College Bound Toolbox

On-line lessons, videos, guides & resources to guide students through the college process, prepare, build skills & maximize options.

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The College Bound Toolbox breaks down the process into manageable steps, that completed will optimize a student admission's chances and create more college choices. This is a redesign of my 2-week Countdown To College© class. Embracing skills and experiences increases a candidates options for applying to private colleges with generous endowments. All too often students limit themselves with the choices of community college and state schools that will never see their complete resume or portfolio. Some of the components includes:

  • Questionnaire to identify interests, passions and help translate into potential college majors
  • Focus Guides for 9th through 12th grade
  • How To Find a College That Fits Guide
  • How to identify and create an internship or job shadow opportunity
  • Conversation Cards with tips for initiating the college discussion with parents
  • Resume template and guide to identifying your standout factors
  • How to create a "Brag Folder" for meeting with college reps, counselors and community mentors.
  • Guides on  SAT vs. ACT, Subject Tests, AP Tests and affordable test prep options.
  • College Search Guide - How to research colleges and find the best fit. Includes a list of respected websites for searching and determining admission chances.
  • Creating a Student Portfolio Guide - for interviews, test optional schools and cataloging a students creative and academic success. Also used in college interviews.
  • Guide to securing and preparing for a college interview
  • College Comparison Template© for creating the college list and budget detailing all information parents want to review before deciding which colleges make "the list"
  • Making contact with colleges representative and tips for staying in touch
  • Tips for navigating the college fairs and tours
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Guide

There are also Conversation Cards and a video to guide parents in initiating the college discussion with their student. This parent lesson offer specific support strategies (based on 5 years of student feedback) to ensure that parents don't "Hijack" the college journey.


All lessons, guides and videos would be accessible online and updated easily. Students subscribe and receive lessons at regular intervals to walk them through the college process from 9th though 12 grade. This program will help students who would not otherwise have ready access to a college counselor or planner,  the information and resources to navigate the process and build their own support team..

Please share your ideas ! 


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Countdown To College Flier LTR.pdf

Flier describing the 2 Week Countdown to College Class©. This is a class developed by Cynthia Blair Tognotti, Founder of UpSkill. This "BootCamp" style course walks students through the process while helping them discover themselves, their interests and what they need to be successful at college and in life!


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Photo of Cynthia Blair Tognotti

Hello Omar,

Thank you for your comments and great information regarding Linked In tips for students - we just had a rep come visit the school. Mine is in sore need of updating. 
My audience is really the middle group of students who cannot afford a high priced consultant and I do also provide 2 free spots for class for students who cannot afford the class.
The class has been well received - that said there are sections that are intensive that students like the least however, once completed it's the part that really puts them int eh drivers seat - The College Comparison Template. 
The class is designed as an overview - there is a lot of information, so I do need to break this up into smaller components - would love to collaborate - I need to dash int a meeting my number is 650-271-1900

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