Colleen’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Colleen’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
The ACT test, like most standardized tests, is not really a test about your depth of knowledge but about your application of basic knowledge in a limited time period. The ACT English test is about being able to read and understand written passages about various topics, vocabulary, and how to put one's thoughts together to address various topics. Typically, there will be one to three different types of writing assignments: argumentative, expository, or descriptive. I have tutored many students and all have either improved their scores or received good first scores.
The ACT Math section, like most math standardized test sections, is not really about your knowledge depth but really about how quickly you can apply the basics. There are shortcuts, tips, and shorthand that can be used to quickly get correct answers. Once you are taught these shortcuts, tips, and shorthand the math standardized test (whether ACT, GRE, or SAT) will not appear as onerous to you. I work hard to teach not only content but test-taking techniques to give my students the best chance of doing well on the ACT math section.
The ACT reading section can be quite difficult for a lot of students; primarily because it requires you read passages relating to a variety of subjects, some of which are of no interest to students. The key is to get around the interest part and focus on the reading essentials. This means working on how students approach reading; how they process what they read; and how they report what has been read. The ACT reading section can be conquered! That is the good news. The "bad" news--is really good news: it takes work! This means, the more you practice, the better you will be and the higher score you will achieve!
The ACT science section can be a real stickler for many students. Not so much because they do not know the material but because they have a difficult time retrieving the information in their heads during the limited time provided on the ACT. The first thing to remember is: the ACT science section is less about content than it is about how you process information. This means you do not have to have in-depth knowledge of Biology or Chemistry, or Geology or any other science. You simply have to be able to read, pull out key facts, and recognize those facts in the answer choices provided. This is where I come in! I help the student focus on reading, understanding, processing, and relating the information they read. This makes the science section of the ACT less tricky and even fun to take.
Algebra I provides students with skills that will last a lifetime. It involves learning how to solve complex multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and other operations. It also introduces you to mathematical equations that involve variables (letters that stand for an unknown number). It also provides you with the basic rules of all of the operations. Once you learn the rules, you will have no problem solving most algebraic problems. It is my job to make Algebra I fun and enjoyable. I have succeeded in doing so for several students and I hope to continue doing so.
I majored in Biological Sciences in undergraduate school. I have always found it fascinating how the human body fits together and even more intrigued in how it works. Biology is simply an understanding of body structure and function. It can be complicated but, with a good professor or tutor, students can learn both basic and advanced biology. Much of what I teach in Biology focuses on the concepts of cell biology, classical and molecular genetics, evolution, and microbiology. When working with new Biology students I begin with teaching them the scientific method and the chemical basis of life. Then I go on to the biology of cells and more in-depth chemistry of biological cells. Biology is a fascinating science that can be fun to learn; you just need the right basics. I can provide these basics and beyond.
I was required to take Art History in High school. I learned to love art and its history. My absolute favorite artist is Pieter Paul Rubens. I can recognize all the works of the great artists including, but not limited to: Rubens, Picasso, Manet, Monet, Latrec, Degas, Renoir, and Rembrandt. I also have favorite artists from various schools. These include, from the abstract expressionists, Jackson Pollock; Baroque artists such as Rembrandt; Cubists such as Picasso; a few from the school of Dadaism (Duchamp); and Classicists such as Poussin. My favorite type of art is Impressionism. I like a variety of impressionists including Cassat, Degas, Renoir, Monet and Manet, and Picasso. I am well versed in the art and history of art from the 1500s to present day.
Basketball is a terrific sport. I played on the varsity team in my freshman and sophomore years in high school. I have played intramurally or just for recreation since. I am a college basketball fanatic and am virtually unreachable during March Madness. Basketball is played on a court with a basket suspended 10 feet off the floor and mounted on a backboard. There is a basket at either end of the court and the goal is to put the basketball into the basket for points. Baskets within the arc are worth two points; baskets outside the arc are worth three. To play basketball effectively, you must master the art of dribbling the basketball. This can be tough until you get used to it because you cannot look at the basketball while you are dribbling it otherwise it will be taken from you, you will misstep, or any number of other things can happen to you. But once you master dribbling and movement around the court you have learned two thirds of the game. The last third of the game is actually making baskets. There are several ways in which you can do this (I won't talk about all of them here). The most basic shot is the foul shot where you shoot the ball from the foul line into the basket. This should be the easiest shot but you could not tell from foul line statistics of college (or professional) players. My favorite way of getting a basket is the lay up. In this, you move toward the basket, jump, and bank the basketball into the basket. As a center both years in high school, I did this quite often.
As a Christian, I am extremely familiar with Bible studies. I continue to study the Bible through Bible studies at Church and my own studies at home. In addition, in high school, I was required to take both Old Testament and New Testament, as well as Marriage. During the course of these subjects I have learned a great deal about the Bible, its history, authors, and structure. Probably my favorite book is the Book of Ruth followed closely by Ephesians and the Book of Jonah. Bible study is absolutely fascinating for me and I can never get enough of it. Each day, I learn new things and become better able to teach about the Bible.
I have considerable experience in statistics. Beyond college level statistics courses, I had biostatistics in my Master's program. I also had three different levels of statistics courses in my Ph.D. program. I did well in all of these courses (B's or A's).
Biostatistics is simply the application of statistics to biology and health. Once you know statistics, the "bio" part is easy. It is a fascinating way to learn more about health, public health, and medicine. The numbers come alive when you actually apply the basic statistical techniques to real-life, everyday problems. Just imagine...you want to know the probability you will catch the flu even though you have followed all the "rules" for not catching it. The doctor cannot realistically tell you without knowing all the information you know about your health habits, etc. But you, without a medical degree, can estimate your chances of getting the flu. That is power!
While in graduate school, I began preparing to seek employment upon graduation. I took several courses that taught me how to present myself in an interview, answer difficult interview questions, and ask pertinent questions. In addition, I have taken several resume preparation courses to continually improve my own resume. I have tutored dozens of persons in revamping their resumes and preparing for job interviews. In addition, I have tutored those same persons on the differences between a job and a career interview--something few people recognize as being different. My methods include: (1) showing students how to brush-up on the business or organization with which they will be interviewing; (2) interviewing them myself (on-camera); and (3) thinking through their experiences to present the best resume possible.
I learned computer programming in BASIC more than 25 years ago. While I have had two courses in C++, I cannot say I am adept at all types of programming in C++, I am well versed enough to be able to solve problems and teach others how to solve their syntax problems. I am more well-versed in BASIC and can program just about anything in BASIC. I have begun to learn SQL as well.
Desktop Publishing is FUN. It allows you to creatively develop presentations, books, pamphlets, etc. It allows students and professionals, alike, to take a subject and give it pizazz. I have published a number of documents through the use of various computer programs, languages, and software packages. As a graduate student, you need to be creative as well as knowledgeable about a subject; it always helped me to create something special. In both school and work environments, I have used Publisher and PageMaker. I am familiar with many desktop publishing software.
Econometrics is the use of mathematics and statistical methods applied to economic data. While in graduate school I took both econometrics and applied econometrics. During both courses, I conducted investigations of the economics of domestic violence. Using cross-sectional and then time-series data, I was able to determine how domestic violence influences a woman's economic capital. I used mostly Bayesian methods within econometrics to develop, design, conduct, and analyze this and other topics of interest. Econometrics can be fun if one is comfortable with regression analysis, which I am. Econometrics can answer many questions about seemingly non-economic topics. It is a subject best undertaken by a detail-oriented person who is patient and capable of understanding both microeconomics and statistics.
Microeconomics is a standard building block course for lots of graduate level work. During the course of my graduate work I took several microeconomic courses including: microeconomics, microeconomic theory, economic theory, mental health economics, and several other courses. Microeconomic theory is really about the balance between supply and demand in whatever market you are studying. It is actually a fun subject that teaches you a lot about how world markets work. To teach students microeconomics, I have traditionally used PowerPoint presentations and hands-on computer modeling techniques. I have also developed other methods of teaching my students the relationship between demand and supply and how each affects the other. I look forward to teaching students microeconomics!
I have always been interested in English (probably because I love to write). During my senior year in high school, I recognized I might be missing some key English skills so I joined the grammar club at school. The club consisted of mostly seventh and eighth graders. I was a little embarrassed but it turned out to be the best thing I could have done. I had missed some key grammatical skills (such as mapping sentences). Despite this lack, I always did well in English classes in high school. During college, I did incredibly well in English classes writing essays and longer term papers. English is one of my favorite subjects and I tend to express that when helping my students prepare for tests, write essays, or develop theses and dissertations.
I have been working on computers (including a number of word processing and database packages) for 25 years. In today's society, computer knowledge is an imperative if one is to communicate, write letters (or other things), and manage data. I LOVE computers because you do just about anything with them. When I teach people to use the computer, I generally start by getting them comfortable with the idea that they control the computer and that the computer can only do what they tell it to do. With that, we then start by working with a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. I introduce them to messaging systems and the internet. That ends my "basic" introduction to computers. If you want more in-depth teaching, I can do that as well. If this sounds like what you are looking for, please contact me. Thanks!
As a Biology major in college, I was able to take the available Genetics course. I explains so many things in such a simple way that nearly every characteristic of a person can be understood quickly and easily. In this genetics course, we studied Eugenics as well as more traditional genetics. I received a B+ in the course. I was fascinated by the development, structure, and function of genes and continue to be. We had these toolkits that contained something akin to tinker toys where we could build strands of DNA and experiment with what changes occurred in phenotype when genotypes were changed. It was quite fascinating! I hope to be able to pass on my LOVE of genetics to my students.
The GMAT consists of four sections - analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal. These are sections similar to other standardized tests-I specialize in helping students prepare for standardized tests. The GMAT, usually taken for MBA programs, requires the ability to reason out questions. The reasoning, quantitative and verbal questions can, for example, involve one drawing a picture that makes the question more visual and therefore more understandable. The analytical writing assessment is the section with which most of my students have needed assistance. I have excellent writing and analytical skills and can teach students that basics of writing analytically. The GMAT is very similar to other standardized tests and look for the same things - the ability to think ones way through a difficult problem.
Unlike when I took the GRE 10 years ago, the new GRE is composed of distinct sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing - with clearer purposes. The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates a student's ability to analyze and synthesize concepts and word components. The Quantitative Reasoning section measures problem solving abilities in general arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis. Analytical Writing looks at critical thinking capabilities as well and analytical writing skills.
Verbal Reasoning requires a wide vocabulary and the ability to relate concepts. It is relatively easy to do well on this section if one expands one's vocabulary, becomes familiar with root words, and increases one's ability to do these in a minimum of time.
Quantitative Reasoning measures basic knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis. One can do well if one knows the basics of these three types of analysis. It is not necessary to be able to do trigonometric functions; just know the basics and apply them.
The Analytical Writing section is where many of my students have a problem. There are many types of questions asked in this section but, if the student, knows how to formulate a basic argument, he or she will do well.
The new GRE is more focused than the old one but really only tests the basics and application of the basics. It is relatively easy to do well on this GRE if one studies for it in the right way. I can help students do just that. So if you will be taking the GRE, please consider me as a tutor.
The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) tests student's (grade 2 through 12) reasoning in both math and English. I have tutored students preparing for entrance into the third, seventh, and eighth grades for the ISEE. Each did well and easily entered and did well in their respective grades. The ISEE has different tests for various grades but in general, it looks at both verbal and quantitative reasoning, essay writing skills, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement. Scores are not determined in the same way as other standardized tests in that each school has their own idea of what a "good" score is but, in general, scores range from one to nine where 3 and below is considered below average, four to six, average, and 7 and above, above average. These scores simply give the schools an idea of where a student stands in his/her knowledge and ability to reason verbally and mathematically.
MacIntosh refers to use of Apple hardware such as the MacBook Pro. I, myself, have a MacIntosh product and have been using it for several years. I am proficient in all Office Products on the MacIntosh platform. These include: Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. Apple hardware also has proprietary software on it and I am familiar with those as well. To teach students about such products, I have them bring their laptops, tablets, or other Apple products and show them, physically, how to use them. I have taught students basic computing, Excel, R, and PowerPoint. The methods I have used have varied from creating PowerPoint presentations and then going through the presentation with the student to developing exercises that the student needs to complete in order to gain a certain level of understanding with the product. The exact method I use to teach computers and computer-related activities varies depending on the student, his or her needs, and their learning styles.
I am a second degree yellow belt in Bushido Kai Karate--a Japanese style of Karate. While a second degree yellow belt is still in the beginning stages of Karate, I am very well versed in this Japanese style and will continue learning it and practicing until I become a black belt.
Accessis a relational database. This means data is stored in tables (or table form) and can be accessed in a variety of ways by a variety of database software. Its predecessors, Paradox and dBase (both of which I am familiar with) were prototypes for relational databases. Access can create tables, queries, forms and reports and link them together easily through the use of macros. Macros are simple programs that automate certain activities such as taking the mean of a large set of data, conducting a chi-square analysis, or eliminating missing data.
Access works well with other database packages including Excel and the newest database package SQL (which I am currently learning). Access, unlike other packages, does not require a user to know certain syntax. It, like SPSS, for example, has a type of point and click usage that makes it easy for the non-programming user to conduct data analysis. Access, in general terms, can be learned in four to six two-hour lessons.
Excel is a powerful tool! It is a data application in the Microsoft Platform. It makes it easy to crunch numbers and make graphs. It is a highly sophisticated program which will allow you to do something as simple as a budget sheet or something as complicated as a multiple regression. I have done both on Excel and many things in between. My ease with Excel comes from nearly 15 years of experience with it. I am sure I can help you with your Excel needs.
I learned Microsoft Outlook nearly two years ago while working at an agency that used it extensively. It is a very easy program to learn and is quite facile. The program makes it easy to manage e-mail and documents while maintaining one's own security. I am very comfortable with this program. I used it for two years and learned the ins and outs of it very well.
I have been using Microsoft Word for at least 10 years. I have created documents, tables, charts, and animations in Microsoft Word. I have even done multiples of these in one document. I used Microsoft Word to write my dissertation as well as all the other papers I wrote in graduate school. I am extremely well-versed in Microsoft Word and can develop nearly every type of document one needs with Word. I have taught several people how to use word and am comfortable teaching others.
Microsoft Word is a word processing package that enables one to create wonderful reports and letters.
Pre-algebra is a requisite for most of the other mathematics courses required in high school. It is where students can develop the needed skills to complete both algebra I and algebra II. I have helped an array of pre-algebra students develop the needed skill sets to get good grades in their classes as well as prepare for the ACT or SAT exams. Pre-algebra is about the relationship between numbers and the various ways they can be represented. I have developed special methods for modeling these relationships and helping my students actually "see" these relationships. I have found once students are shown the relationships, visually, they have a better understanding of what pre-algebra (and algebra) is all about and it makes it easier for them to engage in the mathematical manipulations required in pre-algebra.
I have considerable experience working with probability. Beyond college-level mathematics, I have had master's level mathematics and doctorate level mathematics including statistics, multivariate analysis, causal modeling, and canonical correlation. Probability is a basic concept for all of these more advanced statistical techniques. I did well in each of my classes (A's) and tutored other students in my classes who were having trouble grasping the concepts.
Public speaking can be a very anxiety-producing activity. I used to suffer great pains when having to speak in front of a group; but now, having gone through two graduate programs where public speaking was necessary, I am more confident and calm when having to give a presentation. I have many tips and skills I would like to pass on to my students.
Public speaking is a valuable skill to have regardless of what industry one works. While I have wanted to join ToastMasters several times over the years, I never did. But I have managed to conquer my fears becoming a good public speaker.
As an avid reader all my life, I feel everyone regardless of age should learn to read. Reading opens one's world up to new ideas, adventures, and possibilities. I read whatever I can get my hands on...fiction and non-fiction. Much of the problem students have with reading is that they do not like it. They simply find it boring. This has more to do with the quality of material they are reading. It is also largely related to the topics they usually read--mostly topics for school. I combat this dislike of reading by getting to know the student and choosing books on topics in which they are interested. I also show my students how reading can help them with every other area of their lives.
I used SAS in my PhD graduate program. SAS is, in software terms, a bit dated. It began in the 1970s and has undergone numerous iterations since. It, like many software packages, has its own language and processes. For example, a SAS program has two basic steps: a data step and a processing step. The former provides, obviously the data to be acted upon; the latter, the specific analyses or functions through which the data is to be put. If you attempt to use one without the other, you get nowhere. In SAS, one must input know the specific syntax associated with data manipulation.
This is unlike SPSS, a complementary but, in my view, easier, data analysis package that has a "point and click" feature that allows one to do an analysis without knowing the syntax. This is particularly important when working with large datasets. SAS, at one point was the predominant data analysis package in academia, business and government, but it has been supplanted by SPSS, ACCESS, Excel, and, more recently, R. What is very nice about SAS is that data can be imported from and exported to several other data analysis software including ACCESS, Excel, and SPSS. While I am very familiar with SAS, I am more familiar and comfortable with SPSS, ACCESS, and Excel.
SAT Reading is about reading comprehension under a time limit. It typically has three or four types of reading passages and then asks about six or seven questions about what the student just read. I can help your student in reading comprehension and in increasing their speed at which they read and answer the questions. It really is simply a matter of finding a way to identify the key sections of the paragraphs and then going directly back to those key sections for the answers. I can help your student develop a method for doing this.
SAT writing can be a difficult part of the SAT for many students. I have found the problem, for most students, to be two-fold. First, they do not have a history of writing under time constraints. I fight this by asking them to write multiple essays on a variety of subjects and from various viewpoints throughout our tutoring relationship. Second, many students do not know how to write a brief essay. In school, we are taught to write papers three to five pages long but rarely are taught to write three to five paragraph essays. I can teach you to do this in a short amount of time. Please contact me if you need help with SAT writing.
I first began taking sign language nearly 10 years ago at church. I wanted to be one of the signers for our deaf parishioners. I took two classes at that time that helped me understand and be able to hold basic and intermediate conversations in sign language. Five years ago, I picked another sign class at another church. The entire class was deaf and I could only communicate through sign language. It was daunting at first because most of the people in the class had been signing for several years. But, after a week or two, I was able to keep up with them and I began to sign as fast as they did. Unfortunately, it has been nearly six years since I have had the opportunity to have a conversation in sign language but I still have the skills.
I have been a soccer fanatic since I joined the soccer team in high school. I played right fullback for the first two years of high school and goalie for the remaining two years. I know the rules and regulations regarding soccer. I can teach the student how to play each position to the best of their abilities. I have exercises to increase their dexterity with the ball. I believe the ideal soccer player should have equal dexterity with both their right and left feet. While I do not currently play soccer, I am well-versed in the rules and regulations, position characteristics and needs, and team dynamics. I follow both men's and women's professional soccer. I believe it is the greatest sport on earth.
I was a sociology minor in college. As a college student, I took a number of sociology courses including, but not limited to: criminology, American Sociological Thought, Sociological Theories and others. I studied the writings of Durkheim and Marx. I began my studies of sociology with the reading of Erewhon which shows what happens when the value of a society changes and its laws protect that new value and abhors behaviors contrary to that value. I also took courses on social inequality, determining social value, and an introduction to social capital. Had I discovered sociology earlier in my college career, I would have been a double major--biological sciences and sociology.
As a former high school varsity softball player, I am intimately aware of the needs, rules, regulations, and aspects of each position on the field. I played for four years in high school; I played right field and catcher. As a team leader (when playing catcher), I was very successful in bringing the team together and helping team members to improve their skills. While not presently on a softball team or managing one, I am still very much into the sport. I am cognizant of the many rules and regulations associated with softball.
I received my doctorate from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Welfare. I am well-versed in the art of study skills. I have general study skills as well as subject-specific skills. For example, I study differently for a qualitative course than I do for a quantitative course. I also have different activities for test preparation in each type of course. Most students have trouble with time management. I incorporate time management into my study skills. I do this to automate the study process and it has worked well for me throughout my educational career. Of course, I have had to make alterations throughout my educational career based on educational level, time availability (I worked two jobs both during my college and masters programs), and course load. I would love the opportunity to teach you study and time-management skills.
Swimming contains the ability to move, in an organized fashion, from one point in the water to another. The organized fashion is usually via a common swimming stroke such as freestyle, backward, breast or butterfly. Swimming, in contests (called meets), can consist of small yardage swims of 25 yards or as much as 1600 yards. Swimming strokes rely on both hand and feet movement. In general, both hands and feet work in tandem in all four strokes. Swimming can be done by individuals or teams. A common way of swimming all four strokes is by swimming what is known as an individual medley--typically swum by doing the backstroke first, then butterfly, breast, and free.
I have been swimming since age 4 when I was on a recreational team. I upgraded to a AAU team at age eight and prepared for the junior Olympics (although I never went). I was a backstroke and breaststroke expert and have swum in countless meets. At one point, I had the fastest backstroke time in the AAU. I had fast times in freestyle as well.
Tennis is a sport in which two players, separated by a net, try to hit a tennis ball with a racquet in such a way as to get their opponent to: (1) miss the ball, (2) have the ball hit the ground more than once, or (3) hit the ball into the net. The court consists of a large rectangular box separated by a net in the middle. On each side of the net is a rectangle and two squares. The squares are known as the "ad" and "deuce" courts. This is important when serving the ball to your opponent. Scoring is done as follows: 15-30-40-game, set, match. The first person to six games wins the set. Typically, women play three set matches (professionally) and men play five (but there are always exceptions). Beyond singles play there is doubles play where two players are on each side of the net. Scoring is the same as in singles games except a doubles match usually consists of three sets. All you need to play tennis is a court, tennis racquet and tennis balls. Some people where goggles but other than that there generally is no safety equipment. However, some people do where support tape when they have a weak or hurt ankle, knee, finger, wrist etc. I have played tennis for more than 10 years---mostly singles. Having torn my Achilles tendon and Meniscus, I wear protective and supportive equipment but continue to play at least once a week.
Volleyball is a team sport where two teams of six players each are separated by a net. The object of the game is to have the volleyball hit the ground on the other team's side of the net. The server (everyone takes turns serving depending on their position on the floor) can serve overhand or underhand (depending on their ability). Scores generally go to 21. Safety equipment for volleyball usually includes knee and elbow pads (and can also include goggles). The sport can be played on a court or on the sand.
I have played volleyball for six years. I have played in all positions and love the sport. More than that, I have played on intramural teams in graduate school.
Writing is one of my favorite things to do. As an undergraduate student I studied sociology which required a great deal of writing. The writing included short essays to longer term papers. As a graduate student, I wrote both a thesis and a dissertation. I have written a variety of types of documents whether simple descriptions, analyses, policy analyses, etc. Writing involves clear steps prior to the actual writing of the document. At the most basic is a topic outline which tells you what idea or ideas are going to be written about in each paragraph of the paper. This allows the writer to stay on topic and to include all the necessary items he/she identified in the topic outline. There are a variety of other tools that are extremely helpful in writing. I am well-versed in the use of these tools and have used all of them at some point during my career.