College Counselors

If you need help navigating the complex process of applying to colleges, the following college counselors in the local Santa Barbara area can be of tremendous assistance.

Kimani Williams

Mrs. Laurie Cortez, MA

College Coaching Services

www.collegecoachingservices.com

Founder / Independent College Consultant

Laurie Cortez, founder of College Coaching Services and a Certified Educational Consultant, has successfully guided hundreds of high school, college transfer and graduate students through the college admission process.  Laurie’s experience as a former teacher and vice principal, combined with her proven track record as a Certified Independent College Counselor, provides valuable insight into the higher education landscape, with specific expertise to ensure students and parents are prepared and successful throughout the complicated college application process. She is a frequent media commentator and author, and has presented workshops for parents and students at high schools, junior high schools and educational centers across the country.

Laurie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, a California Teaching Credential, and advanced credentials in College Counseling. She is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Kimani Williams

Eileen Swoboda

ThinkYes | College Admissions Consulting

www.thinkyesconsulting.com

Managing Director / IBS Purdue University, MBA UCLA, College Counseling Certificate UCLA (online) with honors

Eileen founded ThinkYes | College Admissions Consulting after moving to Santa Barbara, California from the Washington DC area where she was a management consultant. Her motivation as an Independent Educational Consultant is to encourage students to “Think Yes” — to expand their expectations of themselves and to trust that they are capable of achieving them. The process is invigorating for Eileen and for the families she serves. The essence of ThinkYes revolves around three unique but interrelated facets—encouraging students to develop and demonstrate excellence academically and in their chosen interests; guiding students through the application itself; and being, herself, a student of colleges.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Assisted ~100 students one-on-one from across the US, Europe and China with ~1,000 applications and conducted workshops for and given presentations to both students and parents
  • Visited and met with admissions offices at over sixty-five colleges nationwide in order to provide the best advice possible to students.
  • In 2016, presented Advising International Students at the Independent Educational Consultants’ Association’s Summer Training Institute
  • As of April 2019, among US News’ National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges, 27% of acceptances were to schools ranked as top 25; 63% top 50; 72% top 75
Kimani Williams

Alisa Gregory

Mokler and Gregory Educational Consulting

http://www.moklerandgregory.com/

UCLA B.A. / UCLA (Extension) Certificate Program in College Counseling

Alisa has worked as an independent educational consultant since 2010. In addition to developing college lists and evaluating college applications, Alisa specializes in offering guidance and editing for college essays and supplemental writing. Alisa has also completed four cycles as an Admissions Reader for the University of California, Santa Barbara. And more recently she became employed as a College Counselor for a small independent school located in Santa Barbara.

 

ASSOCIATIONS & CREDENTIALS

  • Western Association of College Admissions Counseling (WACAC)
  • Admission Reader, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Teaching English as Foreign Language Certificate, Santa Barbara City College
Kimani Williams

Wendy Mokler

Mokler and Gregory Educational Consulting

http://www.moklerandgregory.com/

UCSB B.A. / California Lutheran University M.S., Psychology, emphasis in Guidance Counseling

Wendy Mokler has been a professional educator for more than 40 years. Her vast experience comes from having worked as a high school counselor, a classroom teacher, a home hospital teacher, and an administrator of two special education programs for the Santa Barbara School District. She has an excellent knowledge of secondary curriculum as well as college and university entrance requirements after having helped countless students of different ethnicities and economic backgrounds prepare for and get accepted to college.

 

ASSOCIATIONS & CREDENTIALS

  • Western Association of College Admissions Counseling (WACAC)
  • Former Board of Trustees Member: Santa Barbara Middle School
  • Lifetime Credentials: Pupil Personnel Credential
  • Standard Secondary and Elementary Credentials
Kimani Williams

Cassie (Nichols) Lancaster

College Specific / Mission Scholars

http://www.collegespecific.com/
http://www.missionscholars.com/

A native of Santa Barbara, Cassie has provided college admissions guidance to students and their families for over 15 years. She is the Owner & Director of College Specific, LLC, which provides private college admissions guidance to families nationwide. She is also the Executive Director of Mission Scholars, a nonprofit organization in Santa Barbara that works with high-achieving, low-income students on their path to college.

Cassie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Princeton University and a Master of Arts degree in Education from UCSB. She conducted educational research at Yale University, taught the college essay at Choate Rosemary Hall, and authored the book, The College Essay Trap, which helps students avoid the most common pitfalls of the college application essay.

Kimani Williams

Lynn Hamilton, MA

Lynn Hamilton/Hamilton & Assoc.

http://schoolfinders.com/

Founding Member of Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) / The only qualified Flex-Test administrator on the Central Coast for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) / Western Association of College Admission Counselors (WACAC) / National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) / Gap Year Association (GYA) / National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)

Lynn Hamilton, M.A. is the area’s most experienced college and secondary school consultant. Lynn is the only counselor in the Santa Barbara area who is a Certified Educational Planner (CEP). For more than 35 years she has been dedicated to understanding and helping students find the right fit for their academic and future success. Lynn has worked with more than 2500 students in preparing for, and achieving, school and college placement as well as gap year planning and learning differences assessment. Lynn travels extensively throughout the US and abroad to gain in-depth firsthand knowledge of colleges, universities, secondary schools and therapeutic programs. She works closely with students and families throughout the selection and admissions process, and stays in touch to follow and support the student’s college experience, and continued ventures and careers.

Kimani Williams

David Reynaldo

College Zoom

http://www.collegezoom.com/

Since its founding in 2009, 98.7% of the students who fully completed College Zoom’s college application packages have been admitted to one or more of their top 3 choice colleges, even if their grades and tests scores were barely higher than the bottom 25% of their admitted competition. The remaining 1.3% were still admitted to a top 20 ranked college for their desired major. Officially ranked the #1 Best College Counselor in Los Angeles (Yelp), College Zoom works with Santa Barbara students face-to-face through Skype.