Mike Dunn has been working in independent, progressive, public, charter, and outdoor schools for more than 15 years. His career has focused on helping young people make positive, independent decisions in their daily life, while preparing for postsecondary learning. In the classroom, Mike has taught a range of subjects with a college preparatory focus, while consistently preparing students with the skills, tools, and reflective processes to be positive, productive citizens.
Most recently, Mike has been the primary counselor, developer, and innovator for a college guidance program focused on students with language-based learning disabilities. Mike has helped students pursue their interests, submit applications to, and matriculate from colleges and universities around the United States.
As a first-generation college student himself, Mike is committed to helping students and families more easily access the college process from Research + Exploration to final Decision. He also works with individual schools to help hone their college guidance and preparation processes.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from Wayne State University, and a Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California, Los Angeles.
At all stages of the college-going process, the world has created a whirlwind of stress. Students: You are faced with unyielding pressure to end up at the "right" school, or to be sure that you are getting the best opportunities possible. Parents: The stress comes in the unknown. Although you have attended college yourself, it seems as though so much has changed since your days of filling out paper applications and selecting two or three schools to consider. Schools: The stress comes as you try to ensure that every student is racing to the top or ready to be the next Jobs, Gates, or Bezos. Everyone: The agita induced by the mere thought of college and the college-going process can be petrifyingly intense.
Mike Dunn Educational Consulting was created to address this agita -- to help students find their best-fit college, to help parents more aptly navigate the process, and to help schools continue to address the changing needs of their students.
The core of Mike's approach focuses on encouraging students to exercise their voice and agency, with sessions designed to empower students to be actors in the future planning. He works with families in a measured, timely, and encouraging manner to access a process that feels vastly different from what they may have accessed previously.
Mike's approach is comprehensive and individualized, taking into account all aspects of a student's learning profile, and addressing all aspects of the process. He encourages students and families to keep an open mind, to consider their future as one that is still in formation, and to be mindful of the timing of their process.
Mike offers a comprehensive package for families beginning as early as Sophomore year of high school, generally ending when students make their final decision. Each package looks a little different for each family and begins as a conversation. Work with students focuses on the below key areas.
Research + Preparation
Through the initial phases of the college search process, Mike offers options and tools to help students make good academic decisions, while researching potential options for future matriculation.
With 4,000+ for study around the United States, this aspect of the guidance process emphasizes discovery of types of options that the student might enjoy, as well as those that make sense for the family's financial situation and student's learning needs.
This aspect of Mike's work helps students and families manage the building of a thoughtful college list as well as the completion of applications. Assistance is provided in writing the college essay, constructing an activities resume, and managing all application elements in a timely manner.
The final attendance decision can be a challenging one for students and families. Mike works with families to help them come to a decision that makes sense for the student's happiness and learning needs, as well as the family's financial needs. Each student leaves Mike's guidance with an exit plan that outlines the next steps for everyone to take as they begin their postsecondary plan.
If you are a school looking to construct a thoughtful and positive guidance process, or to examine your postsecondary preparation or curriculum, please contact Mike directly. As a founding teacher of a Philadelphia Charter High School, and the founding architect of a college guidance program, Mike's breadth and depth of knowledge will lend great insights to your school's efforts.