Parents Learn ABCs of College Admission

by L.B. Editor Feb. 5, 2015 A panelist with experience navigating college entry provided reassuring advice about an anxiety-ridden rite of passage for parents and their children at the PTA’s Coffee Break talk last week. Participants included representatives of the high school counseling department and community college, a private college counselor and author, and a private standardized test prep provider. Parents learned that Laguna Beach High School provides ample help navigating the process if they can take advantage of the annual College Round Up, which hosts more than 100 college representatives for an open-house in Dugger Gym. Additionally, nearly 90 college reps visit the school for more intimate meetings with interested students. Each student can also take advantage of an online tool, Naviance, to stay organized, take interest inventories, research colleges or enrichment programs, sign-up for meetings with visiting college reps, or standardized tests, etc. Push button for full... read more

Coffee Break: How to Get Into College

Kate Rogers/Coastline Pilot February 5, 2015 Getting into college can be one of the most anxiety-producing rites of passage for parents and their children. In response, PTA’s Coffee Break hosted a panel Wednesday to discuss college acceptance tips. Participants included two representatives of Laguna Beach High School’s counseling department, a local community college counseling official, a private college counselor and author, and a private provider of standardized-test preparation. Dawn Hunnicut, a college and career specialist, emphasized the value of campus visits that provide an opportunity to start a relationship with someone from one’s dream school. Read the full... read more

Writers on Writing Interview

Writers on Writing October 1, 2014 Orange County writer Cindy Muchnick, author of WRITING SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE APPLICATIONS, talks about ways in which she enjoys the publicity and marketing side of being an author, her experience collaborating with her teenage son on one of her nine books, and her advice to fellow writers to “just write it.” The interview begins at the 21 minute mark in the program.   Listen to the Interview – jump to minute... read more

Harbor Day School Presentation: “A Guide to Study Skills” November 29, 2012 Harbor Day parent, author, and educational consultant Cynthia Muchnick presented her strategies, tips, and tools to succeed in school to a packed room of parents on Thursday, November 29. While the focus of her most recent book, “The Everything Guide to Study Skills,” is equipping middle-to-high-school age students with what they need to know to meet their potential in school, Cindy provided ample advice for parents of children in younger grades as well.     Read the Full... read more

Coffee Break: Laguna Beach PTA Parent Education Series

October 2012: Cynthia Muchnick “A Parents Guide to Study Skills and School Success: How to Support Your Child and Help them Navigate School” Talk will cover:  The unwritten “rules” of high school and, How Parents can: Help your child cultivate positive teacher relationships Support and Facilitate Good Study Skills Plan college prep in high school (thinking ahead!) Help your teen cultivate good time management Identify  Student “jobs” vs. Parent “jobs” An accomplished educator, author and educational consultant, Cindy Muchnik has conducted numerous workshops locally and across the country on steps to high school success, study skills, and college essay writing.  More than 40,000 copies of her newest book, “The Everything Guide to Study Skills,” have been sold. As a successful educational consultant, Cindy has had a profound impact on high school students who she has assisted with all aspects of the college application process.  Her clients have been admitted to prestigious schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Yale, MIT, Duke, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Vassar, all UC schools, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, The Claremont Colleges, Cornell, Tufts, Georgetown, University of Texas, University of Michigan, Columbia, NYU, and USC among others. She worked as an Assistant Director of Admission for both the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. She has read and evaluated more than 3,000 applications for college admission to competitive colleges. Cindy, a Stanford University graduate, and her husband live in Newport Beach with their daughter and three... read more

“A Parents Guide to Study Skills and School Success: How to Support Your Child and Help them Navigate School”

Coffee Break – Laguna Beach PTA Parent Education Series October, 2012 Talk will cover: The unwritten “rules” of high school and, How Parents can: Help your child cultivate positive teacher relationships Support and Facilitate Good Study Skills Plan college prep in high school (thinking ahead!) Help your teen cultivate good time management Identify Student “jobs” vs. Parent “jobs”     Read the Full... read more

Exploring Ways to Develop Successful Students

By Kate Rogers, Special to the Independent Educational consultant Cindy Muchnick described practical can-do philosophies for parents to put into practice as they support their kids through high school during last week’s PTA-sponsored parent seminar, Coffee Break. She was preceded by high school Principal Joanne Culverhouse, who introduced Naviance, an online college search service provided by the high school. Meanwhile, Muchnick, an author, former college admissions counselor and mother of four, launched into her own divergent philosophy: stay focused on the business of high school. She warned that the college search can become a “huge distraction” from the hard work needed in high school to attain the prize of college and personal freedom. She describes high school as a student’s “job,” along with the responsibility to serve the interests of six to eight teacher bosses. GPA should not be a gauge success as much as the more subjective goal of how one is doing at the job, she said. Pressing for the highest GPA adds unnecessary and unproductive stress to kids’ lives, she said. As a college admissions counselor, Muchnick said student evaluations go beyond transcripts and GPA, and offered specific recommendations to parents: Get kids to agree to sit in the first three rows of class for life. Urge students to take advantage of extra credit, which she described as “free money.”  Don’t leave it on the table. Create a study space at home free from distractions. Challenge kids to develop relationships with their teachers outside of class. To befriend upper classmen; learn the ropes through their experience. Be a joiner or a leader.  Parents can help brain-storm... read more


OMAMA / September 12, 2011 We interviewed author, educator and MAMA of four, Cindy Muchnick about her new book, “The Everything Guide To Study Skills.” She let us in on the common sense, no-nonsense secrets behind raising a well-educated kid, including the “Top 10 Habits of Successful Students.” This MAMA has written the “Cliff’s Notes” on getting kids through school- a guide every student can keep on their desk, and keep parents off their backs! Cindy says, “I bridge the gap between parents and children. I have learned as both parent and educator that it is much easier for students to listen to and believe an outsider’s perspective verses words and advice coming from their parents’ mouths . . . even if the advice is exactly the same!” Current Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with omama on BlogTalkRadio   Read the Full... read more

Inside the Applications Process with Tips from the Experts

Lisa Armony / Coast Kids Magazine Fall 2007 If you’re like me, college was the best four years of your life. Getting there, well, that was a different story. Even back uh-hmm years ago, the pressure to get good grades, score well on the SATs and make myself “well-rounded” was intense. Today, with competition to get in to the nation’s best colleges even keener, the road to admissions is downright scary.   Read the Full... read more