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An Expert’s Review – Dr. McGuire, Founder of the UCLA College Counseling Certificate Program

College Admissions Assistance (CAA), a leader in the college-planning industry, takes its mission very seriously. Each of our college-planning coaches undergoes formal, extensive training in the college preparation process, but the company is always looking for ways to expand, enrich, and improve its services.

Several years ago, CAA began enrolling select team members in the UCLA Extension College Counseling Certificate Program—the leading certification program in its field. Last year, CAA went a step further by inviting the program’s founder, and expert in Instructional Design, Dr. Kathleen McGuire, to evaluate the company’s services, operations, and training program to provide an expert review. After Dr. McGuire’s complete review she visited our Student Service Center in Texas to provide detailed feedback. Her comments about the program were very positive and her main recommendation was to create a better way to deliver our already thorough training program. She collaborated with Executive Director of Student Services, Brenda Watkins, herself a graduate of the UCLA Certification Program, in implementing improvements to our training program in content and delivery.

The result of this collaborative effort was the development of CAA’s internal, College-Planning Coach Certification Program. The program takes more than a year to fully complete, and equips our coaches to expertly handle all aspects of college planning—giving each of them the tools and knowledge needed to help our families.

When asked her thoughts on CAA’s service, Dr. McGuire commented, “The founders of CAA knew what they were doing when they developed the current CAA service in early 2007. Their conscientious model is student-centered, and the on-demand phone/online service works great, particularly in light of how today’s students are used to communicating. It’s inspiring to work with an educational company that is innovative and committed to the continuing education of their coaches and delivering great service to students and their families.”