Today we feature 2014 Ed2Save Fellow Dr. Deb Felix. Formerly a university admissions officer, she now works with families to help students find the path that is best for them after high school. She is passionate about helping to transform schools into places that appropriately develop every student according to their strengths, passions, needs and desires. Why is this important? Consider the following figures from this article:

Just 56 percent of college students complete four-year degrees within six years. Only 29 percent of those who start two-year degrees finish them within three years. Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it. The failure to complete a college education in the United States is especially marked at four-year private for-profit schools, where 78 percent of attendees fail to get a diploma after six years. That compares with 35 percent of students in nonprofit private schools and 45 percent of students in public colleges who failed to graduate after six years.

Partly to blame is US News and World Report who uses rejection numbers as a measure of college prestige. Dr. Felix said she noticed a dramatic difference in how colleges recruit after the publishing of these rankings. They try to beef up the number of applicants regardless of whether or not the school is a good fit for the potential students. Coming soon is a blog post by Dr. Felix on the criteria she would use to rank colleges! Dr. Felix offers workshops to help parents and youth help to figure out their passion and purpose. If you are interested in learning more, contact her here. Deb was the Focus Fellow for a recent online collaboration where she presented a challenge to her cohort of Fellows who gave her feedback. Here is her reflection on the meeting:

Wow.  My online peer cluster “meeting” today was phenomenal.  I did not expect my peers to have so many awesome suggestions to help me move toward accomplishing my educational mission.  Their objectivity, creative ideas, and selfless sharing were fantastic and just what I needed.  I now have a great list of things to pull together into a larger strategy.  On top of that, I know I have their unconditional support as I move forward.  Thank you so much!

We have a few spots left for the 2015 Fellows Cohort. If you are interested, complete this short application and we will be in touch soon! A little more about Deb: deb (1) Dr. Felix earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and Education from Swarthmore College and her MBA and M.Ed. degrees from Columbia University. Dr. Felix worked on Wall Street for a time and spent five years as an officer at Columbia University, ultimately overseeing Admissions, Financial Aid and Minority Affairs for Columbia’s MBA program. For the next 10 years, Felix consulted to universities, private firms, and international governmental institutions in the areas of recruiting and selecting precollege, undergraduate, and graduate students, international fellowships, financial aid, and educational program strategies. Subsequent to that, Dr. Felix managed a $55 million portfolio of science education grants allocated to higher education institutions around the country on behalf of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. During her career, Dr. Felix has taught Pre-K-12th grade science at Swarthmore High School (PA), The Fieldston School (NY), Sandy Spring Friends School (MD), The Cloud Forest School (Costa Rica), and Georgetown Day School (Washington, DC). Dr. Felix earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Maryland in August 2014, and lives in Kensington, Maryland with her neuroscientist husband and their two children.