College Essay Retreat

Is your student applying to college? Are you confident they will get the personalized, expert support required to produce a quality college essay? Would they benefit from expert guidance on their Personal Statement/Common Application essay? Do you want your student to start senior year with their college essay completed? Join us for a two-day College Essay Writing Retreat.

From understanding what the personal statement is and what it is not to tapping into personal values and motivators to produce authentic and quality essays, students will engage in lessons and activities created and delivered by highly qualified and experienced College Admissions Counselor Kathy Griswold Fine, Ph.D.. Importantly, students will leave the retreat confident they have a solid foundation and essay draft.

During this intensive two-day retreat, students will learn about the role of the Personal Statement/Common Application essay in the college admissions process. Additionally, they will hear from Vanderbilt Director of Admissions Jennifer Shaughnessy about what colleges are looking for. Finally, students will work through a series of structured lessons and activities designed to culminate in a comprehensive outline and/or essay draft. 

Close up of a student's hands as they follow one line of handwritten notes with one hand and write notes with the other hand.

Dates: June 6th & 7th

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Location: Atlanta – In Person

“Working with Kathy Fine on my college process was the best decision for me. With my unique learning style, she really helped me focus on a specific topic by helping me organize my thoughts so that I could write a really strong essay. Throughout the whole process, she was understanding, helpful, super nice, and gave me all of the support I needed. Even though we worked virtually, we have a great connection and I feel like we know each other very well. I 100% recommend Kathy to help with the college applications process and I could not have done it without her!”

-ARUSC Class of 2016

What is College Admissions Counseling?

Selecting the right fit for college is more than compiling a list of colleges. In today’s ever-changing post-secondary landscape, students benefit from professional guidance to help them establish clear college and post-secondary goals. In the absence of a defined purpose, students are less likely to graduate on time, suffer increased rates of anxiety, and are more likely to transfer or drop out of college. With the cost of a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. between $100,000 to $360,000 or more, failure to plan effectively can be a costly proposition.  Ensuring the college selection and admissions process for your student is highly personalized increases the probability of successful outcomes.   



At Effective Students, we believe the development of strong executive functioning coupled with selecting the right college fit is the key to long-term student success. Our partnership with Fine Educational Solutions is centered on empowering students through a holistic approach to learning and personal development. Dr. Fine’s passion for helping students find their “Great Fit” college is matched only by her team’s dedication to teaching critical skills, such as effective writing, time management, and goal setting. Dr. Fine’s comprehensive understanding of student development perfectly complements Effective Students mission to give students the tools they need to achieve the success they desire. Together, we are dedicated to empowering students to achieve their goals in school, college, and beyond.

Dr. Kathy Fine

At the heart of Fine Educational Solutions is Dr. Kathy Griswold Fine, a visionary in the realm of educational psychology and college admission counseling. With a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Higher Education, concentration in Educational Psychology, Dr. Fine’s expertise transcends conventional approaches. Based in Charlotte, NC, her unique blend of academic knowledge and research-based strategy, combined with empathetic guidance, helps young minds navigate the demands of school, college admissions, and life. Dr. Fine is committed to equipping students for the challenges of higher education and beyond. At Fine Educational Solutions, Dr. Fine leads a process-oriented, knowledge-based approach, ensuring that every student receives personalized guidance and unwavering support.


Many first-time undergraduate students struggle to effectively transition to college, and, as a result of this and other factors, dropout rates are 24.1%. For students still developing executive function skills, ensuring continuity in strategy and process is critical. Effective Students has partnered with families since 2015 with the goal of equipping students with the skills they need to flourish at the next level. To best serve our clients, we have partnered with Fine Educational Solutions and their founder, Kathy Fine, Ph.D.

Dr. Fine has taught executive functioning skills since 2008. Effective Students is pleased to offer the logical next level of service to our students who would benefit from guidance and a holistic approach to the college admissions process. With the Fine Educational Solutions personalized approach, students and families have a:

  • An individualized approach designed to foster self-advocacy and accountability
  • Standardized test planning
  • A balanced college list of great fit schools, including a realistic assessment of the academic support services available
  • A research-based process for essay writing from brainstorming to final draft resulting in student essays that reflect passion and authenticity

Try Our Free College Time Management Tool

Are you a college student looking for a time management worksheet? The My Available Time lesson plan by Effective Students. The worksheet will help you build a strong time management foundation. The package includes an example worksheet and a free time management worksheet for download.

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