By Alison Harris
Michaela Kinlock, Ed.M., is an academic advisor at Northeastern University, a career she was drawn to: “I transferred colleges after my freshman year and it showed me that fit is so important in making or breaking a college student’s experience,” she said.
Kinlock learned firsthand about the achievement gap in college: “Advising is one thing that has been proven to have a positive impact on college student retention. Advisors serve as a sounding board for students to discuss struggles that they are experiencing and we connect students to resources to help them overcome some of these struggles.”
She finds that “It is really gratifying when you work with a student who is struggling and see them turn it around. Sometimes getting on academic probation is a serious reality check. I am proud of students when they are able to significantly improve their grades, but I can see that they are proud of themselves for working hard and turning their situation around.” Kinlock supports an integrated approach: “It is also exciting to see experiential learning in action and to see how students are making connections between their coursework and their non-academic activities like co-ops, research, and study abroad.”
Ever insightful, Kinlock connects the dots between education and a career path, “Having a college degree opens up a lot of opportunities, and is becoming more and more necessary for more and more jobs. College also provides students the opportunity to explore their interests and study, something that will hopefully allow them to pursue a career that they enjoy rather than a career that they can tolerate.”
Kinlock followed up her public university education with an advanced degree from Harvard: “At Harvard Graduate School of Education, I learned so much about the issues facing college students and tailored my coursework to learning more about academic advising and student retention.”
PHOTO: Michaela Kinlock, Ed.M. helps people to succeed in college and in life.
BIO: Alison Harris, is a communications professional in Greater Boston. She served in Governor Patrick’s administration, held three rising PR positions at Harvard, wrote for the Boston Herald, and worked for Liz Claiborne and Tommy Hilfiger.