College Possible Coach Laura

College Possible coach for students on the East Coast.

Photo of Laura Weiner
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Title- Tech-Connected College Coach

Organization- College Possible- Philadelphia

Where did you attend college? Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH


What is one of your favorite memories from college? My favorite memories from college were the different 1-credit classes I took just for fun. These ranged from “Knitting for Noobs,” and “Disney and Gender, Sex, and Sexuality,” to “Math Fraction Club,” in which we played math games with elementary school students, and “Girls in Motion,” where we taught dance classes at the local middle school. These classes allowed me to try things I never had before, think about topics I had never contemplated, and some eventually had a huge impact on my goal-setting for the future.


What was a challenge you faced in College? One challenge I faced in college was learning how to balance classes and homework, a work schedule, different student organizations, sports, and social time. I think for any new college student, college offers a lot of freedom which in turn offers a lot of room for growth. My first semester in college I wanted to be a part of everything. In the following semesters I had to learn to prioritize and manage my time; these skills continue to be beneficial to me today.


What was something you wish you had known before entering college? I wish I knew before I entered college that no matter where I attended or what I majored in, I would get a good education and come out prepared for the “real world.” Before college, I thought that I could be happy only if I went to the most competitive school or majored in the most competitive programs. In reflection, my education was what I made out of it and I believe I could have received a good education and been happy almost anywhere, which would have taken a lot of stress off of 17-year-old me.


Why is this collaboration topic (transforming college readiness) important to you? Transforming college readiness is important to me because I know few received the type of preparation for college that I was privileged enough to receive. As both of my parents have higher degrees, I could always turn to them for help with the college process and help with how to study for a college exam or edit a college paper. I also was more aware of campus resources like the writing center. I feel everyone should have access to these resources.


If you could re-design anything to make the to-and-through college journey better for students, what would that thing be? If I could re-design anything to make the to-and-through college journey better for students, I would increase the number of advisors on college campuses and the range of topics they are trained in. Ideally, every student could have a personal advisor that could help them with all facets of college- academic, financial, and social. I believe this would greatly increase student retention.

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Photo of Donna

Hi Laura, I loved reading about your college journey. You are so right about needing more advisors to assist students. I remember having trouble getting the right advice even about the coursework that I needed to complete. I think another issue might be trust between the student and advisor. What are some strategies that might help to bridge the communication gap?

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