The KnowledgeWorx Recipe

Three ingredients for success

Partner with a veteran
California educator

Meet Nagla Orlando, M.Ed.

Nagla Orlando, KnowledgeWorx founder, has worked with a diverse group of students, assisting each in confidently engaging in the college application process. Nagla approaches the college application process as a 25-year veteran California credentialed educator in Science (Biology, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology). In addition to teaching Nagla mentored thousands of students in interpersonal growth and leadership skills outside of the classroom. Nagla built KnowledgeWorx around her passion for helping students gain exposure to higher education and finding the best fit for students’ unique interests, abilities, personalities and goals.

 

With a singular focus, an engaging personality, and an intuitive ability to relate to students and parents, Nagla has the expertise to understand the individual, their needs and passions giving her the unique insight to objectively see each students strengths and potential.  Nagla helps you see yourself objectively rather than merely as a test score, GPA, or letter grade. When you are able to perceive yourself in this light you are able to communicate these attributes in your college application allowing an admissions officer to get a glimpse of your intellectual curiosity, tenacity, evidence of personal growth and excellence

 

Nagla’s Education and Professional Memberships:

California State University of Long Beach, BS, Human Health Science
California State University of Long Beach, Single Subject Teaching Credential
William Howard Taft University, M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction
University of California, San Diego, Certificate in College Counseling
National Association for College Admission Counseling
Western Association for College Admission Counseling
Higher Education Consultants Association
Independent Educational Consultants Association – Associate Member
knowledge-family

“During the admissions process I learned that it’s really about answering the questions about you…about being true to yourself and not about what the colleges wanted to hear.” ― Gian Carlo

Work with top-class
tech & tools

Get organized and connected easier

When you partner with KnowledgeWorx, you’ll get access to proprietary, members-only online tools that will help you discover more about yourself, allow you manage your KnowledgeWorx program, and keep you on track to submitting a great college application.
With these tools students will:
Discover what truly interests them with science-driven assessments
Get organized and discover college fits, keep track of appointments, and more
Manage applications with the KnowledgeWorx cloud-based application manager

Benefit from a proven process

Here’s what we focus on to maximize your chances at admissions success

Interest Profile Assessment

Getting to know you

The IPA will provide key information to help determine the ideal match for you and your personal goals. Finding the right academic institution for YOU is essential in helping you achieve academically. Hence, a college that provides you with the strongest course work in the areas you want to explore and learn more about is high priority.

Education and career path objectives

Getting where you want to go

The most considerable factor in admission decisions after GPA is the strength of a students curriculum. Therefore, course sequencing, selection, and rigor are an imperative piece to guide students to their desired path of education and career goals while ultimately optimizing college applications.

Extracurricular & summer activities

How you spend your time

Extracurricular activities are an important piece of the college admissions puzzle. What you do in your free time reveals a lot about you in ways that grades and test scores can not. What you accomplish outside of the classroom demonstrates your passions and highlights the qualities valued by colleges.

Academic resume

Toot your horn

An academic resume is a great way to ensure that your personal information reads consistently throughout an application. Taking the time to create an academic resume not only makes the college application process easier, it prepares you to write future resumes for jobs and graduate school programs.

Prep for standardized tests

Hit the books

ACT or SAT? That is the question. The first step in successful standardized testing is creating a plan of which test to take and when. By identifying your path early you can avoid wasting time and money taking unnecessary exams. Additionally, KnowledgeWorx will help identify test strategies that are real and help improve overall scores.

College essay

Find your voice

Finding your voice is a crucial element in the college essay and or personal statement. We will help you find that voice so it reads as a genuine personal statement about the real you. Undoubtedly, colleges want the real you and not just a list of accomplishments. In other words, the college essay is your chance to reveal the person behind the GPA and test scores.

Letters of recommendation

Hear from those who know you best

As college applicant pools grow exponentially it is natural to wonder if letters of recommendation ultimately even matter. The answer, as is the case with most complex enterprises like college admissions, is “It depends”. KnowledgeWorx assists students in understanding the recommendation letter writing process.

Financial planning

Crunch the numbers

Confused between a grant, scholarship, and loan? Unclear about merit aid, need-based aid, institutional aid, and outside scholarships? The Cost of Attendance (COA), Direct PLUS Loan (PLUS), Direct Subsidized Loan (Subsidized Loan), Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Unsubsidized Loan), Expected Family Contribution (EFC), Federal Perkins Loan ( Perkins Loan), Federal Work Study (FWS), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Merit-Based Aid, and Need-Based Aid are just a few of the terms we will navigate as the admissions puzzle comes to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s understandable that parents and students have questions about hiring a college admissions consultant. Take a look at the most frequently asked questions that KnowledgeWorx fields below. If you have additional questions, feel free to get in touch with Nagla!

Why should I hire an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) for my student?

As with most things in life, when it comes to the college application process, knowledge is power. The more you know about colleges and universities, the application process, standardized testing, and financial aid, the better off you will be in helping your child make an educated decision about what he or she wants, the right fit, and gaining admission. The process has a reputation of being complicated, confusing, and overwhelming. In reality, it is very straightforward, pragmatic, and student-centered.

 

You must commit to the process and make it a time of growth and reflection for your child. Additionally, the application process is a time for students to learn skills that will serve them during and beyond college. Because these are skills that will be unfamiliar to them, it is my job to assist and teach your child how to hone in on them and make the application process one of enjoyment and excitement. I am here to advocate for you and your student!

 

Benefits of working with an IEC:

  • Expert knowledge of universities/colleges and programsIEC’s spend time away from their practice touring schools, meeting with professors, and student and admissions representatives to bring back first hand information about the school to their clients.  During these tours IEC’s learn about academic program strengths, variety of activities, and the financial reality of each institution to bring back knowledge and introduce options to their students and families.
  • Objective third partyMany students feel an IEC is their partner and listen to them unlike a parent or counselor at school.  For some, being the liaison and facilitating those difficult conversations is the most valuable aspect of working with an IEC.
  • EquanimityIn this time of uncertainty of “who gets in” and “where”, as the admissions climate is ever changing, it can lead to anxiety for both the student and parent.  Sometimes those regular check-in’s for parents can be as therapeutic as they are informational. In addition, freeing the parent from the role of “taskmaster” allows the process and the relationship to be less stressful and more enlightening.
  • Pragmatic/Sensible expectation settingAn IEC can assist parents in understanding the new realities of college admissions by dispelling the myths and illusions of gaining admissions to a particular college or university.  “Who gets in” and “where” is not as apparent and straightforward as it was when they were applying to college. IEC’s are able to communicate this reality and assist in setting and reaching attainable goals.
  • Student self-awarenessAn important and crucial aspect of an IEC is to provide students with the ability to be self-aware, “who do you want to be?”, “why do you want to go to college?” are questions that engage the student in the process of recognizing their strengths and learning how to articulate them.  This skill building process equips students to gain self-awareness and motivation. Such awareness is pivotal in college when it comes time to “adult” and find internships, use student support services, manage work and social balance, learn fiscal responsibility, and build relationships with potential recommenders and employers.

Can I still use your services, I'm not located in Central California or the Western U.S.?

Absolutely! KnowledgeWorx students hail from around the country and world. I work with students and families in person or remotely via Skype, FaceTime, GoogleHangouts, phone, or email. All of KnowledgeWorx’s services can be accessed remotely, as I find it to be efficient and an excellent match for the busy schedules of students and families.

What makes KnowledgeWorx and Nagla Orlando unique?

Just as each institution is unique, so is each individual student! My philosophy and approach to the college admissions process differs from others in that it is student-centered, focused, and driven. With that, the focus will be on personal growth allowing for skill development, character building, and leveraging experiences to encounter success in a broader sense, rather than the limited process of college admissions. Ultimately, this presents and prepares the student for the most optimal college admissions process for success.  

Do I need a Independent Educational Consultant if my student already has a college counselor at school?

Preparing for the college application process can be stressful. Planning ahead during high school can turn your applications into a time of growth and reflection. Knowing how to sequence courses throughout middle and high school to provide the most rigorous college preparation can mean the difference between a competitive applicant and one that is not.

 

Today’s aspiring college students face more complexity in the selection process than ever before. Vast amounts of information, complex questions and answers, and multiple application formats can overwhelm even the most dedicated students. Additionally, this takes place amidst studies, work, and free time.

 

High school counselors are indeed valuable assets and are in integral part of the college admissions process.  I work with them collaboratively to realize student and family goals.. Unfortunately, many college counseling offices have been decimated due to budget cuts.  Across the country the average student caseload for a high school counselor is over 400 students; in California that can rise 900:1 student to counselor ratio as being the norm.  In comparison IEC’s average 30 to 50 students in their caseload. Additionally, many high school counselors wear many different hats and college counseling is only one aspect of their job that also entails handling behavioral and discipline issues and supervision and administrative duties.  Consequently, they lack the time and fiscal resources to travel to stay abreast of changes in the higher education world.

 

My approach draws from years of experience as an educator working with students and understanding the demands of the process in addition to the the requirements needed for course sequencing, rigor, and the skills needed to navigate the process with organization and confidence.  

How early can my student start the college admissions process?

As I remind parents and students, the college admissions process is not a stand-alone piece in personal growth  but rather is a piece that scaffolds the foundation of functionality and is the cornerstone for success in life. As these skills are applied to the college admissions process, students will learn to assert them to other life processes and challenges.

 

Preparing early allows for proper course sequencing, relevant test prep, engagement in meaningful extracurricular activities and exploration of interests and goals. When preparing early for the admissions process, it provides for early analysis and the discovery of learning style, personal strengths, and natural aptitudes. All of this leads students to engage in major exploration, career-matching to find the  proper college “fit.”

What qualifications should I look for when choosing an Independent Educational Consultant?

  • Just like each student is a “fit” for a college or university; every IEC should “fit” with the family and student. Look for someone who is supportive and who’s style and personality is a match for your student.
  • A qualified IEC should be knowledgeable about current admissions trends in addition to colleges and universities and their offerings.
  • An IEC that contributes and continues in their professional development growth and activities.
  • Fees and services are established and are adhered to based on a written service agreement.
  • Effective and qualified IEC’s are members of respective professional organizations such as the organizations below, as they adhere to principles of good practice and ethics.
    • HECA – Higher Education Consultants Association
    • NACAC – National Association of College Admissions Consultants
    • WACAC – Western Association of College Admissions Consultants

Resource Links:

HECA Standards for Working with Students and Families

NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP):Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP)

Can you get me into my dream school?

While no ethical college admissions consultant can guarantee that a student will gain entry into a particular institution, I provide resources, skills, and experience. I will work with you to identify multiple college and university matches and provide sustained, focused counseling every step of the way so that the process and finished application will place you in the most competitive light. Having someone on your side who knows the ropes increases your chances of acceptance into institutions that are your “best fit.”

What if I'm not a 4.0 student?

Not all colleges are looking for the same student. Believe it or not, there is more to a great college application than having a top GPA. Colleges accept non-4.0 students all the time for qualities beyond students’ high school grades.

 

Every GPA, standardized test score, extracurricular activity, and interest has an institution that is looking for that match.  Unique circumstances such as undecided career paths, those with learning disabilities and difficulties, and/or average academic performance; does not mean that a college or university will not accept you. KnowledgeWorx offers a consultation to thoroughly review each students full potential. Every college and university in the country is unique in its mission, composition, and character. Their goal, however, is the same, to find students who are the right “fit” for them.

 

Knowing what the school is looking for and what they have to offer (financially, academically, socially, and most importantly, emotionally) is what makes it the right “fit” for you!

Are you going to be another adult in my life that will hassle me about my college applications?

My approach stems from years as an educator and also as a mother of two grown boys. If I have learned anything it is that “hassling” or “bugging” a teenager about anything only results in push back, continued procrastination, resentment, and relationship struggles.  Changing the perception that the application process happens around you rather than because of you is how you get to be in the driver’s seat.

 

You need to take an active role in the process and you must be the driver. Ultimately this is your goal not mine. In other words, you will get out of it what you put in. That is why, from the onset, I will ask YOU what you want from the college application process and I’ll support you, your parents/guardians, teachers and school counselor to ensure that those goals are always at the forefront of the process. Yes, I will remind you of deadlines, keep you focused on the process, suggest revisions to essays and college lists, recommend testing options, and advise you of internship and extracurricular opportunities.  Ultimately, my job is to advocate for you, help you feel less annoyed and stressed about the process, and to empower you to reach your goals to pursue the college or university education you want and deserve.