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Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D
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Marcia Y. Cantarella, PhD, has held positions at Hunter College, Princeton University, New York University, and Metropolitan College of New York during her distinguished career as a dean and vice president of student affairs. Through her expertise in delivering student services and strategies, she has enhanced the academic experiences of and outcomes for generations of students. She is president of Cantarella Consulting in New York City, where she works with colleges and organizations on issues of higher education pipelines, access, diversity, and student access. She is the daughter of the late civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. and the author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide.

Entries by Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D

College Is Not Just for Kids Anymore

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 12:01 PM

People think of education as something the young engage in, but education is right at any age. Obviously, kindergarten through high school are years of education for the young. College years can be a time of transition between adolescence and adulthood, especially if you're between the ages of 17 and...

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How Your "Peeps" Can Get You Through College

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 5:58 PM

For some crazy reason I always love it when the Today Show's Al Roker stands on his platform and shouts to the crowd. "My people, my people!" There is something we all crave that is tribal about belonging. It has been cited as essential by psychologists like Eric Erikson for...

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Registering for Classes Is a Workplace Skill -- Really

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 10:42 AM

Where does the time go!? It seems like the term just started. But the end of midterms and the approach of the holidays also signals that students will be asked to register for the next term really soon. Usually first year students and seniors get to register first. Seniors get...

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Are Colleges to Blame?

(3) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 7:37 PM

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and an Ernst and Young report I just picked up via CNBC both say the same thing. Employers are not happy with their new hires among young people. The issues range from the inability to communicate well,...

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The Good News and the Bad News About College Students and Technology

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 6:00 PM

I am ancient. I remember when I typed my 85-page senior honors thesis on a Corona typewriter sitting in my dorm room, record player blaring as I sang along to the Beatles. I had to use carbon paper so making a mistake was a disaster. I had a space in...

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Seven Big Mistakes College Students Make

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 12:09 PM

College students have been known to make all kinds of mistakes, including stupid ones usually involving too much beer. The ones I will focus on here, however, are not those which are often noisy but those which are more the function of silence. Students, in their insecurity, remain silent believing...

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Entering the 'Is College Worth It' Debate

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 10:55 AM

It is everywhere. This question of "Is college worth it?" is being discussed on the news, in blogs, on websites, in chat rooms and in social media as well as living rooms across the country. I figured I needed to get into it, too.

The question is driven by...

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What You Get for Your College Degree: The Value of Being an Alumnus

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 10:23 PM

The current hot button article is about finding your spouse while you are in college. Frankly I am not a fan, believing that there are issues of maturity that need to be in place before closing in on the spouse. However, there is something in the basic premise that does...

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Just Do What Justice Sonia Sotomayor Did

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 2:10 PM

Having been a dean at Princeton, and also having had the privilege of meeting Justice Sotomayor, I was delighted to read an interview with her in the Princeton alumni magazine. By now all know that she was a child of the Bronx, did not grow up in a...

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The College Declaration of Independence

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 10:09 AM

Two different articles struck me recently. One discussed the fact that first generation students, in particular, hesitate to go too far afield in selecting a college and many go home every weekend. The other talked about the negative impacts of hovering (helicopter) parents who send their kids to college and...

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The 'Wow,' 'Cool,' 'Really interesting' Factor in College Majors

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 3:21 PM

Recently I had a chance to look over the plans for my upcoming college reunion and saw time allotted to spend time with faculty. Now my faculty are pretty much all gone (as in passed away) given my own age. But I can still name the ones where I had...

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College as the Dress Rehearsal for Your Career

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 3:20 PM

We tend to segment stages of our lives. We go from toddlerhood to pre-K to elementary school, then middle school, then high school, then college and THEN, as graduation speakers remind students, you enter the "real world." Excuse me -- wasn't all the rest of that pretty real? Certainly it...

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Making a Mistake Is NOT the End of Your College Career or Your Life

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 2:45 PM

Especially at this time of year when there was so much pressure to get it done -- classes, exams, papers, packing to go home, shopping, partying. It was easy for some things to get lost in the shuffle. Mistakes were made or mistakes made earlier began to show their consequences....

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The Really Important Book College Students Rarely Read

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 5:28 PM

In my years as a senior administrator and college dean some of my most distressing conversations with students were when they appeared in my office angry, sad, frustrated or confused over having fallen afoul of some process, procedure, deadline or rule that they had no idea of. Colleges hold students...

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Reading the Tea Leaves: Preparing Now for the Jobs That Don't Exist Yet

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Students starting college -- even while in high school -- when asked what they plan to do with their degrees or what they plan to major in generally respond with a very specific and affirmative answer that may be pre-med, or accounting, or pre-law or business. Then life goes on....

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The Virtue of the Noisy College Student

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 5:19 PM

I am not referring here to the noisy, obnoxious, maybe beer filled college student. Not much virtue there. But there is a problem in the silence of so many college students -- especially those for whom college is a whole new world for themselves and their families. Entering the ivied...

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Are Boys Ready for College?

(7) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 6:15 PM

In the past three weeks, three friends of mine who are parents of teenage sons, high school seniors and juniors, have expressed emotions ranging from outright panic to rage, befuddlement, frustration and resignation. In each case there was a young man who was resisting -- sometimes passively and sometimes overtly...

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Following Your Passion as Career Advice for College Students

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 12:00 PM

There has been a debate raging for some time now about the relevance of college and how it prepares students for the workplace. Articles cite the lack of jobs for English majors vs. computer science majors. There was a piece in the Sunday Times Business section a few...

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I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 4:32 PM

These days going to college might seem more like a communal than a personal venture. The financing, the time commitment, and the outcomes affect more than just the student who is actually enrolled. The majority of college-going students have families, and often whole communities, that are invested in their success...

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