dropping peaks, and the most stomach-churning drops. Got that picture in your head? Good, because those crests, valleys, and loops, in truth, can also represent the daunting nature of the college admission process. But they don’t have to.
Whether it’s your first time parenting through it or it’s your fifth, approaching the college admission process can be stressful and downright intimidating. But we believe that with some planning and practical tools, it doesn’t have to be, and we’re here to help. As educational consultants for a combined thirty years, we have journeyed alongside our students through the college admission process hundreds of times. And having been through it so many times, we are here to tell you that there is hope. There is a way to navigate this process while not simply surviving but instead thriving —and also preserving your relationship with your teen. We’ve pulled together our best advice on how to approach the college admission process with sensitivity, realistic expectations, and just the right amount of support to turn that beast of a roller coaster into a smooth, easy ride.
PARENTING BEST SELLERS, FEBRUARY 2021 | MOST IN DEMAND IN LIBRARIES AND BOOKSTORES
The list of the Top 20 best selling books in the parenting category includes titles most in demand by libraries and bookstores nationwide (tracked by Baker & Taylor). The Parent Compass was included on this list of best selling titles.
REJECTED?: RETHINKING COLLEGE ADMISSION DECISIONS AND HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR KIDS
By Jenn Curtis
If I’m being honest, sometimes I feel as though I wake up every morning to a dream job.
As a college counselor, I have the privilege of watching my students experience growth, self-discovery, and mastery; become empowered; and develop their own unique voices alongside critical self-advocacy skills. Cheering my students on as they stretch themselves and offering an enthusiastic thumbs up when they embrace a challenge punctuates my work life. But the reality is that one single month of the year also dominates so much of our work together. That’s because it’s in that month—March—that most college decisions are released.
As a result, March becomes the one month of the year that I associate with the most tumultuous roller coaster I’ve ever braved: extreme, exhilarating highs (“I got in!”); utterly confusing, head-spinning twists and turns (“Wait . . . what does ‘waitlisted’ even mean?”); and gut-wrenching, stomach-churning lows (“I was rejected”). It’s on these final three words that I want to take a hard pause because, really, that overused triad is what I intend to focus on here.
So, I’ll repeat it again: “I was rejected.”
22 BEST NEW PARENTING BOOKS TO READ IN 2021
As featured on CNN, Forbes and Inc., BookAuthority identifies and rates the best books in the world, based on recommendations by thought leaders and experts. The Parent Compass was named the #1 Best New Parenting Audiobook to Read in 2021, the #5 Best New Parenting Book to Read in 2021, and a Top 100 Best Parenting Book of All Time.
HOW TO APPLY TO COLLEGE DURING COVID-19, ACCORDING TO 5 EXPERTS
The virtual world still allows for several ways to get to know colleges according to Jenn Curtis, an educational consultant and author in Orange County, CA. . .“Students can take virtual tours that are posted on schools’ websites and also via virtual tour websites like campustours.com. Lots of colleges and universities are also offering live guided virtual tours and even including Q + As with Deans of Admission. There are also many virtual college fairs going on right now, which are often free. Participating in them allows students to listen to roundtables on topics of interest to them, learn about major and minor opportunities, and ask questions of admission officers. Another easy approach is to identify the student’s regional admission officer, which can be done in the Admission section of a college’s website, and email that individual with specific questions about the school. Many students are intimidated by that approach at first, but answering questions about the school is what admission officers are there for!”
THE BOOK OF MISTAKES AND READING ALOUD
World Read Aloud Day By Jenn Curtis
My house is littered in white printer paper, and it’s been like that for years. Clear Ziploc baggies made colorful with ragtag hodgepodges of crayons, pens, markers, and colored pencils are tucked away in every single room. Both my girls love the creative process, whether it involves writing stories about The Friendship Club (modeled after the Babysitters Club) or coloring for hours. . .
THE PARENT COMPASS: NAVIGATING YOUR TEEN'S WELLNESS AND ACADEMIC JOURNEY IN TODAY'S COMPETITIVE WORLD
In an earnest and instructive guide, educational consultants Muchnick and Curtis offer strategies to help parents navigate their kids’ challenging adolescent years. The authors include anecdotes, input from experts, and their own observations as parents themselves (Muchnick is a mother of four, and Curtis of two) while warning parents to avoid overbearing parenting styles and to mind how social media and academic competitiveness place pressure on teens’ emotional health. . .
WHEN SAT/ACT SCORES STILL MATTER
By Melissa Erickson
As colleges across the country announce they are no longer requiring SAT and ACT scores or de-emphasizing their role for admission, students and parents wonder why they should bother with these standardized tests.
"The standardized test landscape is on the precipice of significant change," said educational consultant Jenn Curtis, owner of FutureWise Consulting and Co-Author of The Parent Compass: Navigating your Teen's Wellness and Academic Journey in Today's Competitive World, available mid-September. . .
DON’T FOCUS ON COLLEGE RANKINGS LISTS, WHICH ARE MISLEADING AND EASILY MANIPULATED BY COLLEGES
By Cindy Muchnick and Jenn Curtis
When the college admissions scandal news broke, we called one another in extreme concern, lamenting the crazy circus that our beloved profession has become as a result of a hyper-competitive college admissions landscape coupled with inappropriate parenting madness.
But alongside our shock, echoed by so many around the country, at overreaching parents who resorted to fraud and bribery to help their kids get into college, something more important—more positive—emerged from our conversation.
HOW TO HELP KIDS SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES IN SCHOOL
By Larry Bernstein
If you could simply wave a magic wand, what traits would you wish your child to possess? Confidence? Responsibility? Perseverance? Any of these would prove useful in life, but each of these is especially important because they enable a person to self-advocate, which is essential for independence. So when should a child be able to self-advocate?
. . .The ability to self-advocate needs to be developed. "Self-advocacy is a learned skill, and it takes time," says Jenn Curtis, MSW, an educational consultant and co-author of a forthcoming book on appropriately parenting kids through the competitive landscape of college admissions. . .
WHY ARE PARENTS STILL BEHAVING BADLY?
By Cindy Muchnick and Jenn Curtis
Have we learned nothing from Operation Varsity Blues?
Considering the tremendous pressures placed on families due to Covid-19 school interruptions and modifications, one would think that—now more than ever—parents would want to prioritize their kids’ well being, not pile more stress onto their already stressed-out teens. But, in fact, the case is unfortunately quite the opposite. . .
SCHOOL STARTS, AND SO SHOULD COLLEGE PLANNING
As students get into the swing of things amid the hectic first few weeks of school, there are a few things kids should be considering this fall to look forward to college.
There are many things to think about this fall, said Jenn Curtis. . .
Newport Beach Independent
By Sara Hall
ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL: WOMEN IN BUSINESS AWARDS 2012
OC Business Journal
The Orange County Business Journal, the comprehensive news source for OC's industries and businesspeople, annually honors outstanding professional women conducting business in Orange County, California. In 2012, FutureWise Consulting had the privelege of being nominated for this prestigious award.
HELP GETTING TO COLLEGE, AND BEYOND
Newport Beach Independent
By Cindy Trane Christeson
Two of the most common words that parents and teens use to describe the college-search process are: "overwhelming" and "stressful." Many people think that it is next to impossible to get accepted into good colleges these days, and that to help with admission, high school students need to try as many different activities as possible.
Two local women who are excited about changing those words and dispelling those and other common myths about college acceptance are Jennifer Curtis and Casey Emery...