McDonald Cyndy

Cyndy McDonald

Cyndy McDonald has thirty years of experience as a high school and middle school counselor, working in Title I schools in central California with very diverse and often multi-lingual and undocumented student populations. She holds a B.S. in behavioral science from Westminster College (UT) and an M.A. in education from Fresno Pacific (CA).

As a middle school counselor, she helped found an AVID program, which led her to work for AVID for over thirteen years, training over 1000 counselors and teachers on student success and career and college preparation. She has taught foster youth and served on an advisory board for foster youth at the community college level. Additionally, she has been an independent college counselor for almost thirty years. Over eighty percent of the students in her private practice are first-generation students, and many of them are first-generation Americans.

Cyndy is the founder of Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). She has served on several boards/organizations, including National Association for College Admissions (NACAC), Western Association for College Admissions (WACAC), American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (CEP), Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (the Coalition Application), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and National College Advocacy Group (NCAG).

She has a passion for helping students access higher education, and guiding counselors in helping students to achieve their dreams. 

As an instructional tool for all her UCLA Extension courses, she interviews subject matter experts to get their insights into topics covered in the courses, including Ted Fiske, author of the Fiske Guide; Harlan Cohen, author of The Naked Roommate; Peter VanBuskirk, author of The Admissions Game; the authors of Admissions Matters; and many college and other professionals. Her students enjoy hearing the perspectives of these experts and discussing them in class.

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning