About Carolyn

Carolyn Allison Caplan is an Independent Educational Consultant, focusing on mindfulness in college admissions. With an addiction to all things education and a passion for instilling a love of writing and words in her students, Carolyn has been teaching for over thirty years -– the last fifteen years before officially retiring her white board markers -- as an Academic English and Writing professor at Houston Community College. In addition to classroom teaching, Carolyn furthered her devotion to the importance of creativity and independent thinking in the learning process as an Odyssey of the Mind coach and program coordinator at River Oaks Elementary and St. John’s School in Houston for over ten years. She loved every minute of shepherding three teams to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals for six years, with two World Championships and numerous regional and state championships and creativity awards (Renatra Fusca for fellow Omers :). Carolyn’s love of teaching began as an ESL writing teacher in the sixth ward in Houston, shaping her dedication to the entire educational process and the development of the essay from the birth of her teaching career. Additionally, Carolyn taught pre-kindergarten (yes – writing to preschoolers!) and was a curriculum coordinator at Becker Early Childhood at Congregation Emanu El. She also honed her educational skills as a private tutor and test prep coach with her tutoring company, Learning Now. 


Carolyn loves being a mom to her three mostly grown and flown kids, and hopes she has raised them to be excited about exploring the challenges of their futures and with a willingness to make mistakes and to look at life creatively. All three attended River Oaks Elementary and St. John's School in Houston, and Carolyn was actively involved in both schools. Being addicted to all things education, the college admissions process fascinated Carolyn as her kids went through their own admissions journeys.  Each of her children is certainly very different from the other, and that made the experience interesting and exciting each time. Carolyn's oldest attended  Vanderbilt, Class of 2011; middle went to Harvard, Class of 2015, and her youngest graduated from Tufts University in 2018. 


Her life-long love of the written word led Carolyn to gain a BA in English at the University of Texas at Austin, and then a Masters in Liberal Arts with a concentration in English Literature from University of St. Thomas in Houston. Carolyn has done dyslexia training at the Neuhaus Institute in Houston, and is a certified ESL teacher. She is a graduate with distinction of the UCLA College Counseling Certificate program, and she has also taken editing and writing classes at Cal Berkeley. In 2016, she attended the Summer Training Institute at Swarthmore College for IECA--the Independent Educational Counselors Association. Carolyn is a member of NACAC, TACAC, IECA, and HECA, the Higher Education Consultants Association. While Carolyn is excited about working with all kinds of college-bound students, she understands and is interested in meeting the needs of students with anxiety, learning differences, late-bloomers, and gifted students, especially those who might be labeled as "underachievers."  


For the last several years, Carolyn has become a student of colleges and universities and has visited over 85 colleges and universities all over the country. Basically, she is a college collector. She looks forward to visiting another 85 schools in the next few years. Problem solving and researching schools that match a student's strengths are important to Carolyn. She enjoys putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to help students find their academic, social, and financial matches.  

For the last three years, Carolyn has been spending time working with her individual clients in Houston, and with applicants from around the world online as AdmissionsMom on the subreddit r/ApplyingToCollege. You can learn more about AdmissionsMom and Reddit at her website, www.admissionsmom.college. The anxiety and stress she has found among these students was alarming to her, so she began the study of Mindfulness. Carolyn is a certified Koru Mindfulness teacher, has taken an MBSR course (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), and continues to go to Mindfulness Class weekly. Additionally, Carolyn is a certified Yoga Teacher. Carolyn is also super excited to announce her new book about her Reddit experiences: Hey AdmissionsMom: Real Talk from Reddit, and her new app, CollegeVizzy


Carolyn’s love of learning, teaching, reading, writing, traveling, researching, zeroing in on students' strengths, and figuring out "what makes people tick" enhances her excitement about learning about each of her students and guiding them through the admissions process. Most of all, Carolyn wants to help her students find the joy of discovery  during the college search journey. Carolyn wants you to become who you are.


You can contact Carolyn directly at carolyn@admissionsjourney.com, or find her as admissionsmom on reddit, instagram, twitter, or pinterest!