Illuminating Futures: Post-Secondary Planning for Bright Students with Learning Differences

Welcome

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2017
8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Please join us on Saturday, February 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for an all day conference about post-secondary transition
for students with learning differences. Education professionals, counselors, psychologists, families, and young adults
will benefit from engaging sessions presented by experts in the field of post-secondary transition.

Keynote Speaker: Manju Banerjee, Ph.D, a pioneer in the field of post-secondary transition for students with LD, is the Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College. Dr. Banerjee has worked for over 29 years in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD and post-secondary disability services.

Please see Speaker tab for full list of our presenters.

Breakout sessions will cover self-advocacy, technology for college students with LD, using support services in college, combining college and work, career exploration, what to do if the first attempt at college fails, taking a GAP year, and more!

Current college students with learning differences will also discuss their experiences during the provided lunch.

Where: Westmark School
5461 Louise Ave.
Encino, CA. 91306

When: Saturday, February 4, 8:00 a.m. check-in, 9:00 a.m. Keynote address

Cost: $25 per person. Cost includes a brown-bag lunch.


Schedule

SCHEDULE:

8:00 - Registration and coffee

8:30 - Welcome

  • Westmark Head of School, Claudia Koochek
9:00 - 10:15 - Keynote
  • Presenter: Manju Banerjee, Ph.D.
10:30 - 11:20 - Breakout Session 1

11:30 - 12:20 - Breakout Session 2

12:30 - 1:45 - Lunch and panel discussion

2:00 - 2:50 - Breakout Session 3

3:00 - 4:00 - Coffee, Conversation, and Closing Remarks

Sessions

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION:

Keynote Session (9:00-10:15 a.m.)

TRANSITION TO COLLEGE AND SELF-ADVOCACY: UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENT'S PERSPECTIVE, Manju Banerjee, Ph.D.

CONCURRENT SESSIONS:
**
Sessions will be updated and may be subject to change.

Session 1 (10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.)

EVALUATING PROGRAMS & SERVICES AT COLLEGE, Imy Wax, M.S. (Room 109)

  • Author of the K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences will show you how to evaluate the difference between a college with "Services" vs. a college with a "Program." There are many factors to look at when choosing the "best match" for the student: Will the level of support be enough? Is college itself too overwhelming? Will the student need more support at the beginning and less with time? Explore how to match which level of support will best suit each student. Students will have a chance to understand the different levels of support and assess which level they feel they will maximize their college experience.

BE YOUR OWN CAREER CHAMPION!, Deborah Pratt, M.A., ODCP (Room 208)

  • While there is no one way to identify your career, there is a simple way to know and develop your career soul: Look inward; look outward; look forward. You can use this approach to envision your career future and design your career road map or to simply identity career resources.

GOOGLE APPS FOR EXECUTIVE FUINCTIONING & RESEARCH PAPERS, Lauren Quient,

M.A.,

(Room 207)
  • In this session, you will learn how to plan a research paper by scheduling, organizing materials, finding resources, and easily citing work in MLA format and more! Lauren Quient, a Westmark School alumna, will share her college experience and why she uses Google Apps to stay organized and plan any large writing task.

GAINING CONTROL OF ADMISSION TESTING: SUCCESSFULLY PROMOTING BEST PRACTICES, Matt Steiner, M.A. (Room 110)

  • Confusion around the SAT and ACT has been relentless over the past few years. How do we give testing no more concern than it deserves while encouraging healthy decisions in a competitive environment? What do admission tests really measure, and how do admission officers evaluate scores in conjunction with other aspects of the college application? Are test-optional institutions a viable choice for "good students/bad test-takers?" Fresh insights on testing will equip you to guide students and parents to sane and successful testing behavior.

Session 2

(11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.)

FAILING OUT - NOW WHAT?, Imy Wax, M.S. (Room 109)

  • Psychologist and author Imy Wax will explore the criteria necessary to feel confident that a student is prepared to be in college. Sometimes the student who gets into college meets challenges that they couldn't handle and needs to leave. What now? What to do and how to construct a Plan B..

LEARNING TO WORK AND WORKING TO LEARN, Doug Marriott, Ed.D. (Room 208)

  • Director of LA Valley College Cooperative Education will discuss a unique program that helps students gain career competencies and earn college credit while working. Topics include understanding workplace culture and using informational interviews to jump start a career search. Dr. Marriott will also lead the group in an exploration of the soft-skills employers are looking for. This session would be valuable for individuals who are attending community college part-time or are looking to enter the workforce and are not sure how to begin.

TECHNOLOGY FOR COLLEGE NOTE TAKING AND TEST REVIEW, Monica Davis, M.S. (Room 207)

  • In this interactive session, a companion session to Google Apps, you will learn how to use technology to take lecture notes using Notability and OneNote. Tips and demonstrations will show you how to turn those notes into essential study guides.

GAP YEAR OPTIONS AND BENEFITS, Casey Atchley, B.A. (Room 110)

  • Colleges and universities like Harvard, Tufts, North Carolina Chapel Hill, and Middlebury all encourage their incoming freshman to consider taking a gap year before stepping into their freshman year. Gap year students are using the time between high school and college to explore, grow, and mature before returning to the academic rigors of the classroom. Drawing on his experiences during his own gap year and through working as the Gap Year Admissions Coordinator at Rustic Pathways, Casey will share about the benefits of taking a gap year and the growth that he sees each semester in the gap year students with whom he works.
Session 3

(2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.)

THINKING DIFFERENTLY: MY LD/ADHD JOURNEY TO EMPOWERMENT, Vanessa Montgomery, M.A. (Room 208)

  • Vanessa will share her story of how her struggle with dyslexia has shaped her into the individual she is today. Vanessa holds a Masters of Education from the University of San Diego and BA in history from the University of California Santa Cruz. She works as an Educational Specialist in San Diego.

ADJUSTING TO COLLEGE: TIPS FROM THE USC KORTSCHAK CENTER FOR LEARNING & CREATIVITY, De'Von Patterson, Ph.D., NCSP (Room 207)

  • This session focuses on helping students understand how an academic coach can help them establish habits that are necessary for college success. Dr. Patterson will also speak with students about methods to help them adjust to the new academic and social demands of college living – whether it be specifically tied to their study habits or learning how to adjust to a new culture.

STOP THE STRESS! REDUCING ANXIETY IN AN ANXIOUS TIME, Ken Goodman, LSCW (Room 110)

  • The uncertainty that comes along with senior year may not only be an anxious time for graduates but also for parents. With the best of intentions, parents can unknowingly exacerbate an already stressful phase of life. In this entertaining talk, Ken Goodman, creator of The Anxiety Solution Series, will explain what underlies all forms of anxiety and share powerful techniques and strategies to stop excessive worry and relax the body. By reducing your own anxiety and having a calmer outlook, you will help your worried teen become less anxious as they face the challenges of senior year and beyond.

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES - TRANSFER TRACK AND ASSOCIATES DEGREE, Kate Duey, M.B.A. (Room 109)

  • Admissions expert Kate Duey will lead you through the ins and outs of community college offerings. California provides students with phenomenal community colleges. For some students attending community college for two years and then transferring to a four-year college allows them to ease into the transition from highschool to college. Other students are not seeking a four-year degree at this point in their lives. California Community Colleges offer a wealth of AA degrees for students to choose from, everything from animation to early childhood education. Come find out about all that California Community Colleges offer!

Speakers

Keynote Speaker:

Manju Banerjee, Ph.D, a pioneer in the field of post-secondary transition for students with LD, is the Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College. Dr. Banerjee has worked for over 29 years in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD and postsecondary disability services.

Casey Atchley, B.A.
Casey is the Gap Year Coordinator at Rustic Pathways. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Indianapolis in Spanish and Philosophy. Between years of undergrad, he took a gap year to volunteer as a volcano tour guide and English teacher in Nicaragua. Before returning to studies, Casey spent four months hiking the Appalachian Trail. As a member of the Gap Year team, he now works with students planning their own gap years.

Manju Banerjee, Ph.D.
Dr. Banerjee is Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College. She has over 29 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and post-secondary disability services. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally. Manju Banerjee is an editorial board member of the Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability and a consultant to Educational Testing Service. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of universal design to high stakes assessment.

Monica Davis, M.S.
Monica Davis is the Educational Technology Coach at Westmark. Monica has been incorporating technology into the classroom for the past ten years and is passionate about matching technology to students’ needs. Monica has presented nationally on educational technology and was the 2015 recipient of the Haiku Innovation in Educational Technology Award. She received an M.S. in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton.

Kate Duey, M.B.A.
Kate Duey is the Director of Admission Planning, LLC, an independent college consulting company. Kate brings extensive knowledge of the admissions process of selective universities as well as an understanding of the unique college admission process for students with learning differences. Kate holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and College Counseling Certification from UCLA.

Katharine Gibson, Ed.D. Katharine Gibson is the College Counselor at Westmark School. She brings over 20 years experience working with students with LD and ADHD to the post-secondary placement process. She received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA. Her dissertation examined self-regulation among college students with ADHD.


Ken Goodman, LSCW
Ken Goodman specializes in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. In his practice in Los Angeles he works with anxiety sufferers of all ages to help them find relief and freedom from debilitating fear and worry. He lectures at universities and organizations including the annual conference for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. He authored and produced The Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, a 12 hour self-help audio program and Stress Free, a compilation of six relaxation exercises. Ken earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UCLA and was trained in clinical hypnosis from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry.

Douglas Marriott, Ed.D.
Dr. Marriott serves as the Director of the Cooperative Education/Work Experience Program and Job Resource Center at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC). This Program was recognized as the 2015 College Program of the Year by the California Internship & Work Experience Association. He holds a M.Ed. from Chapman University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA. His dissertation examined Community College Career and Technical Education student experiences and definitions of student success.

Vanessa Montgomery, M.Ed.
Vanessa is an Education Specialist in the San Diego Unified School District. She is an Eye To Eye Diplomat who shares her story of educational and professional success as an individual with dyslexia. Vanessa holds a Masters of Education from the University of San Diego and BA in history from the UCSC.


De'Von Patterson, Ph.D., NCSP
Dr. Patterson is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity. He works with students on establishing habits that are necessary for academic success, helps students diagnosed with disabilities understand their strengths and the nature of their learning needs, and helps students who have difficulty adjusting to the new academic and social demands of college. He holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas.

Deborah Pratt, M.A., ODCP
Deborah has enjoyed a career of improving both outcomes and opportunities for students, and professionals. She is presently the Assistant Dean of the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development at Whittier College where she leads a dynamic team of career professionals in the operational reinvention of career services at the college. Previously, she developed and headed the Career Development Resource Service at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC. Deborah holds an M.A in Counseling Psychology, and is a certified Organizational Development Consultant.

Lauren Quient, M.A.
Lauren is the Innovation Manager for the Knowledge is Power Program, Los Angeles (KIPP LA) public charter schools. She is a frequent presenter on the use of technology to increase student success, particularly for students with learning differences. Lauren serves as the Vice-President of the Los Angeles branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and is a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer. She received her M.A. in Special Education from California State University, Northridge.

Matt Steiner, M.A.
Matt is the Senior Director at the Compass Education Group. He obtained an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from UCSC. He has a decade of experience in the field of test preparation, working as both an instructor and a testing consultant for hundreds of families. Matt and the founders at Compass are invited to speak at over 100 elite schools and professional organizations each year, where they demystify college admission tests in a straightforward, anxiety-allaying, and student-centered way.

Imy Wax, M.S.
Imy Wax is an internationally respected psychotherapist and President of The Aspire Group, a highly regarded Educational Consultancy she started nearly 25 years ago. Imy is an author of the K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences now into its 13th Edition. She travels over 80,000 miles per year visiting traditional and non-traditional programs, residential/therapeutic programs, colleges, post-secondary options, and specialty programs. Imy gives workshops and seminars on a number of topics and is on the Advisory Board of Westmark School.

Registration

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED

A limited number of day-of registrations will be available on site on the day of the conference. If you have not already registered and wish to attend, please arrive early to guarantee a spot. For questions before the conference, please contact Katharine Gibson, kgibson@westmarkshool.org

Contact

Westmark School
5461 Louise Ave. Encino, CA
(818) 986-5045

Katharine Gibson
College Counselor
kgibson@westmarkschool.org, (818) 986-5045 x.336

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