My passion is assisting students and their families through the increasingly complex and expensive college admissions process. That’s why in 2014, after retiring from the Frederick County, Maryland public school system, I created Launching College Success. My years as a high school counselor were extremely rewarding, and I wanted to continue to support students through the college process.
And my goal was to offer services at the highest professional level, which is why I am a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), Higher Educational Consultants Association (HECA) and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), along with other regional professional association. Dianne is currently the regional HECA representative for western Florida.
Both the IECA, HECA and NACAC have strict ethical guidelines that govern the actions of consultants in their relationships with students and families, schools and colleges, and with colleagues. They include a responsibility to understand each student’s special strengths, values and needs, while striving to include all family members in the educational planning process.
Members do not accept any compensation from educational institutions for placing a student and are required to annually sign and follow the principles as part of being a part of their Association membership in good standing.
When I began this business six years ago, I worked with Dr. Charlotte Klaar, of Klaar College Consulting, who is a good friend and colleague. In reviewing the written draft of my contract, Charlotte wisely shared the need for a statement letting the family know that I offer no guarantees. All of my contracts read: I do not guarantee admission into any particular college or university.
Parents and students alike appreciate my deep knowledge base and ability to relate to students and break the complex college admissions process into logical steps. Here’s what one parent said:
“Dianne is extremely knowledgeable in the college admission process, as well as providing scholarship information. She shared information with high school juniors and seniors and their parents at a special workshop at our church. She is a true professional and knows the process inside and out.
“She speaks frankly and makes the information understandable. As a parent who used her services, I found she worked with my daughter on her own level and was respectful of her ideas and opinions. The investment was well worth our time. She went above and beyond what we expected.”
~ Kim S. (Florida Parent)
During my career, I also spent eight years as a special education teacher, and my knowledge of the IEP and 504 processes gives me additional expertise in advising families and students with physical or learning differences.
I also helped support more than 1,500 students with their college admissions process during my time in public education. I spearheaded the AASPIRE Project, a program that advised Frederick’s African American community about the importance of Advanced Placement classes and rigorous academics in college admissions.
Through the years, I’ve organized and facilitated many evening events on various aspects of college admissions, including SAT and ACT Tests, financial aid and scholarships.
The first in my family to attend college
As the eldest of eight, I was raised outside of Washington DC and was the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college. This experience has given me a special affinity for working with first generation college students, and I’ve done special programs for hundreds of those students.
I received a Bachelor degree in special education from Hood College in 1984, and earned my Masters of Science degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland in 1995. A National Certified Counselor, I work with clients in Florida, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and now Texas.
When not doing the work I care deeply about, I love spending time with my family. This includes Fred, my husband of 33 years, my four children, and my six beautiful granddaughters.
Here’s a complete list of the professional organizations and associations I belong to:
Click here to see an overview of the services I offer.