Julia Varriale

MA, The product of both public and private (boarding) secondary schools, a for-profit two-year business school (Katharine Gibbs), a community college (one biology course, where no frogs were injured in my pursuit of knowledge), a women’s college (one fabulous creative writing course), a public college (four-year undergraduate degree as an adult returning to college – my cure for looming empty nest syndrome, majoring in Geography with minors in Psychology and Studio Art, 2000), a research university (master’s in Higher Education Administration at Boston College, 2003), and online learning (Certificate in College Counseling at UCLA Extension, 2001-2003), I take an unusually long and broad view of higher education in the United States.  I have over 30 years (combined) mentoring, teaching K-postbacc, admissions, and consulting experience and absolutely love teaching in the UCLA Extension program, where I have taught since 2008. In 2015, I was awarded the designation of Distinguished Instructor.  If we count parenting, I have almost 40 years (combined) relevant experience. 

I believe the strength of online learning is in the opportunity for discourse, and because our students come from all over the world and from all sides of the college process, our classroom reflections and discussions bring a world view to the college process and are often the most enlightening and enriching in-depth discussions you will find on the issues affecting the road to higher education, not only in the U.S. but also worldwide, today.

As a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, the Western Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Higher Education Consultants Association, I have presented numerous times over the years at NEACAC, HECA, and WACAC, most recently at the Super Conference III in Phoenix, covering topics as varied as Financial Aid 101 (NEACAC), Hidden Aspects of Fit (HECA), The Rise of Nondisclosure (NEACAC), The Rise of Online Learning (HECA), and transition to college (WACAC); and have served on the Governing Board of NEACAC as Chair of Communication and edited the NEACAC Newsletter from 2003-2008.  Most recently, I have been co-chairing the NACAC Graduate Education SIG.  I mentor groups of over 300 (combined) former students via a Yahoo Group and a closed FB group and am the founder and creator of the resource room, Collegevale.org.  It is open to the public because I believe a well-informed, good-fit college process should be affordable for and available to all.   

Outside of the classroom, I try to power walk daily and take Pilates reformer classes several days a week.  I try to avoid housework whenever possible, and in my spare time, I enjoy reading for pleasure.  I live outside of Boston with my husband and am blessed with having our daughter and her family living nearby.  My joy is spending time with family and watching my grandchildren grow.

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