Carolyn Z. Lawrence Educational Consultant
 

Working Together Online

Since 2003, I have been successfully working with students from across the country, around the world, as well as my own local area, using the Internet, email, and the telephone. 

Students usually find that working with a counselor online offers convenience (no need to drive to appointments!) and greater flexibility. They can receive professional college counseling in the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, technology allows me to assist students who may not have access to local independent educational consultants and to serve a wider range of students.

The technologies I use include:

  • For student and parent meetings, I use GoToMeeting, an online system that allows us to talk "face-to-face" via webcam and instantly view each other's computer screens.
  • For application planning and tracking, and sharing information about colleges, I use a private student portal via my website. Each student has their own customized area in this system.
  • I also communicate with students and parents frequently by email, phone and Skype.

The technical requirements a student needs to work with me are:

  • A reliable broadband Internet connection
  • A computer with webcam access (PC or Mac computers/laptops are both fine)
  • An email account (with separate accounts for students and parents)
  • A willingness to try new things!

However, it’s important to understand that distance counseling requires a higher level of responsibility from students and parents, and thus may not be appropriate for some students. 

For a successful distance counseling relationship, students need to be:

  • Willing and able to regularly check and respond to email.
  • Willing and able to regularly sign in to my online portal to update information independently
  • Able to focus on college discussions when surrounded by the distractions of home and Facebook (but it's OK to meet in your PJ's, or to bring munchies!)
  • Comfortable talking to someone they have not met in person via online web-conferencing technologies.

Please note: Distance counseling generally does not work well for students with severe executive functioning disorders or for students who are easily distracted. If distance counseling is not appropriate for your child, I can often refer families to local counseling colleagues or professional membership associations that provide referrals.

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