Dobler College Consulting

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So You Want To Major In The Arts?







Note: I will be conducting a college admissions workshop titled, “A Conversation About College” on November 7th at Sacred Heart Church in Southbury, Connecticut. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more.

Just a quickie today as we prepare to finalize Early Decision and Early Action applications.

For those of you interested in the arts, there will be two events in early November here in the New England area which are designed just for you.

The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) is hosting Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs in Boston on November 1st and in Philadelphia on November 5th.

These fairs are designed for students interested in pursuing majors in the areas of music, dance, theater, visual arts, graphic design, among other related disciplines.

Interested students will learn about educational opportunities, admission and financial aid, portfolio days, audition and entrance requirements, and much more by meeting with representatives from colleges, universities, and conservatories who specialize in the visual and performing arts.

If you’re afraid of turning into the starving artist, conduct some research now to see what you can do with a major in the arts.

Not sure if you even want to major in one of these fields? That’s okay too. Here’s a great article from the New York Times blog, The Choice, about how those of you interested in pursuing a career in music don’t necessarily have to declare it as your major in order to be successful.

Learn More at Dobler College Consulting’s College Admissions Workshop

For parents and students who can make it, I will be conducting a workshop titled, “A Conversation About College” on Wednesday, November 7th from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at Sacred Heart Church, 910 Main Street South in Southbury, Connecticut.

The workshop shares strategies to help your son or daughter navigate the college admissions process while eliminating mistakes that tend to reduce their chances of admission. Topics include college lists, online resources, essays, interviews, campus visits, what you need to know about making college more affordable and how to stay sane throughout the process.

All workshop participants will receive informational handouts and will be eligible for discounts off any of my college counseling services.

The workshop is free to the public. Want to come but can’t make it? You can easily get in touch with me to set up a free 60-minute consultation to help address your pressing college admissions-related questions and issues.

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Want to Play Sports in College? Take Control of the Recruiting Process

SportsToday’s blog post was written by my friend, Daniel Fitzgerald. Dan is an attorney at Brody Wilkinson PC right here in Southport, Connecticut. A former college athlete, Dan also publishes the blog Connecticut Sports Law which, if you are interested in the world of sports, is a great read.

I asked Dan if he would talk about the recruiting process for student athletes – something he knows a lot about and here’s what he had to say:

My recruiting experience was rather unremarkable and probably similar to many of those who were interested in playing Division II and III athletics upon graduation from high school. After playing organized football for seven years, I simply wanted to keep playing. My college search was simple – I looked for a good school where I would have the opportunity to play football. My approach to recruiting was similarly simple – I responded to letters I received from schools and applied to a few others that I thought might be a good fit.

In hindsight, my approach was too reactive, when I should have been proactive. With school back in session, here are some ideas on handling the recruiting process:

1. Draft Your Team

The recruiting process is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the coaches that are recruiting you, it is routine. To account for the vast difference in experience between you and a coach, you need to surround yourself with a team of individuals who can help navigate the process.

Parents can be good resources, especially if they have been through the process before. If your parents have not been through the process, they can still be a great resource, but consider seeking out other parents from your school or area who have been through the process with their children. Seek out your coaches and athletic director. Coaches from other sports at your school might also have experience with the recruiting process.

The team will look different for each student-athlete.  It doesn’t matter who makes up your team, but be sure that you can consult with people who can provide guidance throughout the recruiting process. Remember, you’ve never done this before.

2. Make Your Plan and Share It

No matter the level of collegiate athletics, you should have a plan for navigating the process. If you are a top Division I athlete, the schools may come to you. If so, do your best to determine what you’re looking for (academics, athletics, extra-curricular activities, other important criteria to you) and match the schools that pursue you with your objectives. Otherwise, you might lean towards the last school to contact you, or the last school you visited, while losing sight of your objectives.

For most student-athletes who seek to play Division II and III athletics, a more proactive approach may be needed. You need not limit yourself to schools that contact you. Research the schools that you might be interested in and contact them. Make lists of the schools that interest you, or those that are interested in you. Find out if any of your coaches, athletic director, teachers, parents or friends’ parents have any contacts at those schools. If so, they may be able to provide valuable information and introductions.

Once you have a plan, share it with everyone: your recruiting team; all of your coaches (who may not be aware that you want to compete at the collegiate level); your teachers; your family and friends. You’ll be surprised how many connections you’ll find and how many helpful suggestions you’ll receive when a team of people are on the lookout for opportunities.

3. Sell Yourself

During my recruitment, I preferred one school over the others, but I was stuck on that school’s wait-list. The schools at which I was accepted were all fine options, but none stood above the others. I simply needed more choices.

I visited a school that had an excellent football program and solid academics, but hadn’t sent me a single letter.  At an open house I introduced myself to the football coaches.  As I later discovered, the head coach knew my athletic director, who helped me assess the opportunity, and helped the coach assess my ability to play football for that school.  I applied, was accepted, and was invited to play on the football team. Once the first day of practice began, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t recruited.  I had the opportunity to compete with everyone else.

The lesson is that even if a school is not recruiting you, that shouldn’t stop you from contacting that school.  Explore your options.  Send out more game films.  Ask your coach to contact schools on your behalf.  If you think you have the ability to be a scholarship athlete, there is no reason that you can’t take a proactive approach to your recruitment.  The same applies to non-scholarship athletics.  At the non-scholarship level, it doesn’t matter if you are recruited or you recruit yourself.

In recruiting, the most important thing is not that the right school finds you, but that you find the right school and the right athletic program for you.  Taking control of this process should be the first step in planning your athletic future.

If you have questions about the recruiting process for student athletes, use the comment box below. You can also contact Dan directly at 203.319.7154 or You can also check out Dan’s blog, Connecticut Sports Law at

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