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  College Directions, LLC
  1010 Northern Blvd.
  Suite 208
  Great Neck, NY 11021

  doretta@college-directions.com

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SMART MONEY

November 2006
Bad College Advice
Letter to Smart Money from Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

"The New College Gurus" (September) does your readers a disservice by concluding with a replay of the same tired story of the handful of educational consultants who, with their exorbitant fees, prey upon families' fears of college rejections. A consultant pointing out his or her availability to take phone calls at all hours only feeds the admissions frenzy by implying that there are things regarding college applications that need to be done at 2 am.

Though the majority of consultants would agree that ninth grade is the best time to start, the purpose is not to get kids obsessing about college prematurely. Rather, it is to ensure ample time to help them discover and expand on their strengths and interests. Responsible advisers care as much about the process as the end result. They would never suggest that a student reinvent him or herself simply to better fit the alleged profile of a particular school.

Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

President College Directions, LLC
Great Neck, N.Y.

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OCTOBER 23, 2006
ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS
Camp and Schools Section
College Directions, LLC Offers Unique Approach to College Admissions

The signs are everywhere that a new day is dawning in the college admissions process. Harvard University recently dropped its Early Action process, faulting it for discriminating against those who needed financial aid and adding to the frenzy associated with college applications. A new book called The Overachievers, by Alexandra Robbins, with its disturbing inside look at the stress laden world of high achieving teenagers, has sounded a wake-up call that the system is out of control. Admissions directors from institutions as prestigious as MIT have been speaking out against the notion that teenagers' need to have the resumes of accomplished professionals in order to have a shot at getting in. A recent article in Time magazine told of the increasing willingness of families to look beyond "brand name" schools in favor of places that might offer their children better opportunities and more personal attention.

The good news for students on Long Island is that there is already a resource available to them if they are eager to join this encouraging trend. College Directions, LLC opened its Great Neck office in 2004 with the mission of transforming the way local families approach college preparation and admissions. Founder and president, Doretta Katzter Goldberg, drawing on her experience as an attorney, a former college and law school applicant, a representative for Brown University admissions and the parent of two children who went through the college process, felt she was uniquely suited to effectuate a change. "The key," she says, "is to begin working with College Directions, LLC early in a student's high school career and for students to learn how to change their focus from getting into the "best" college to discovering and developing their interests and talents in order to attract the attention of the college that is right for them."

College Directions, LLC helps students select schools and prepare their applications, but beyond assisting with these more technical activities, its main focus is working on the substantive aspects of what kind of person a student becomes during his or her high school years. By showing students how to follow their passions, the program not only makes them better college candidates, it reduces the amount of time needed for the less creative aspects of the application process. In the view of Ms. Goldberg, standardized test preparation should be given the least amount of time needed to achieve the desired result. No middle school student should be allowed anywhere near a SAT exam and high school students should not be encouraged to make test review one of their extracurricular activities.

The philosophy behind College Directions, LLC specifically rejects the ideas that students need to be "packaged" to find favor with colleges, that parents need to obsessively follow their child's every move throughout school or that students should be encouraged to tailor their studies or activities to fit the profile of a particular school. Motivated by her belief that adolescence should be a time of exploration and creativity, Ms. Goldberg sees herself as a "consultant for kids" who is determined to put them back in charge of their high school experience.

With a menu of services that includes one-time consultations, assistance with essays and interviews, a special senior year package and a Comprehensive Advising Program that guides you through every step of college preparations and applications, College Directions, LLC has a plan to meet every family's needs and budget. Those interested in participating in this novel and personalized program are encouraged to call the College Directions, LLC office at 516-336-2558 and check the company website at www.college-directions.com.

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North Shore Today - March 8, 2006
NORTH SHORE PARENTING - Time Is on Your Side (For Now)
By Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

In most things we seek to accomplish, our greatest enemy is time. When we fail to reach our goals, it is not usually a lack of ability that's to blame. Frustration occurs when we do not plan properly, when, to put it simply, we run out of time. For high-school students, success in getting into college will, in many cases, be determined by organization and attention to detail. In the spring of junior year, students must begin the search process, work steadily from that point on and be guided in their efforts by good judgment and common sense. (i.e. just because the family next door is touring 25 colleges, does not mean that is a reasonable thing to do.)

By the time summer approaches, college-bound juniors should accomplish 10 critically important tasks:

Register for SATs, SAT II subject tests & possibly ACTs: Students must determine which tests, which test dates and which study methods are right for them.
Put together a college list: Compile a list of approximately 15 schools that match a student's skills and interests, with respect to academics, activities, location, size, etc.
Begin visiting colleges: Weekends and spring break are good times to do this; summer, when many campuses are empty, is less desirable.
Make summer plans: Choose jobs or activities that enhance existing skills, relate to career plans or provide an introduction to College life. Athletes should attend recruiting camps. Those in the arts should find programs that will help them prepare portfolios and auditions. If saving money for college is an issue, a job that pays well is the most sensible option.
Meet with the guidance counselor to pick fall courses and become well acquainted. This is the person who will write the school report that is sent with a student's applications.
Ask teachers to write recommendations: Colleges prefer letters from junior year teachers and it is best that these be written while things are fresh in a teacher's mind.
Contact coaches & videotape games: For spring sport athletes, this is the last chance to get coaches to come to games. Fall athletes should also be contacting coaches by the end of spring semester
Attend college fairs and other admissions events to become familiar with schools and to meet admissions personnel.
Read: This is the best preparation for the verbal portions of the SAT and gives a student something to talk about when the college interviewer asks, "So, read any good books lately?"
Work hard in school! Colleges like nothing more than grades that improve as graduation approaches.

Though admissions decisions are ultimately made by someone else, much of the college applications process is within a student's control. Where a student applies, what the application says and how it is presented are all choices a student has the opportunity to make. Remember, though, senior year will be very busy. To maintain low stress and achieve a college match that is a success, the time for juniors to begin is now.

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North Shore Today - June 1st 2005
NORTH SHORE PARENTING - Summer: An important Time in The College Application Process

By Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

Summers are like Sundays. They are times to sleep late, do something for ourselves or spend more time with our families. They are also opportunities to get organized. The week is easier when, on Sunday, we plan our schedules and start pending projects. Likewise, summertime, with its more leisurely pace, is a chance to tackle time-consuming tasks or clean out the winter's clutter.

Most successful students will agree on the benefits of effective use of Sundays. They catch up or get ahead in reading or work on long-term assignments. For those soon-to-be rising seniors, summer should be viewed as a precious opportunity. The secret to minimizing stress in the fall and optimizing the outcome of the college application process is to take time in the summer to get organized, become informed and complete the following critical tasks:

Put together a college list: Do not visit schools without investigating them beforehand. Work with your child to compile an appropriate list of schools with respect to academics, activities, location, size, etc. Try to limit the list to 10-15 schools.
Begin visiting colleges: Many schools close for a period or run special programs. Thus summer is not the best time to discover the "personality" of a college or its students. However, many colleges start classes before Labor Day, providing a chance for meaningful visits. In addition, in many state universities students are so diverse that seeing them is less important than in smaller private schools.
Complete a solid first draft of application essays: With a few tweaks here and there, these three essays can be used for most applications:

    A personal statement. This can be about almost anything, as long as it provides insight into something important about the applicant. (Two pages)

    "My favorite extracurricular activity" and why it's meaningful. (One page)

    "Why I want to attend your school" This should be written with respect to a student's number one choice and modified later to work on other applications. (One page)

In choosing their topics, students must remember that the goal of the essays is to give colleges a reason to admit them.

Create a resume that details extracurricular activities, jobs, summer experiences, honors and awards. Though not usually required, these provide a useful snapshot of a student's interests and accomplishments. They should be two pages maximum and should be organized and printed in a way that allows for a quick scan without, missing key items.

This summer is also the time to strengthen skills and pursue core interests. Begin studying for October SATs. Read a few good books. Attend a sports recruiting camp or a visual or performing arts program. Get a job.

In the final analysis, students who have worked hard until now will find that the only things standing between them and admission to the right college are time and knowledge. They must use this summer to overcome these obstacles. Your advice to them should be, "Plan, educate yourself, get hard workout of the way." These are simple principles that will propel them to college and beyond.

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METROPOLITAN DESK

NY Times July 7, 2004
ON EDUCATION
When the Race for a Top College Intersects With Summer School.
By Samuel G. Freedman

WINNETKA, Ill. --

MIDWAY through Wednesday morning in the second week of June, a brief beep sounded inside New Trier High School here, concluding another year of rigor and ambition. The seniors had already graduated wearing tuxedos and summer gowns, and members of the other classes gathered for a shortened schedule devoted mostly to receiving final grades. For perhaps the only time since the preceding August, most had left their backpacks at home.

Just five days later, however, more than 1,800 of the freshmen, sophomores and juniors paraded back into the school at 8 a.m. sharp. They moved down the hallways, past empty lockers, stacked chairs and unplugged overhead projectors, to report to the gymnasium and receive their course and room assignments for summer school.

At a high school that ranks among the finest in America, sending 90 percent of its graduates to four-year colleges and far exceeding the national average on standardized tests, these were not students in academic trouble. In fact, barely 20 were repeating classes they had failed. Nearly 600 had enrolled, and paid tuition as high as $655, for the chance to take intensive courses like physics and honors history or get a head start fulfilling requirements in English and math.
Working at the pace of one week's material in every four-day class day, they would have completed a full semester by the end of July. Then, four weeks later, the fall term would begin.

Such is the changing shape of summer school, at least at high-end schools like New Trier. No longer does the program serve remedial purposes, handling a veritable ''Spoon River Anthology'' of misfits, miscreants and underachievers. In an era of superheated competition for seats in elite colleges, summer school belongs more to the likes of Sam Bendix, a 17-year-old who took accelerated chemistry and honors American history in past vacations so that he could pack his schedule with six major courses (and no lunch period) during the normal academic year.

''I want to say on top of the game,'' he said with genuine and appealing modesty.

Like his classmates, Mr. Bendix has grown up in a society that functions on the unproven, unexamined premises that opportunity in America is scarce as a Saharan oasis and that a young person's future is irrevocably determined by the choice of college. Nobody in secondary education or college admissions applauds the stressful result, and the way it has deformed youth from a time of trial and error to one of workaholic obsession, but most feel unable to avoid it, except at presumed peril to themselves.

''One of the questions the colleges ask us is, 'Has the student taken the strongest program available?''' said James Conroy, a post-high school counselor at New Trier. ''And that's a question you need to answer. Summer school has become part of this constant positioning. It's a treadmill you're on and if you don't do what everyone else does, you'll be left behind. At least that's the perception.''

At the other end of the pipeline, Wylie Mitchell, the dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Me., said ruefully of summer school: ''It's part of the frenzy. Families are grasping at everything they perceive to be a possible plus in the admissions equation.''

So the bright and motivated children of suburban Chicago's prosperous North Shore spend their summers at the lab table or the computer terminal in New Trier, rather than being a lifeguard, bagging groceries or otherwise decompressing. If anything, New Trier's academic bent to summer school predates the current trend by several decades. As far back as the 1970's, nearly half the school's pupils were enrolling in the session.

Some students today take required classes over break not to enhance their college applications but to open more time in their fall or spring schedules for music or art courses they adore. Purely pedagogically, the summer school program here has much to recommend it. Its long periods and sharpened focus allow New Trier's faculty to function like college professors conducting seminars. Intentionally or not, the nearly year-round schedule also addresses one of the major criticisms of American schools: that the academic calendar is too short and that students spend the summer forgetting half of what they just finished learning.

Still, the stakes have risen notably in the last 10 or 20 years, according to both Mr. Conroy and Dr. Henry Bangser, superintendent of the New Trier district. Twice as many New Trier students now apply annually to the most selective colleges and twice as many sit for the Advanced Placement exams in various subjects. The rankings published by U.S. News & World Report have rewarded colleges for, among other things, admitting the smallest possible number of an increasing pool of applicants.

By taking major classes in summer school, New Trier students can fill their regular schedule with the maximum number of honors or advanced-placement classes, culminating in the national Advanced Placement exams. Or they can lavish undivided attention on one especially challenging summer class in pursuit of an A. Dozens of students from outside the district on the North Shore, a few from as far as 30 miles away, seek places in New Trier's summer program.

Back in the early 1990's, Dr. Bangser said, his daughter was a star student at New Trier and decided not to take summer school because ''she'd worked so hard during the year that she wanted to get away from it.'' In today's climate, he said, she would be hard-pressed to avoid it.

If there is a voice of reason to be heard on the subject, it just may belong to Susan Sperling, a 15-year-old who wrote about the summer-school phenomenon for the sophomore class's newspaper. ''School and summer are merged for many people,'' she said in an interview. ''It's a long time to keep studying. It's school, more school and no break. It can create a burnout.''

While she comes from a typically accomplished New Trier family -- both parents are lawyers, and her father is an Amherst alumnus -- Miss Sperling has heeded her own counsel. This summer, she said, she is playing with her pet dog, Sasha. And, oh, yes, she is taking one course: driver's ed.


CAPTIONS:
Drawing (Drawing by David Suter)

©2003

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EDITORIAL DESK

A Summer Menu: School, Work or Play

( Letter ) 215 words

To the Editor:
Bravo for Susan Sperling, the 15-year-old at New Trier High School, whose reaction to taking advanced classes in summer school is, ''It can create burnout'' (On Education, July 7). She has demonstrated more sense than those charged with directing her education.

Adolescence should be a time of exploration and creativity, particularly during summer vacation when students have a chance to chart their own course. Instead, schools are putting pressure on them to obsess about college and to follow predetermined paces scripted by others just to enhance the guidance office's statistics.

Whether or not Susan gets into the ''best'' school, as defined by someone else, she is already on her way to becoming a better person, something that will ultimately be rewarded in her college search.

Her classmates would be wise to follow her example.

DORETTA KATZTER GOLDBERG
Great Neck, N.Y., July 7, 2004

The writer, a consultant, advises students about college admissions.

CAPTIONS:
Drawing (Drawing by Aya Kakeda)

©2003

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North Shore Today - September 22nd 2004
NORTH SHORE INTERVIEW - College Directions, LLC

Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

By Diane Mulhern

Youth is the time to look forward and prepare for the future. Every year high school students and parents embark on the search to find the best college. But is the "best" college the “right” college?

College Directions, LLC founded by Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq., can help you find the path best suited for your college-bound student. Her college advising firm provides advice and support for the educational journey to make the seemingly insurmountable task of college selection less stressful and more satisfying.

Ms. Goldberg views adolescence as a time for exploration and creativity. During these years, students often feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the pressures placed upon them to play the admissions "game," take college preparation courses and score well on SATs.

As a lawyer for 20 years, a student in public relations and with a high degree of expertise in oral and written communication and organizational skills, Doretta Katzter Goldberg has a wide range of experience and sensitivity to the dilemmas posed by the college search. "I have seen admissions from the inside," Ms. Goldberg told me. Through her work as an admissions representative for a prestigious college and as the parent of two college students as well, Ms. Goldberg has been actively involved in the college quest. A frustration and sadness at the admissions process has driven her desire to make this a fulfilling time in a youngster's life. "We have made it unpleasant, and I would like to make it pleasant," she told me.

Recent news reports support Ms. Goldberg's vision.

Competitive college administrators are beginning to encourage students to use college as a time to follow their passions, get off the resume building treadmill and engage in learning for its own sake. "The pendulum is slowly swinging in the opposite direction," the founder of College Directions stated. With the feeling that the time is now ripe for a change, Ms. Goldberg feels well suited to step into the vanguard. Her ultimate purpose in founding College Directions is to change the focus of the high school experience and make this time an adventure and not an ordeal.

At College Directions, workshops on essay writing and interviewing are held. Talents, interests, and outlets for them, as well as new ways to explore possibilities can empower students and help them to make sense of "what's out there." College Directions strives to help students best present themselves by developing their leadership qualities and sense of commitment. They can enter the college arena as interesting people who have cultivated their abilities. "Ideally, I'd like to work with students from the ninth to tenth grades to find a direction," offers Ms. Goldberg.

Ms. Goldberg's mission and philosophy have deep roots in the words of her Grandpa Eli: "What have you done today to justify your existence?" Instead of seeing the high school years as a burdened, pressured time, College Directions seeks to help students find their way at this time of life in a fulfilling, personally satisfying manner.

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GREAT NECK RECORD - September 16, 2004
College Directions, LLC

College Directions, LLC, an educational consulting firm that recently established its headquarters at 1010 Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, is dedicated to transforming the way local families approach college preparation and admissions. Company president, Doretta Katzter Goldberg, who represented Brown University admissions on Long Island for almost 20 years, brings to her new venture the communications and organizational skills acquired during two decades of practicing law and while completing a program at NYU in public relations.

Motivated by her belief that adolescence should be a time of exploration and creativity, Ms. Goldberg founded College Directions, LLC in response to the universal dissatisfaction she observed among parents, students, educators and even members of the media with the current obsession over college admissions. Given her experiences as an applicant, a parent of two college-aged children and an admission representative, she felt uniquely suited to step into the vanguard and effectuate a change. College Directions, LLC will help students gain control of their high school years without diminishing their opportunities. The key is to begin working with College Directions, LLC early in a student's high school career and for students to learn how to change their focus from getting into the "best" college to discovering and developing their interest and talents in order to attract the attention of the college that is right for them.

Though there are currently many businesses providing a variety of services related to college admissions, Ms. Goldberg points out that these, for the most part, limit themselves to the process of "getting in" rather than addressing the substance of how students might best spend their high school years. According to Goldberg, "Studying for standardized tests, while necessary, should not figure so prominently in a student's schedule that it becomes one of his or her main extracurricular activities. Similarly, it does not matter how much coaching you receive in preparing your college essay or conducting yourself in an interview if you haven't used your high school years in a way that will give you something to say." College Directions, LLC helps students select schools and prepare their applications, but beyond assisting with these more technical activities, its main focus is working on the substantive aspects of what kind of person a student becomes during his or her high school years. By showing students how to follow their passions, the program not only makes them better college candidates, it reduces the amount of time needed for the less creative aspects of the application process.

Once they have made the decision to retain an educational consultant, Ms.Goldberg advises parents not only to be cognizant of the distinction between process and substance, she also cautions them to be wary of those who imply or sometimes even state outright that they "know people" or “have contacts" at a variety of colleges. "Based on my experience working in admissions and being familiar with the factors that are weighed in determining whether to accept a student, the idea that the recommendation of a paid advocate is going to sway a college admission committee simply defies credibility," she says. "An educational consultant should be a behind-the-scenes source of information and assistance. Though some may be attracted by the notion that the fees they pay can somehow buy them influence, in reality parents need to hire someone who has the skills and experience required to teach their children how to get themselves into a school."

With a menu of services that includes one-time consultations, assistance with essays and interviews, a special senior year package and a Comprehensive Advising Program that guides you through every step of college preparations and applications, College Directions, LLC has a plan to meet every family's needs and budget. Those interested in participating in this novel and personalized program are encouraged to call the College Directions, LLC office at 516-336-2558 and check the company website at www.college-directions.com.

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North Shore Today - October 27, 2004
NORTH SHORE INTERVIEW - Planning Effective College Visits
By Doretta Katzter Goldberg, Esq.

If you are the parent of a high school junior or senior, trips to visit colleges are now, or soon will be, on your family's agenda. These excursions are expensive and time consuming, so you want to make your visits as informative and meaningful as possible.

To start, follow three general principles. First, do not visit schools until the spring of a student's junior year. Students change tremendously over the course of high school; visit too early and you will be seeing the wrong set of schools. Second, compile a list of schools uniquely suited to your child with respect to academics, activities, location, size, etc. Build variety into the list with respect to all of these items. Finally, limit your list to 10-15 schools and remember these 10 rules to make the most of your time:

    Plan to visit while school is in session. You need to see the students, not just buildings.

    Read up on the school. College websites are a valuable tool and will tell whether advance registration is required for interviews, tours and information sessions.

    Time your visit so you can participate in all Admissions Office programs. On-campus interviews; Campus tours; Information sessions. At small private colleges interviews are particularly important. They provide a personal touch to an application and demonstrate a student's interest in the school.

    Don't limit your meetings to the Admissions Office. Meet with others (i.e. coaches & program heads) who can provide additional information and may be in a position to support your child’s application. Students should call or e-mail these people in advance and bring a resume to leave as a reminder. They must write them a thank you note immediately upon returning home!

    Spend time where students hang out to get an idea of life at the school. Your son or daughter should stay overnight if possible.

    Make time to talk with students about their experiences.

    Sit in on classes.

    Ideally visit only one, but certainly not more than two colleges in a day.

    After each visit encourage your child to make some notes about the school. These will help when it comes to deciding where to apply and when explaining in an application the reasons for wanting to attend that school.

    The most important rule for parents: Your child, not you, should be the one to interact with people at the school.Parents should provide transportation and be mostly silent observers; lf they are too conspicuous it raises the inference that the student is disinterested or can't function on his or her own. Limit your questions and stick to parent- type concerns like finances, safety, housing guarantees, etc. If an overnight stay is not feasible, give your child time alone to attend classes and chat with students.

In the end effective use of time on campus will make your family better informed and will increase your child's chance of acceptance. So grab your maps, schedule your interviews and enjoy this exciting adventure!

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