College Stride

A consulting service that helps students and their families make confident, successful strides toward college admission. 

About Me


Karen Williams received her B.A. from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) and her Master’s degree from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI). She has worked at both Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, teaching, advising and supervising students. In addition, she has worked with students in multiple school and community settings, the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, the Kalamazoo YWCA, and the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home. 


Karen has helped students and their families with the college application process since 2000. She enjoys guiding students to find their “voice” and “best fit,” has a strong record of commitment to young people, is able to creatively engage and motivate students, and communicates effectively with parents, teachers and staff. Besides visiting many colleges, Karen also stays up-to-date on the latest admissions information and trends.  


Karen’s students have been admitted to dozens of colleges and universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Bowdoin College, Middlebury College, Kalamazoo College, Carleton College, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Smith College, Hope College, University of Wisconsin, Macalester College, and McGill University.


Initial Consultation – Free, approximately 1 hour

  • Explain services with student and parent(s)
  • Answer student and parent questions
  • Provide resume template & financial aid information

Organizational and Coaching Meetings

  • Assist in creating or revising resume
  • Create “To Do” list
  • Assist in outlining essays and short answers
  • Common Application registration assistance
  • Application review and proofreading
  • Scholarship guidance (applications & essays)
  • Interviewing practice/advice

Additional Services Available

  • Wait list advisement
  • Job or internship search guidance
  • Small group advising & community presentations