Thursday, March 9th, 2023
4:00pm – 5:15pm PT | 7:00pm – 8:15pm ET

The college admissions process can be a source of stress and anxiety for students and parents alike. This research-based workshop addresses many of the important questions we hear from families. What do college rankings really measure? Are students who attend more selective colleges better off later in life? What is “fit” and why does it matter? Participants will learn practical strategies to help reduce unnecessary pressure around the college admissions process and ways to support their student’s overall well-being and readiness for life in college and beyond.

Alyson Tom, Associate Director of Counseling at Castilleja, will be joining the discussion and answering questions during the Q&A.

A recording of the workshop will be sent to all registrants on March 10th.

If the cost of attending this workshop is a barrier for you or students you work with, please reach out about our financial assistance.

Who should attend

Parents, Students, Educators


Virtual / Online


$10 per person

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn research-based findings on the relationship between college selectivity and future outcomes, including learning, job satisfaction, and well-being.
  2. Explore practical strategies to embrace a healthier approach to the college admissions process.
  3. Gain a deeper understanding of the value and meaning of engagement in college and high school.


Denise Pope, Ph.D.

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. She is the author of, “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is a three-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year “Educators’ Voice Award” from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children.

Margaret Dunlap, M.A.

Margaret Dunlap, M.A., is a Senior School Design Partner. She oversees the operation of the School Program, providing coordination, resources, and management to Challenge Success schools on the West Coast. Additionally, she plans the bi-annual Challenge Success school conferences and supports coaches and school site teams to promote best practices and policy reform. She has extensive experience in professional development, supervision, evaluation, and intensive coaching for teacher leaders, coaches, and novice teachers. Margaret has held various roles in education leadership and program management within public and private education for over 20 years.

Alyson Tom, M.Ed.

Alyson Tom has worked in education for two decades. She is the Associate Director of College Counseling at Castilleja School (CA), where she supports students through the college admission and financial aid processes. Previously, she was a College Counselor at Episcopal High School of Houston and Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Rice University (TX). Alyson regularly presents at regional and national conferences, and she has been a featured speaker at special events focused on college admission. She is Co-Leader of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Asian American & Pacific Islander Special Interest Group and served a three-year term on the NACAC Government Relations Committee.