Friday, May 18, 2018

Scholarship Opportunity - Fresh Prints

Fresh Prints is offering a $1,000 scholarship to students who'll be college underclassmen in the fall. We'd really love to hear from your seniors and hope we can make one of their lives a little easier. We're accepting apps until May 31st!

Here's the link to the app itself:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Syracuse University School of Information Studies Online Q & A

Online Q&A Session
Join iSchool Undergraduate Recruiter Stephanie Worden for an online information session and live Q&A about the Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

We will highlight the following
  • iSchool curriculum
  • Career pathways
  • High school preparation
  • Admissions information
  • Live Q&A

Wednesday, June 6 from 11:00AM - 12:00noon EST
Please use Firefox or Chrome as your web browser. If this is your first time using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, you will have to download an extension prior to entering the session. 

Can't make it? No problem, let's set-up an appointment. Send me an email at

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Colleges That Change Lives Fair

Please join us for the Colleges That Change Lives Program near you! There will be a short opening presentation, followed by a college fair featuring 41 of the 44 colleges in the non-profit organization, Colleges That Change Lives.

Program Details:
Saturday, May 19, 2018
10:00 AM
Boston Marriott Copley Place (Salons A-F)
110 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 

The program begins promptly at 10:00 AM with a 30-minute information session. A college fair follows immediately afterwards, lasting approximately 1.5 hours. This program is offered to the public free of charge. No pre-registration is required.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Article - The Rise of the Lawnmower Parent

The Rise of the Lawnmower Parent

It happened again this week. Several times, in fact.

I’m a professor at a well-known local university, and my office is located directly across from the elevators. Because I maintain a literal “open-door” policy for my students, visitors often mistake me for the department secretary, as I am the first person they see when the elevator doors open. At this time of year, the same scenario happens repeatedly:

I’m concentrating on something, but out of the corner of my eye I see the elevator doors slide open. It’s a teenage girl and a middle-aged woman, presumably her mother. The parent walks into my office, with the girl trailing sheepishly behind. The mother says, “My daughter will be starting here in the fall. We’ve got a problem with her class schedule.” I try to make eye contact and address the girl as I politely give them directions to the Office of Student Services down the hall, but it’s the mother who apologizes for interrupting me. They leave my office, Mom leading the way with the class schedule in her hand.

Do you see the problem here? The child has been accepted into a major university and is weeks away from starting a difficult area of study, but it’s her parent who is doing all of the talking to get her problem corrected, while she says nothing and appears to be dragged along against her will.

You’re probably familiar with the term “Helicopter Parents,” where parents hover over their children and swoop in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble. At the college level, the physical presence required to hover may be limited, so we are now observing a different parenting style: “Lawnmower Parents.” These are the parents who rush ahead to intervene, saving the child from any potential inconvenience, problem or discomfort.
Lawnmower parenting: rushing ahead to remove all obstacles so your child has a smooth path.
Lawnmower parenting: rushing ahead to remove perceived obstacles so your child doesn’t have to deal with them herself.

Other variations of this style of parenting include “Snowplow Parents,” “Bulldozer Parents,” and my personal favorite: “Curling Parents,” given the similarity to the Olympic athletes who scurry ahead of the gently thrown stone, frantically brushing a smooth path and guiding the stone towards an exact pre-determined location.
Olympic hopefuls or over-involved parents? Image from Vancouver Sun (available at
All humor aside, this kind of parental behavior can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on your child. Some of these include:
  • She becomes poorly equipped to deal with routine growing and learning experiences. This includes everything from asking for directions and dealing with an annoying roommate to much broader skills like communicating with superiors, negotiating for something she wants and coping with disappointment.
  • She doesn’t develop a sense of personal motivation or drive, since she only knows how to follow the path that the Lawnmower Parent has already prepared.
  • She can’t make a decision, big or small, without the guidance of others.
  • She constantly receives the message that she isn’t good enough to do this herself. In essence, the Lawnmower Parent is repeatedly demonstrating to the child that she cannot be trusted to accomplish things on her own.
Please consider these additional thoughts from a college faculty perspective:
  • As a result of blatantly abusive behavior of some parents, many universities maintain a policy that all contact from a parent is referred to the administration office. A parent’s request to “just keep this conversation between us” or “don’t tell my daughter that I called you” isn’t likely to be honored, and may actually single your child out to administration for an unflattering reason.
  • There is some information that we legally cannot reveal to you if your child is over 18 and hasn’t granted us permission. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), there are scenarios in which the university cannot release the student’s academic record to the parents, regardless of who is paying the tuition. And guess how I find out what I am permitted to reveal to a parent? I need to contact the school administration (see the previous bullet point).
  • Faculty members are professionals, but if your behavior is threatening, outlandish, repetitive or otherwise inappropriate, there’s a good chance that we’re going to discuss it among ourselves. Your child may quickly gain a reputation within the faculty that is the exact opposite of how you are hoping that she will be received.
  • Faculty are heavily involved in job searches, writing recommendations, making referrals, and so forth. If a parent has been contacting me to “help” her child through my class, how can I honestly rate that student highly on communication, motivation and maturity to a future employer when I haven’t ever seen the student demonstrate those skills?
How can you avoid becoming a Lawnmower Parent?
  • School age kids: start practicing now! Let your kid do the talking as often as possible: ordering at restaurants, asking for directions, or calling a friend on the phone to ask for a playdate instead of arranging it yourself via text message.
  • High school kids: while there is still room for parental involvement at this age, insist that your child attempt all communication on her own first. If she needs to miss a quiz and do a make-up, have her make the arrangements with the teacher, and only intervene AFTER she has made the first attempt on her own. If she has a conflict between track practice and music lessons, have her discuss the possibilities with the involved groups, then have her make the decision and deal with the potential consequences.
  • Kids of all ages: TRUST your kid to do well, and tell her repeatedly that you believe that she can make good decisions on her own. Give her room to make mistakes, even major ones sometimes, and learn from them together.
As parents, we will inevitably watch our kids struggle, feel uncomfortable and even fail.  As painful as that can be, you aren’t doing your child any favors by trying to shield her from this part of life or solve her problems for her.  Instead, give her opportunities to learn strength and self-confidence, so she can handle future challenges with grace.

Opportunities for Class of 2019 and Class of 2020

Exploring College Options
Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn, and Stanford
Sunday May 20, 7:00pm
Courtyward Boston Downtown
275 Tremont Street
Monday May 21, 7:00pm
Sheraton Needham
100 Cabot Street
Visit for more information

Emmanuel College Summer Residential Enrichment Programs  
July 15-21 
Students will attain practical skills, engage their entrepreneurial spirit, build their portfolio and stay overnight on our college campus!

Health Professions Institute at Juniata College
July 8-12, 2018
Cost: $850
Register at

Out of This World Tech Camps
U. Washington - July 22 - August 5
University of Southern California - July 1 - July 15

Project Fashion
University of Southern California - LA
July 1 - 14 - Design and Product Development or Visual Communications

Rochester Institute of Technology Colleges & Careers Program
July 20-21 and August 3-4
Register online at

Syracuse University Summer College 
Various programs of different lengths and concentrations
More information can be found at

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Merrimack College NEACAC College Fair

Tuesday May 22
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Lawler Arena
Visit for a list of attending institutions
Register at to use at the fair.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Woods College Undergraduate Information Session

Woods College Undergraduate Information Session
Wednesday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m. 

Students, parents and counselors are welcome to learn more about undergraduate programs at the Woods College of Advancing Studies. 

Applications for summer and fall 2018 are now being accepted.