Inside the Apple – Program Advisement
Program Advisors occupy a unique position at Applerouth – they intersect with every other department, whether that’s conveying information to Tutor Services for a great tutor match, or working with Operations to ensure that mock tests and textbooks are sent to students in a timely manner. As a Senior Program Advisor who has worked at Applerouth for twelve years, Bronwyn Dowling is an essential part of the team that makes Applerouth tick! I’m delighted to introduce you to the one of the first people your clients will come in contact with – Bronwyn is an absolute fount of institutional knowledge and an invaluable resource.
For those people who aren’t as familiar with Applerouth lingo, what is the difference between a Program Advisor and a Program Manager?
We have two different sides of our “PAM” Team, the Program Advisor and Management Team. A Program Advisor is someone who helps families sign up for tutoring. But there are various steps going into it: I get students set up with mock exams, I review their scores with them, and, of course, I review the tutoring programs we offer and help them decide what plan best meets the student’s goals. Once the student has signed on for a tutoring program, their Program Manager checks in regularly with the family and makes sure that everything is going well. We work together as a team to make sure the family is getting the support they need throughout their program.
Oftentimes a family will come to me [an IEC Account Manager] when they’re interested in Applerouth and want to understand what makes us different, but at a certain point I hand them over to you. How do you help families?
What are some important factors you pay attention to when putting together a solid ACT/SAT tutoring program for a family?
Sport is often a big one – right now football season is wrapping up, and marching band season goes right along with that, and those kids have no time for tutoring right now! So, for them we might look at tutoring over winter break and testing in the spring semester. We also pay attention to academic readiness – we really like for students to have finished their sophomore year before they start this process, but we also like them to have at least a little Algebra II. If students are just starting Algebra II at the beginning of junior year, we want to give them the fall semester to have that foundation work under their belts. Final exams are also a big factor! There are test dates for both the SAT and ACT in December, but that can be a lot to add on top of finals.
Bronwyn and I are always looking for ways to help families, so naturally we discussed what IECs can tell their clients to make their experience go even smoother!
What’s one of your favorite stories from Program Advising?
I always love talking to parents who have worked with us before, whether it’s the fifth student in a family or it’s a student who worked with us on the SAT and now needs academic prep. When they come back to us, that tells me that we did a great job with that family, from their initial conversation with me to the actual tutor match to the tutoring itself, which is the most important part of the process. Those are always my favorites.