Our Approach

Empowering learners of all ages to create student-centered results

How we do what we do

Given the highly relational nature of unlocking a student’s authentic interests and potential, our comprehensive W.I.S.E Method of Educational Planning™ means unlimited access to your educational counselor and no limit on the number of student essays or schools or colleges our students apply to.

All topics related to the integrated nature of educational planning matter to the student’s successful journey, so no subjects are off-limits simply because they aren’t part of a “package.” We also offer custom-designed technology and multimedia resources unrivaled in our field to optimize our process for families. Collectively, we continue to visit more school and college campuses annually and enjoy more professional relationships with school admission offices than any other consultancy. Since 1955, our commitment to knowing the whole student is what has led to the right choices for the young person’s exciting, challenging, and fulfilling next school or college experience.

Why do we choose to work on a comprehensive basis with families? Because our signature all-inclusive approach allows us to align our areas of expertise that, working together, are unique to the field of educational consulting and yield the most satisfying journey and meaningful results for our students. We alone have combined our decades-long direct experience in elementary, secondary and higher education, our deep understanding of adolescent and young adult development, and our industry-leading, widely recognized expertise in college and school admissions to create our own W.I.S.E. Method ™ of educational planning. This student-centered, step-by-step approach facilitates a highly supportive, impactful journey of self discovery, efficient task completion, and informed admissions strategy execution.

Our W.I.S.E. Method of Educational Planning™ explained

Our signature W.I.S.E. Method of Educational Planning™ is the implementation of our developmental philosophy. In undertaking each of the phases of your search guided by your professional and caring McMillan Educational counselor you will experience the space to reflect on the educational values, programmatic features and school or college culture that both matter to you and will constitute the environment in which you will thrive. While valuing reflective time in the process, the W.I.S.E. Method of Educational Planning™ ensures that you do your homework and investigate thoroughly what transpires in real time on a campus and in a classroom.

You will discover what it looks and feels like to be a student at each of the schools or colleges you are interested in knowing and those your counselor introduces to you. As you’re skillfully guided to gather information and reflect upon its significance to your future, you experience the process of executing the application tasks with less stress, more sense of purpose and greater confidence. Finally, when you move from candidate to accepted student, the W.I.S.E. Method™ again encourages you to dig deeper into newly accessible information and to re-experience the people and places you’ve encountered so that you can make the most informed decision that ends in the right school or college for you.

Our Approach

  • We understand that you have your own values, needs and goals. And we have the unique methodology and right educational tools, resources, and counselors to guide you to fulfill them. To start, we take the time to learn about your family and child, then make the best counselor match to partner with you on your journey.
  • Our onboarding process is comprehensive. We get to know you and your child as well as possible in advance of the initial meeting by gathering any and all information you can provide us — grades, testing, other records — to help us help you. Then we get you registered on our interactive online platform we call The Owl’s Nest, where the advanced technological tools that will support and facilitate our work together live.
  • The goal of our in-depth first meeting is to learn about the nuances of your child’s personality and passions.
  • Generally, we spend time with your whole family, as well as individual time with both your child and you the parents.
  • The initial meeting results in us pulling together the facets of the student profile that will inform a highly Personalized Educational Plan, which is our launchpad for the meaningful step-by-step action that will align our deepening knowledge of the student’s unique qualities with the calendared tasks designed to culminate in the realization of his or her best fit goals.
  • We continue to get to know you better throughout the process, strengthening our execution of your personalized plan in our formal meetings and informal touch points that cover every element involved in developing your profile and refining and evaluating your list of schools, colleges and programs along our shared journey.
  • We utilize the most interactive and cutting edge technology in the educational consulting field in the form of our online interactive platform, The Owl’s Nest, in which we break your planning journey into four distinctive phases we call our W.I.S.E. Method of Educational Planning™. Each letter in the acronym W.I.S.E. aligns with the reflective exercises and meaningful action we guide you through to ensure a purposeful and successful search process.
  • On a practical level, The Owl’s Nest is where you interact with your counselor-guided personal task assignments, planning calendar, rich resources and timely correspondences to keep you seamlessly informed, facilitate your assessment of schools and colleges, and ensure you execute a high quality application process with less stress and greater confidence.
  • Our relational style means we develop an ongoing dialogue with you, staying in contact in between scheduled meetings through phone calls, texting, FaceTime, Zoom, and chatting on our interactive online platform, The Owl’s Nest.
  • You’ll receive notifications of focused news and correspondences posted in The Owl’s Nest regularly throughout the process that highlight timely events related to testing, course planning, campus visits, and other key events in the planning process.
  • We offer you the full support of our team by sharing notes, expertise, essay reviews, and school or college lists at regular staff and supervisory meetings.
  • Often the most time-intensive portion of the entire process revolves around completion of applications that tap into your special qualities effectively and present you the candidate in the best possible light. 
  • As former writing teachers who know how to “coach” writers to present their distinctive narrative “voice,” we guide you through the essay process by providing extensive feedback over the course of multiple essay drafts of what is often dozens of essays.
  • We counsel students to get the most out of presenting their extracurricular activities by optimizing the format of particular applications.
  • Our goal is for you to have a range of choices.
  • We counsel you on how to best evaluate your choices.
  • We advise you on navigating waitlists.
  • We follow you right through to the point where you make your final decision and land in a setting where you will thrive.

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Your Child’s Future Begins Here. Establishing the value of learning and curiosity is the first step to helping your child succeed, both in education and in life.