I’ve been in the classroom since I was four years old, either learning or teaching– oftentimes both. That's why I know students and schools and how they fit each other.
I’m from Atlanta; I took my BA degree at Furman University, and I finished my MA and PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, all in English.
With twenty years of teaching in the English Department at Gardner-Webb University under my belt, ending as department chair, I learned volumes about the college admissions process. I spoke with many visiting prospective students and their parents about the university. I spent hours every year at admissions events meeting dozens of prospective students and their parents.
I served for years on scholarship committees where we combed through applicants’ files, read their essays, and eventually interviewed the highest-ranking applicants. I was in the “behind closed doors” meetings where we made decisions about six-figure scholarship packages. After all these years of sitting on scholarship committees, I know what makes one student stand out from the crowd: what puts one application at the top of the stack.
“I know what makes one student stand out from the crowd: what puts one application at the top of the stack.”
Perhaps most importantly, year after year, I got to know first-year students. Some had chosen the perfect school for themselves and spent four marvelous years at Gardner-Webb. Some chose poorly, or hastily, or out of convenience, and were deeply unhappy at a school that didn’t fit. These students usually left: some to go to other schools, and some, frustrated, never to finish college.
In 2017, I left Gardner-Webb to start a tutoring firm, Tutor Doctor of Shelby. I managed tutors in all K-12 subjects. I also tutored students in SAT and ACT prep, and began to lecture on general college admissions issues. In the summer of 2018, I co-led a four-day college admissions essay workshop. From there I started coaching private essays and established Parker Educational Consulting. I have come to realize that in my years in academia, it was the students, much more than the subject matter, that were my passion. I care about them, their intellectual and emotional development, and their preparation for the world beyond graduation
Parker Education Consulting’s purpose is to introduce the right schools to students and then presenting those students in their best light to those schools. I want to find that "good fit match" that I saw throughout my teaching career.