Finding the Right College Match with Denise Pope

Finding the Right College Match with Denise Pope

Episode 51

Dr. Dan welcomes back the inspiring educator, author, and co-founder of Challenge Success, Dr. Denise Pope for Episode 51. Today’s show focuses how to help your child find the right college match.  This discussion is based Denise’s recent Challenge Success research and white paper on college admissions. This episode will help parents better navigate the college search and admission process with their child.

In this episode, Dr. Dan and Denise have a provocative discussion about the complex college research, search and decision making process.  Denise’s research and paper shift the paradigm on the college selection journey and the result is a less stressful (and hopefully healthier and happier) experience for parents and children — before, during and after college selection.  

Research reveals that #2 stressor for high school students today is applying to college (the #1 source of stress is overload)  Happily, Denise’s work reveals in its largest finding that the key to success is not where you go to college but how you go. The right fit means your child will and can engage and therefore thrive in college and thrive later in life.  This research challenges established opinions about colleges and will change the way every parent think about future education of their child.

In this interview Denise gives great guidance on how to select the right schools to apply to and the important considerations including —

  • Engagement – finding mentors, internships, inspiring professors, your preferred major
  • Community – find your people!
  • Climate and location (city vs. country)
  • Size of the school

Dr. Dan asks Denise to offer one single piece of advice for all families on the college hunt and her answer will provide instant relief to parent and students:  have faith and confidence that YES your child will find the right school and will be happy! The new research demonstrates that there is a place for everyone and that there really is NO significant difference between schools – ivy leagues and so-called top tier schools included.

The show wraps up with Denise’s Parent Footprint moment — kids are always watching the behavior we model whether it is driving or restaurant etiquette or applying to college.

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where she specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003-2008. She is the author of, Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is a 3-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year “Educators’ Voice Award” from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children.

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