Sunday, February 3, 2013

Podcast Review: College-Bound Chronicles

The College Bound Chronicles

This is a podcast that I originally discovered as it came down through Lian Dolan's Chaos Chronicles podcast feed, although the show now has its own standalone feed. In this show, Lian and Dr. Nancy Berk, psychologist and author of College Bound and Gagged, discuss a range of wide topics related to the college application process. Lian's sons are entering this phase of life, and Dr. Berk's children have already gone through the process. This diversity of experiences helps give the podcast a broad "take" on the topic.
As of this writing, a dozen episodes have been released, numbered 101-112 -- but don't worry, you have not missed the first 100 episodes!

This series of 25- to 30- minute episodes have so far discussed many parts of the college application process. Since the process can be so overwhelming both to parents and teens, it wasy a good choice on the hosts' part to offer bite-size episodes, each focusing on a narrow part of the process.

Topics they have covered so far include handling overly competitive parents, what to say if your child is not applying to college, "helping" your child write their college essay, and how to motivate your student to finish the application. Dr. Berk has spoken to many college admissions officers in her research, and has a very good handle on "dos" and "don'ts" for parents and students involved in this process. The show on the ACT and SAT tests was especially informative. Each episode ends with a great "List of 5," giving parents great take-away information.
The mix of expertise, experience, and parental frustration make this a very relatable and informative podcast for parents of middle- and high-school students.

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