#1804 The College Guide for Parents, Shields, Charles J., ISBN: 0-87447-316-0


Reviewer: Dr. Margaret Mbindyo
Department of Academic Advisement and Student Development
Millersville University 

[email protected]

One of the biggest challenges high school college career counselors face is helping students and their families to understand the college-going process and have their students embrace opportunities available beyond high school Cohen (2010). Sharing the best advice for students preparing for college, Shields uses his expertise as a long-serving high school college career adviser and coach to outline a great college career readiness plan for students, parents and high school college career counselors. Though the book is devoid of statistics to support some of the information, Shields covers a wide range of very important topics and even goes further to give us a glimpse of how the freshman year in college should be handled. The end result is an easy to read book which covers crucial college career readiness information like high school coursework, admission tests, information for special student populations, financial aid, college living, handling separation anxiety and freshman year at college to mention a few. 

Most books about college career readiness often ignore parental role and involvement for their child`s preparation for college and career and also they fail to address special populations. This book contains helpful information that is specific to different student populations including athletes, minorities, and the disabled students. In addition, the author points out alternatives to 4-year degree, emphasizing that enlisting in the military or venturing into the world of work after high school may offer skills that could be useful in the future and set the beginning of a great career path for students that choose to go any of the directions. It's crucial that K-12 students be educated and made aware of these three tracks so they make the appropriate decision about their future Muchnick, (2016).

A useful explanation and template for practical use is the authors’ section on Self Appraisal Assessment which helps the student think about their college career goals based on their strengths. However, one tool which might be used alongside this, is the Holland Code which breaks down interests and abilities according to personality types. In order to make their interventions more effective and to help high school students achieve college career readiness and success, high school college and career counselors should use these assessments to help students narrow down interests to ultimately make an informed decision about their future (Shatkin, 2011). The same assessments could also be used proactively when advising exploratory students in college.

The book presents an honest account of the college admissions process and what it really means to find a great career pathway. It makes it clear that a great college career pathway is achievable, based on students personality interests (Colburn & Trigger, 2016). It is a great resource that shows all it takes for college admission and career success.


Coburn K.L & Treeger, M. L (2016). Letting Go, Sixth Edition: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years. New York, NY Harper: Collins Publishers.

Cohen, H. (2010). The Happiest Kid on Campus: A Parent's Guide to the Very Best College Experience (for You and Your Child) Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Muchnick, J.R. (2016). Teens' Guide to College & Career Planning. Los Angeles, CA: Peterson's Publishers. 

Springer, S. P; Reider. J & Franck, M. R (Eds) (2017). Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.

Shatkin, L. (2011). 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality, Second Edition. St. Paul, MN: JIST Publishing.

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