posted Oct 1, 2010, 5:45 PM by Glenda Durano   [ updated Nov 7, 2010, 3:57 PM ]

Is it possible to find a good college without a college coach?  Actually…that’s the wrong question to ask. There are many excellent universities throughout the world, so of course you can find a good university.  But the question shouldn’t be whether or not you can find a good college; the question should be whether or not you can find the college that is the right fit for you—the university that best meets your needs and will facilitate the abilities and talents that God has given you.  That’s the real question. 

            You can discover a wealth of information about college admissions in books and on the internet, and with enough effort and time, you probably can find a good fit.  In all reality, however, you probably have better things to do with your 15 to 20 hours a week than search through thousands of websites.  An educational consultant (college coach) acts as a filter to help you develop criteria and process the information you need.  An educational consultant knows the questions to ask in order to help you find possible institutions for your student.  And, a faith-based college coach will, first and foremost, prayerfully guide you and your student in seeking God first in this very important process.

            I think a good analogy of the need for college coaching is going to the doctor.  If you are sick, you can research your illness on the internet or in books and purchase over-the-counter medication.  Eventually, you will probably get well.  That’s the nature of life.  You may, however, endure pain for a longer period of time and at a greater level than if you had visited the doctor—the expert—who could have diagnosed your situation and given you a prescription for a more effective medication.  It’s the same way with college coaching.  Do you want to find the remedy as a layman, or do you want an expert to help you? While the Lord is your ultimate counselor, He does provide us with individuals who can offer us Godly counsel in a number of areas, including educational consulting. 

            You may be thinking that you already have an expert—your high school counselor.  While high school counselors are excellent resources (and angels in disguise), they are severely overworked.  The average student to counselor ratio in the United States is 600 to 1.  Very few have been trained in college counseling.  Because of their position, they are forced to be more focused on academic advising and crisis intervention.  An independent college coach, however, concentrates on finding universities that match the student’s needs, while at the same time, considering the parents’ desires.  College coaching is about the future of the student, not just about education.  It’s about passions and the path that God has for the individual student.  Because God has a unique plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11), college is not one size fits all. Each person has unique abilities, talents and passions, and each college has unique opportunities and challenges.  You don’t choose a college because it’s cheap or convenient.  You choose a college because, after prayerful consideration, you know it’s where God wants you to go.  

          The college search process is a critical step in a student’s spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth.  As a young adult, it’s one of the first major decisions that he or she will (or should) make, using the parent as a counselor rather than the decision-maker.  Done correctly, it’s also a huge step of faith for the parent.  It involves surrendering your child to God.  That’s no small matter!

            Give your student the opportunity to explore, and realize that the only limits he  has are the ones he puts on himself.  Encourage the dreams that God has given your child.  Allow a coach to guide your student while you, as the parent, act as the facilitator. Enjoy the college search process by pressing into God and seeking His heart in this decision. Having a choice among colleges is not a scary thing. It’s a God thing! And if God leads the way, He will also MAKE A WAY.

            I got into college counseling through the supernatural direction of God and every day, I am blessed to have the privilege of helping students find part of the path that God has for them…not just the school…but a part of the purpose for which God created them. It is indeed a blessing.  To my clients—past, present, and future--thank you for that privilege.