Collegiate Coaching Services College Preparatory Summer Program For Teens & Young Adults

Collegiate Coaching Services College Preparatory Summer Program

Develop & Master Executive Function Strategies

Each week, students will engage in a simulated college classroom that exposes them to real experiences and challenges that they may face in college. The simulated college classroom will be an early American history course that will focus on early European colonization to the end of Reconstruction in 1877. The instructor of this course, Stephanie Markle, has received many teaching awards such as Innovator of the Year and Best Practice educator. She is the Academic director at CCS. An executive function curriculum will be followed within the classroom and during each meeting with the student’s executive function coach.

This class will meet on Monday & Wednesdays and Tuesday’s & Thursdays from 1-3pm. With the support of their executive function (EF) coach, students will develop skills and strategies to respond to these challenges, including:

  • How to evaluate an academic syllabus and determine assignments, expectations, and communication policies.
  • How to determine the most effective note taking methods for student’s learning style and instructor’s presentation style.
  • How to study and engage with class material to help with memory.
  • How to analyze assignment rubrics and translate instructor expectations.
  • How to evaluate weekly assignments, reading requirements, and test prep to create weekly and daily to do lists and how to strategically break down large assignments into smaller, doable tasks.
  • How to prepare for tests with and without a study guide.
  • How to communicate with college faculty in-person and via email.
  • How to develop self-advocacy skills and explore resources and support services.

Students will engage in individual meetings with their executive function coach two hours a week to learn about and improve broader executive function skills including:

  • Learning to create a weekly schedule that integrates important due dates/projects into a calendar as well as studying, exercise/physical outlets, social/group commitments, entertainment, etc.
  • Creating summer session goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).
  • Developing a favorable life management routine that includes a good sleep routine, diet, limiting or abstaining from using substances, as well as practicing responsible technology use.
  • Discussing tools and skills to increase threshold for frustration and irritability as well as decreasing anxiety.
  • Examining ways to improve ability to cope with constructive criticism; fixed mindset vs growth mindset.
  • Develop and implement tools to effectively problem solve and make thoughtful decisions.
  • Providing a space to discuss any negative thoughts and belief systems that may interfere with student’s ability to achieve academic success.

Each week an executive function process will be the focus in individual coaching meetings and the classroom:

Week One – Fixed vs. Growth Mindset (click for video)

Week Two – Organization/Time Management

Week Three – Goal Setting

Week Four – Prioritization

Week Five – Focus

Week Six – Self-Regulation & Grit; The Power of Passion and Perseverance (click for video)

Week Seven – Cognitive Flexibility

Week Eight – Memory

Parents, student, and the executive function coach will have three individual meetings with their identified coach throughout the 8-week program to discuss the student’s individual progress and areas that are being focused on during the coaching sessions. These meetings will occur at the Collegiate Coaching Services in Boulder, CO.

Parents are strongly recommended to attend four ~ one hour seminars led by Instructor and Academic Director, Stephanie Markle.

  • Introduction to the College Classroom and Executive Function Skills: June 7th @ 6 pm.
  • Executive Function Skills at Home: June 21th @ 6 pm.
  • How to Improve Communication and Prepare for Shifting Parent Roles: July 12th @ 6 pm.
  • Preparing for the Transition to College: What to Expect Next: July 26th @ 6 pm.

To receive further information and to enroll, call 303-635-6753 or email,


Will Your Gamer Survive College?

By Melanie Hempe, RN

Note: Originally published on July 22, 2016 by Families Managing Media.

I recently returned from my daughter’s college orientation at a large state university: one-and-a-half days packed full of tips and overviews on how to help your student be successful in college, from what food plan may be best to what size sheets to buy. I chuckled when the student volunteers took the stage to offer their “wise advice” on how parents should adjust to their student’s newfound independence by not interfering with their freedom. According to them, our students should say, “Mom and Dad, be there to pay the bills, but honestly, I am an adult now. (My 18th birthday was last month, remember?) You need to let me have my privacy, my independence, and my beer.” Well, while they may look like adults, this seasoned mom of four now knows that these “apprentice adults” will not have fully functioning frontal cortexes until they are, ironically, out of college. Will this scientific fact affect their college experience? Yes, it will. This is a lesson I learned with my oldest child.

Later that day, as I listened to the lecture from the counseling department, my eyes quickly scanned the slide on Academic Impediments. Did the reason my son fail to thrive in his first year of college six years ago make the list yet? Yes, I see it: Internet and Video Games. Right there along with a daunting list including depression, stress, sleep, grief, and alcohol. A flood of memories and sadness filled my emotions as I was transported back to where we were six years ago with my son. At this point in the presentation, I wanted to stand up and give my parent peers a big warning: “If your son’s gaming is out of control now, it will be way out of control in college!”

Actually, I know what these parents are thinking: “Maybe something magical will happen to mitigate his gaming habits when we move our gamer-son into his dorm.” Ironically, while they are focusing on their packing list for dorm essentials, their son is only focused on what electronics he will pack. He is fantasizing about his upcoming “gaming heaven” that will be funded by mom and dad–hours of uninterrupted game play, and all-nighters with other gamers in the “game dens” (set up all over college campuses nationwide). He is dreaming of endless fun with no time limits, no chores, no family dinners, no siblings, nor other trivial family obstacles. Sadly, neither he nor his parents understand that his game habit puts him in one of the highest risk categories for dropping out of college during his first year.

Studies show that 85% of college boys are game players, and one in eight develops addiction patterns. In a college of 20,000 students (assuming half are boys), 8,500 are game players. 12.5%, 1 in 8, would mean that 1,063 students are at risk. Research also demonstrates that there is a negative correlation between gaming addiction and expected college engagement, GPA, and even drug and alcohol violations that occur during the first year in college (1). As I glanced across the packed auditorium at all those naive parents, I wondered which ones will be picking up their gaming son prematurely this first year to move him back home. After that, a familiar pattern will likely unfold. He will get a part-time job delivering pizzas, live on his parents’ couch, and pretend that he is looking into local community college options. Stunned and confused over what has just happened, Mom and Dad will scramble to refigure his “Plan B” future while they carry those carefully packed sheets, towels, and dorm supplies to the attic. Like me, they will be shocked and disappointed when they learn, too late, that gaming is a serious addiction that can ruin a young man’s life in its prime and derail even the brightest of students. They will feel alone, embarrassed, anxious, and angry. Perhaps they will start piecing it together and maybe will realize that this problem started years ago under their watch.

After the lecture, I approached the presenter and thanked him for including “Internet and Video Games” on his list of academic impediments. Then I asked him why he did not address the video game problem with the audience. He simply stated that although it was one of the biggest reasons as to why boys struggle and drop out their first year, the college personnel simply did not know what to do about it. After all he said, “Since gaming is a legal activity, we have no control over it.” My heart sank again.

I headed out to the break and overheard a mom who was talking about her gamer son. We chatted, and I shared my experience, as I have done many times over the past six years. Emotionally unraveling right in front of me, she explained that her incoming-freshman son likely will not survive on campus without her there to set his game limits. Her next words were revealing: “He can’t do it on his own. The gaming controls him!” On the slightly positive side, she knows more than I did six years ago. Unfortunately, she is beginning her grieving process early over what she feels will be the inevitable result of his addiction. And he hasn’t even started school yet.

Do you have a gamer headed to college? If so, take time to get informed about this important subject. While your son may occasionally put his game aside for serious studying and healthy activities, the odds are, that he very well may not. Know that he will likely game more in college than he ever did at home. Will that be too much? Know that he may sacrifice social time with real people, deny himself sleep, skip classes and exchange classwork demands for his gaming. The peer pressure to game will be great and the temptation to shift his motivation and competition to his game rather than his grades may be more than he can handle even if he was a straight A student in high school. Your bright student is at a crossroad. Will he be able to survive in college and academically thrive? Or will his game, his social anxiety, his inability to self-advocate and his isolation keep him from getting what he needs in college. Research says that video game use in college leads to lower GPAs. Men now, only make up 42% of college students and fewer men complete college once they start. Tracy Markle, MA. LPC, owner and clinical director of Collegiate Coaching Services, says that gaming overuse is part of every conversation with all departments and is being identified as “a primary factor in student academics, mental health, and social problems on campus. Technology overuse has a negative impact on student isolation problems, grades, depression, lack of self-care, poor diet, sleep problems and substance abuse.” Your student gamer may not be able to afford to bring his game to school.

What can you do before school starts?

Talk with your gamer. I know that this may be uncomfortable and stressful as he will likely roll his eyes and resist, but it is essential. You are running out of time! Richard Freed, my colleague and author of Wired Child offered some suggestions to me recently to help get the conversation started:

Remind him that he is still part of your family unit. Help college-bound freshmen recognize that while they are now legally an adult, they continue to be part of your family, a family in which members have responsibilities to one another. While parents have a responsibility to support their son or daughter in school to the best of their ability, college students have a responsibility to put in an honest, strong effort. This doesn’t entail obtaining a particular GPA, but it does mean attending classes and doing assigned work. College students also have a responsibility to communicate honestly with their parents about their progress at school.

Talk about his potential and how easily it can slip away. If you are concerned that a gaming obsession poses risks to your college-bound freshmen, help them understand that the transition to college is much like a college athlete’s transition to the pros. The fact that students make it to college means they have potential. But just as a pro athlete must start over in the NFL or MLB, the same is true of college students. Too many great college athletes get to the pros, don’t work to better themselves, and are out of sports in a year. The same thing can happen as students transition from high school to college.

Discuss trading one control for another. Students bound for college are often thinking that it will be nice to get away from the control of their mothers and fathers. However, they may not consider how their behavior can just as much be controlled by video games or internet obsession. Gamers easily lose control of how they spend their time. They don’t necessarily want to stay up all night gaming and fail an exam. It just happens. Ask your son to brainstorm ways he can stay in control of his own behavior and how he will manage his free time.

Consider the influence of roommates. Does his roommate play video games? Yes, it makes a difference. If your son’s roommate is a gamer, chances are that they will both play more. Studies show that first-year college roommates have a profound effect on students, and students with gamer roommates tend to study a half hour per day less than non-gamer roommates. This also can result in a lower GPA.

Along with the above talking tips, here are a few other ideas:

Start a summer detox. Have him take four weeks off of gaming while he is at home to see if he can do it. Begin your detox with a summer no-tech-allowed vacation. Make family efforts to designate no tech times during the week and weekend to support his need for family attachment.

Pay attention to his packing list. Do not let him pack his game console, large monitor/screen, games, or extra cable. However, remember that he can play all of his games on his laptop and smartphone.

Don’t fund his game habit. Do not give him money for game subscriptions or high speed internet in his room. He can do his homework in the library. Set limits on his phone data plan to limit large downloads (no more than 1-2 GB per month).

Reconsider his dorm assignment. Make sure he lives in a freshman dorm where an RA is aware of his gaming issue. He might be able to help. If he is in a non-freshman dorm, be aware that he will feel pressure from upper-classmen gamers who have already established their gaming habits.

Establish accountability around free time. Don’t assume that just because he is in a club or sports that he won’t have time to game; remember he will have more free time than he does right now at home. Encourage him to meet new people and try new activities. Set up some accountability with a new friend/RA or perhaps even with his dad. Begin thinking through this now, before he leaves for college.

Monitor game time. Set up accountability software that will help him monitor the actual hours of game play. You be his accountability partner. Remember that game binging is part of the addiction cycle, and college is the perfect place to get lost in a game binge.

Consider a gap year. Don’t assume that college will help him outgrow his gaming; gaming addiction is a real physical, chemical, and emotional problem. He may need professional help or even a treatment center (See ReStart, Collegiate Coaching Services,or Outback Treatment Program). Consider a gap year if you see that he can’t control his gaming at home, and use this year to help him detox and re-focus. I know, that if you are living with an addicted gamer, you secretly want him to grow up and move out of the house. But, sending him to college when he is not ready is not a good use of your money or his time. College should be about developing life and career skills, not gaming skills. A full-time job at home for a year may help him mature and better prepare him for college.

Video game addiction is a growing problem, especially on college campuses. It may be legal, common, accepted, and culturally approved, but it can be life-altering for many. Take a serious look at your teen’s gaming habit and follow your gut feeling on this. He is still an “apprentice adult” and needs your guidance and counsel. It isn’t too late to get him on the right track so that he can experience the best college has to offer!

For more information on gaming addiction, visit us at or more specifically: Take the Video Game Addiction Survey, read College Gaming Myths, and Solutions for College Gamers, or contact us at info [at] familiesmanagingmedia [dot] com for additional guidance and resources.

  1. Video Game Addiction and College Performance Among Males: Results from a 1 Year Longitudinal Study Zachary L. Schmitt, BA,1 and Michael G. Livingston, PhD CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING Volume 18, Number 1, 2015.
university wall photo

10 Tips for Getting Connected at CU Boulder

The University of Colorado-Boulder is a large campus with many opportunities to get involved. While the options can be exciting, they can also be intimidating. Below are ten tips for ways to get involved at CU:

  1. Check out the CU Campus Events Calendar.The events calendar lists many of the events occurring on campus each day. You can search by day or event type such as Arts & Culture or Sports & Recreation.
  2. Search the Center for Student Involvement Student Group Directory: Here you can find student groups by keyword. Most listings will include contact information, a group website (if available), and social media information.
  3. See what Program Council is bringing to campus next. The CU Program Council organizes movies and concerts on the CU campus. If you would like to help spread the word about events, you can also consider joining the Street Team and get free access to events and meet new people in exchange for helping with marketing.
  4. Join an intramural sports team through the CU Rec Center. There are a wide-range of sports available with everything from badminton to dodgeball to ice hockey.
  5. Give back to the CU and Boulder Community. The Volunteer Resource Center helps students connect with volunteer opportunities on the CU campus and throughout the community. They also offer the CU Alternative Break Program, which sends students throughout the the country to do direct service and to learn about social and environmental issues.
  6. Visit some of the incredible advocacy centers on campus specifically designed to support students including: The Women’s Resource Center, The Cultural Unity and Engagement Center, and the Gender and Sexuality Center. Each center has space to study, connect with other students, and relax. They also offer events throughout the semester.
  7. See who the Cultural Events Board is bringing to campus next. The CU Cultural Events Board helps student groups bring culturally relevant speakers to campus each semester. Past speakers have included Naomi Klein, Michael Franti, Janet Mock, and Marcus Luttrell.
  8. Explore environmental and sustainability issues with the CU Environmental Center. The CU Environmental Center is largest student-led environmental center and has a variety of options for getting involved.
  9. Visit the Dennis Small Cultural Center. The DSCC hosts film screenings, dance lessons, cooking classes, workshops, community gatherings, and much more!
  10. Go bowling or play pool in the UMC Connection. The connection also has weekly events including tournaments and karaoke nights.

By Dr. Liz Morningstar

Internet Technology & Video Game Overuse on the College Campus

Internet Technology & Video Game Overuse on the College Campus

January 21, 2016

For all the convenience that technology brings us, an alarming percentage of people develop bad tech habits that can have serious consequences in their lives. Research has identified that 13-18 percent of college students demonstrate signs of internet addiction and technology overuse. If these percentages translate to CU-Boulder, then in the fall of 2015, between 4,000 and 5,665 of our students struggled from the negative impacts of technology in their academic and personal lives.

The Division of Continuing Education at CU-Boulder is hosting a workshop on Feb. 5 to help student support staff learn more about this often overlooked issue and how they can help.

Tracy Markle, MA, LPC, owner and clinical director of Collegiate Coaching Services and The Digital Media Treatment & Education Center in Boulder, will be a guest speaker at the workshop. She says that internet addiction and technology overuse is a growing problem among college students.

“This problem area with young people is typically a part of every conversation we have when we meet with departments at CU,” said Markle. “More and more, this is being identified as a primary factor in student academics, mental health, and social problems on campus.”

Markle explains that technology overuse often correlates with several key behaviors that have a negative impact on student success, such as appearing isolated, missing class, showing signs of depression, lack of self-care, poor grades, sleep difficulties and substance abuse.

Kathryn Tisdale, Director of Student Services at the CU-Boulder Division of Continuing Education, says she and Markle planned this event because helping faculty and staff identify and intervene with students who overuse technology can be a powerful strategy to help students be more successful.

“Understanding who the high risk groups are is one key way that faculty and staff can prepare themselves to identify and assist students who may be experiencing problematic internet and video game use,” said Tisdale. “Students struggling with depression, anxiety, connecting with peers and groups on campus and acclimating to a new culture and environment may be especially at risk.”

Markle, who works with individuals and universities all across the country, says that even though CU-Boulder’s Collegiate Recovery Center (CRC) is the only such center in the country she is aware of that provides an anonymous, 12-step support group to students with internet addiction, it is still a difficult issue to identify and talk about.

“It is still uncommon for students to initiate conversations about their problematic use of digital media,” said Markle. “Therefore, it is particularly important that we, their advisors, professors, counselors and coaches, develop the skills to recognize the problem signs of students who are struggling with how to integrate technology into their lives and provide them with space to talk about this issue that often carries shame and guilt.”

Guest presenters

Tracy Markle, MA, LPC is the owner and clinical director of Collegiate Coaching Services and The Digital Media Treatment & Education Center. She collaborates with experts around the country to develop standards of practice and effective treatment approaches for internet and video game addiction issues. Her team at Collegiate Coaching Services provides academic and executive functioning coaching, as well as specialized therapeutic support to students who struggle with mental health issues and overuse of digital media. The Digital Media Treatment and Education Center provides outpatient treatment for teens, young adults, and families who are dealing with internet, video game, and pornography addiction issues.

Anthony Riske is the lead therapeutic coach at Collegiate Coaching Services. He joins Tracy in providing presentations and workshops around the country on internet and video game overuse issues, and provides therapeutic support to young adults and families who struggle with this issue.

Dr. Brett Kennedy, who owns and operates a private practice in Boulder, specializes in sexual addictions, including pornography addiction. He will provide information on this area as it relates to college students on the CU-Boulder campus.

– See more at:

meet with professor

Office Hours with the College Professor

I am officially obsessed with this video. Arizona State University has done a fantastic job of illustrating the importance of visiting office hours in a fun and engaging way. As a former instructor, my favorite line from the video describes one of the side effects from using FOH (Faculty Office Hours) as “seeing your professor as a human being for the first time.” Many students, especially those at large universities, never have the chance to form meaningful or lasting relationships with their professors. However, developing these connections not only has positive impacts for students academically, it can also improve students overall well-being, and provide opportunities for growth in the future. The relationships I formed in office hours helped me get into graduate school, provided the connection to my first research job, and even laid the groundwork for me to travel to Africa. Most of the students I talk to understand that going to office hours is useful, but even with this knowledge, most don’t go. So what keeps students away?

Time Management

Some students don’t feel like they have the time to spend in office hours between classes, studying, spending time with friends, exercising, being involved on campus, etc… However, even spending 10-15 minutes with a professor can be an incredibly meaningful interaction. I recommend students add their professor’s office hours to their calendar so it is easy to see when they might be available and how it fits into their schedule. Another timing hurdle arises when professors office hours conflict with another class. In these situations, it is always appropriate to email a professor and ask to schedule a meeting during another time. The best way to do this is to provide specific times and dates that the student is available so that the professor can easily look at their calendar to figure out an available time.

What do I talk about?

Students often tell me that they don’t know what to talk about when they go to office hours, and if they do go to office hours, they usually wait until right before an exam or after they earn a poor grade. I suggest going to talk to a professor within the first few weeks of class. Meeting early provides an opportunity for the professor to get to know the student and makes it easier to go to office hours again when questions do arise. Some great questions to consider asking a professor include:

  • How did you know you wanted to study [insert academic discipline here]?
  • When did you decide you wanted to become a professor?
  • I’m really interested in learning more about [insert a topic from class]. Can you recommend a good article or book I could read to learn more?

Students can also do their homework before going to office hours and spend sometime on a professor’s webpage to come up with specific questions about a faculty member’s research. Coming prepared with a list of questions about course material is another way to approach office hours. The most important thing is to show faculty members that the student values their time and wants to learn from them.

A Previous Bad Experience

Sometimes having one bad experience in office hours is enough for students to decide it’s not worth their time. However, each professor is different and even if a student has one bad experience with a professor, I always encourage them to try again; we all have bad days. Coming prepared with questions or specific topics to discuss is the best way to counter a negative experience.

Additional Reasons for Using Office Hours

Developing a relationship with a professor and gaining information and insights about course material are the two most important reasons for using office hours. However, I would add the following additional benefits:  

Recommendation Letters: As an instructor, it is hard to write strong recommendation letters for students who you only interact with in a large class. However, when students came to visit me in office hours, I got a chance to learn about them, their interests, and their strengths. The letters I wrote for students who came to visit me in office hours were always more detailed, personal, and substantive.

Research Opportunities: Sometimes professors may need help with their research. If they have had the opportunity to meet a student who is passionate and interested in their work, they may ask that student to assist on a project. Or if a student is considering an honors thesis or their own research project, they may be able to ask a professor they have visited in office hours to be a member of their committee.

Border-Line Grades: Each faculty member handles grading differently, so this is not always a guarantee, but I know many professors (myself included) who consider class participation and office hours attendance when they have a student who is on the border between letter grades.

Office hours are important and can have many positive outcomes. I encourage all students to take advantage of office hours early and often and, if nothing else, watch this awesome video at least one more time.

By Dr. Liz Morningstar, Lead Academic Coach ~ Collegiate Coaching Services


virtual reality

Virtual Reality ~ Immerse & Escape from Reality; How Much is too Much?

Virtual Reality (VR) has aimed at providing just that to for the whole of its 20-year existence. From helping form better posture in those with Multiple Sclerosis (Gutiéerrez, et al, 2013) to helping those with autism develop better job interview skills (Smith, et al, 2015), VR has been training minds to conceptualize how different their real life can be. Most commonly, VR has been found in clinical test-trials, structured by researchers and clinicians for explicit purposes. Occasionally, a high-end arcade may provide the novelty of having a VR simulator to pilot a fighter jet or explore a new world.

Enter the Gear VR, Google’s latest front-runner in the race to meet consumer-market demand. Clocking-in at only $100, the Gear VR uses the latest version of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones to create an immersive experience for the gamer, user, viewer, explorer. This past Friday in my living room, I donned such a technology (toy?) and was lead through a world of puzzles, flight, and vertigo-inducing experiences. I attempted to stay cognizant of the fact that I was in my house more than I was standing on the edge of a cliff looking down at waves crashing 200’ below. I did not always win this aspect of the game.

The idea of an immersive experience is to lose oneself for the purpose of training or experiencing something seemingly impossible. This mind-over-matter science has worked successfully for stroke patients to rehabilitate movement lost motor function (Schuster-Am, et al, 2015), and proved in psychological testing to evoke specific frames of emotion and empathy (Schmierbach & Limperos, 2013).

VR’s efficacy cannot be understated as it makes its way from structured lab environments to pleasantly-wrapped gift boxes under the tree this holiday season. Google warns in the Gear VR’s packaging of potential epileptic seizures (1:4000) and playing the gaming tech for only 30 minutes before taking a 15-minute break (Samsung, 2015). As 97% adolescents in America (Wittek, et al, 2015) and children spend an average of 2 hours of screen time per day (Common Sense Media, 2013), it is not likely that they will be accustomed to limiting their use. Hyun, et al write that the younger a child’s age, the more likely they are to develop addictive features related to video gaming (2015). Added to a child’s inability to self-regulate, the foundational psychology of magical thinking (a child’s inability of distinguishing fact from fiction) and Operant conditioning shows us that blending an adolescent’s reality with a first-person shooter, for instance, could be desensitizing or even training their brain for violence.

Certain conjectures are made about correlation with new technology—violent video games and school violence, for example—because it is not hard to imagine a child thinking that they are becoming that soldier, that warrior, that assassin in-game…and translating that marksmanship to their IRL (in-real-life) existence. Proponents and investors expect the line between true reality and VR to blur even more with the use of psychotropic drugs. Peter Rothman wrote: ““The combination of psychoactive substances and particularly cannabis with VR seemingly is a match made in heaven.” While Jon Connington posits: “Reality will become somewhat dull, only leaving us with a sense of nostalgia for simpler times,” he says. “Escapism will become a new disease.”

Addiction…suicide…these have been conceptualized as ‘escapes’. However, the real question exists, ‘how are we as clinicians, care providers, teacher, and parents going to respond to the inevitability of this technological “advancement”? I might offer that we take a couple of queues from the clinical trials in which VR has been used healthfully:

  • Know what the VR is attempting to accomplish for the child/adolescent
  • Structure use by filtering the type of gaming media (i.e. no first-person shooters) and establishing rigid time limits

By Anthony Riske, Lead Therapeutic Coach & Parent Coach, Collegiate Coaching Services


To learn more about Virtual Reality:

“Virtual Reality Porn is coming and Your Fantasies May Never be the Same”


Common Sense Media Research Study. (2013). Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America [Data file]. Retrieved from

Gutiéerrez, R. O., del Río, F. G., de la Cuerda, R. C., Alguacil-Diego, I. M., Diego, A., González, R. A., & Page, J. M. (2013). A telerehabilitation program by virtual reality-video games improves balance and postural control in multiple sclerosis patients. Neurorehabilitation, 33(4), 545-554.

Morina, N., Ijntema, H., Meyerbröker, K., & Emmelkamp, P. M. (2015). Can virtual reality exposure therapy gains be generalized to real-life? A meta-analysis of studies applying behavioral assessments. Behaviour Research And Therapy, 7418-24. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.08.010

Samsung Gear VR. (2015) Handbook of health warnings and potential injury.

Schuster-Amft, C., Henneke, A., Hartog-Keisker, B., Holper, L., Siekierka, E., Chevrier, E., & … Eng, K. (2015). Intensive virtual reality-based training for upper limb motor function in chronic stroke: A feasibility study using a single case experimental design and fMRI. Disability And Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 10(5), 385-392.

Smith, M. J., Fleming, M. F., Wright, M. A., Losh, M., Humm, L. B., Olsen, D., & Bell, M. D. (2015). Brief report: Vocational outcomes for young adults with autism spectrum disorders at six months after virtual reality job interview training. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 45(10), 3364-3369. doi:10.1007/s10803-015-2470-1

Schmierbach, M., & Limperos, A. M. (2013). Virtual justice: Testing disposition theory in the context of a story-driven video game. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(4), 526-542. doi:10.1080/08838151.2013.845828


female college graduate

What Can I Do With This College Major?

The holidays are upon us and with increased contact with friends and family comes one of the dreaded questions of most college students, “So what are you going to do with that major?” This question isn’t just reserved for friends and family. Many young adults find themselves wondering about how or if their major will translate into a career, and if it does will that career pay enough? Or be rewarding?

Payscale, a salary-tracking website, recently completed a survey that asked respondents if they believe their job makes the world a better place and then connected these jobs to majors. Their searchable list ranks 319 majors based on the number of graduates who said that their job makes the world a better place. In addition to the rankings, the list includes the jobs’ mid-career pay. Overall, Payscale found that jobs that focus on helping people directly are generally ranked as the most meaningful.

While Payscale’s list provides a useful starting point for exploring how majors connect to meaningful careers and what the average salary might be, it does not provide information on how one major can lead to many different types of careers. The website What Can I Do With This Major? is a wonderful free tool that students and parents can use to explore the variety of careers students in most majors might pursue. The website breaks down each major into different career areas and then includes typical employers in that area. Finally, it provides information or strategies that students can consider now to help prepare for a career in that field.

Let’s look at a sample example for a student who majors in Sociology. The student could explore the following career areas:

  • Human Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Law
  • Education
  • Government
  • Social Science Research
  • Business,
  • Environmental Sociology

Within the career area of Human Services, students may find themselves in Direct Care (Counseling, Case Management, Crisis Work, etc…) or Administration (advocacy, programming, community relations, grant writing, etc…). Typical employers might include:

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Advocacy groups
  • Religiously-affiliated organizations
  • Non-profit/social service agencies
  • Private foundations
  • Adoption and child care agencies
  • Nursing homes and retirement communities
  • Senior citizens’ centers
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Hospitals and wellness centers
  • And more…

Finally, the site encourages students who want to work in this field to consider the following strategies:

  • Concentrate course work or earn a minor in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty.
  • Develop helping and communication skills through volunteer positions.
  • Obtain essential practical experience through an internship, part-time or summer job with a non-profit or social service organization.
  • Serve as a Peer Mentor, Resident Assistant, or other student leader.
  • Gain experience with diverse populations.
  • Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability.
  • Many entry level positions require some related experience. Volunteering, part-time jobs, and internships can typically fulfill this requirement.
  • Obtain a graduate degree in a social service discipline such as social work, counseling, or psychology to increase employment opportunities.
  • Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.

Spend some time on What Can I Do With This Major? this holiday season so you can surprise your family and friends the next time they ask you, “So what are you going to do with that?” And if you would like more support around exploring possible careers or internships, schedule an appointment with a career counselor or career coach when you return from break!

Liz Morningstar, PhD, Collegiate Coaching Services, Lead Academic Coach

flatirons boulder

Supervised Independent Living Services for Young Adults in Boulder, CO

At Collegiate Coaching Services, we strive to provide those young men and women coming from previous therapeutic programs or their family home in another state with a seamless transition to Boulder, CO. Our objective is to provide a supervised living experience based in real life as much as possible, so the young adult can begin to master the all-important practical skills and build confidence along the way with our guidance and accountability. We cast a wide safety net around the client, so when they hit rough patches or need more structure, we can easily step in and provide it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Our therapeutic coaches, parent coaches, and therapists understand the structure that exists in wilderness therapy and residential treatment centers. We support our clients in maintaining and growing upon the healthy habits that they learned in their previous programs. Clients generally graduate from residential/wilderness programs with big toolbox of skills. We make it our mission to make sure that these tools don’t get rusty by supporting our clients to transfer them in to real life.

We do our best to help the young adult feel comfortable and supported in their new, more independent lifestyle. One important step we take to ensure a positive transition to CCS is to collaborate with key support people involved in the young adult’s life prior to the move, such as parents, educational consultant, and their most recent treatment team.

Our team at CCS supports and guides our clients’ to successfully transfer the skills learned in their previous program into the “real world”. We work with our clients to learn and practice life skills of all types such as financial management, improving executive functioning skills, which involve managing life tasks of types, such as organizing, planning, and executing. We support our clients in achieving these tasks by supporting them in finding and maintaining employment, budget money, create a system of organization to keep track of work schedules, when to pay bills, and increase effective study habits. We put a strong focus on creating daily and weekly routines so that they find meaning and purpose to their hours, as well as increase the likelihood they will achieve their goals. We also help the young men and women we work with find connection in the community with healthy activities and people.

For many of our clients, they have not lived independently just yet, have not been successful living independently in the past either in the community or on the college campus. We understand doing so can be scary, overwhelming, and also very exciting. We strive to make this independent living experience manageable and successful by taking a strength-based approach in or work with them, focusing on what the client is capable of achieving and working from there.

We work with our clients to create structure in their daily life, initially with the direction and oversight from us. As the client demonstrates an ability to follow through well with coaching support and accountability, staying on track with recovery and emotional goals, consistent follow through with their outside core structure, such as employment or college classes, as well as completing intentions between coaching meetings, we slowly step back and empower him/her to take more of a leadership role in their own life.

For information about where our clients live, please visit the page on our website called, “Independent Living”.

technology in schools

Video Games and Internet Abuse Impact College Students

Brief Questionnaires to Assess for Addiction to the Internet and Video Games

 It is very likely you or your child is addicted to the Internet if most or all of the following statements are true:

  1. Preoccupied with the Internet (thinks about previous online activity or anticipate next online session).
  2. Uses the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
  3. Repeatedly makes unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use.
  4. Feels restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use.
  5. Stays online longer than originally intended.
  6. Jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet.
  7. School grades have been impacted in a negative manner, including school failure.
  8. Lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
  9. Uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety,   depression).


It is very likely you or your child is addicted to video games if most or all of the following statements are true: 

  1. You or your child’s video game of choice includes; Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) or massively multiplayer online game (MMO) such as, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Halo, etc.
  2. You or your child’s game of choice is a first person shooter (FPS) video game, such as Call of Duty, Destiny, Titan Fall, or Halo.
  3. On an average weekday I/my child plays video games for over 5 hours.
  4. On an average weekend day I/my child plays video games for over 7 hours.
  5. I have unsuccessfully tried to reduce the amount of time I/my child plays video games.
  6. Has access to video games in bedroom and/or own living space (e.g. basement, apartment).
  7. Almost always stays up late to play video games and as a result, is tired the next day.
  8. Has few friends outside of the gaming world.
  9. Has failed courses or had to withdraw from college as a result of playing video games.
  10. Lies about how much time I/he spends playing video games.
  11. Have lost interest in activities outside of the world of video games.
  12. Neglects hygiene because of excessive video game playing.
  13. Refuses to attend school, become employed or has lost jobs due to video game playing.
  14. Becomes irritable or anxious when I/he cannot access favorite video game when the computer is not working.
  15. Becomes very angry or defensive when loved ones asks him about his gaming habits.
  16. Eats meals while playing video games.
  17. Would have difficulty giving up all video games for one week.
  18. Gets headaches, red eyes, sore fingers, or wrist pain from playing video games.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to inquire in to our services for yourself or someone you love who struggles with Internet and video game addiction.

Phone: 303-635-6753

Tracy Markle, MA, LPC

Owner & Clinical Director

Headshot of Tracy Markle


Executive Functioning and College Academic Success

“The single greatest predictor of academic success is executive function. It even trumps IQ.”

Developmental molecular biologist John Medina

Executive Functioning (EF) refers to brain-based abilities that allow us to harness our energy and focus on goals—in short, EF allow us to manage ourselves and get things done.

Executive functioning allows people to access information, think about solutions and implement those ideas. There is an impressive list of areas that executive functioning has an impact on and most people do these things without thinking about them. The list includes:

  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Estimating outcomes
  • Analyzing sensory information
  • Anticipating consequences
  • Evaluating possible outcomes
  • Choosing actions based on positive outcomes
  • Choosing based on social expectations and norms
  • Performing tasks required to carry out decisions
  • Planning and completing projects
  • Struggling with telling stories in the right sequence
  • Retaining information in distracting situations
  • Initiating tasks and generating ideas independently


Who struggles with Executive Function?

A wide variety of people struggle with executive function. Some people who struggle with executive function have no diagnosable disorders. Others who struggle in this area have ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. Often, people who struggle with mood disorders can have cyclical problems with executive function.

What is an Executive Functioning Coach?

In collaboration with the young adult, effective ways to personalize their education and get them on track academically are developed and implemented.

Learning and life management strategies, which will enhance the young adult’s success in the college environment will be put in to place.

Our coaches are the young adult’s accountability person, someone who provides no judgment, is empathetic, warm, and fun, yet will be sure to support the young adult to stay focused on their goals and objectives.

CCS coaches are not academic advisors, however we will attend advisor meetings to ensure all important information is shared and remembered.

Coaching Benefits

It’s a chance for the client to talk about their experience in college, in and out of the classroom.

– Our clients are listened to, not judged, and taken seriously.

In addition to educating and assisting with design strategies tailored to the client’s specific situation, the Coach keeps abreast of specific school’s

  policies and might be aware of options not previously considered.

Our coaches support the client to develop a study schedule and routine, and provide accountability to the client to support their follow through.

Clients have the option of participating in CCS supported activities and groups to increase their social connection and support.

Areas the coach will work with your son or daughter on:

    • Client is in need of the support of a coach who understands when they are feeling a lack of confidence about their academic performance.
    • Help the client understand their limitations, what can be done to improve them and accommodate them to support success in the academic arena, as well as with life management.
    • Strengths are assessed and highlighted and an academic and life management plan is built around the clients strengths, and continuing what works.
    • Improve motivation and feelings of empowerment, which occurs because of our strength-based approach.
    • Have questions about any kind of academic policy and support the client in finding the answers.
    • Are considering changes in their schedule or major.
    • Feel undue academic pressure and are struggling to cope and find solutions.
    • Guide and accompany client to important departments on campus, such as disability services, tutoring center, academic services, counseling services, etc.
    • We support our clients to apply for and receive academic accommodations through the disability services. We walk with them every step of the way.
    • Want to sharpen learning or life management skills, including:
      • Time Management, which includes daily planners and “to do” lists, weekly schedule, semester calendar, managing each syllabus effectively, and realities, boundaries, priorities, and rewards.
      • Managing Freedom, especially for first year students
      • Goal Setting
      • Establishing a Study Plan
      • Motivation
      • Focus and Concentration
      • Test Preparation and Test Taking Strategies

For more information email us at, Call us at 303-635-6753.