Karen Hott is recognized as an independent educational consultant by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). As an independent educational consultant, she has coached students from Severna Park, Broadneck, and Kent Island to craft essays that gave them the edge needed in a very competitive admissions climate. This summer, she has begun working virtually with students far beyond the Annapolis area.
Since retiring from the public school system in 2016, she has worked part-time as a writing instructor at the Anne Arundel Community College Writing Center on campus and online through the school’s Virtual Writing Center. Before retiring with 35 years of teaching experience, Ms. Hott taught Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, journalism, and newspaper production at Broadneck High School in Anne Arundel County.
In her role teaching juniors and as a community college writing tutor, Ms. Hott has coached many students through their college application essays. She has a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, National Board for Professional Teaching Certification, and a CJE (Certified Journalism Educator) designation from the Journalism Education Association. In addition, she is a member of the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
As the parent of a daughter who is entering law school this fall, Ms. Hott has had personal experience with the angst-provoking process of applying to college and graduate school.
Karen Hott on Coaching
Coaching is different from editing. The coaching philosophy begins with the premise that your essay belongs entirely to you.
You will not email me your essays for me to revise.
I will sit down with you, in person, and coach you, usually at a public place with coffee and wi-fi, like a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble. The public library works, too. We will look at your essays in hard-copy format and on the computer. If you are unable to meet face-to-face, we can use Zoom or Skype.
I will start wherever you are. If you don’t have the prompts, we’ll find them. If you don’t know what to say, we’ll talk. If you have something already written, I will ask you to read aloud to me what you’ve written. We will talk about what’s strong and what’s not so strong, what should lead and what should finish it off. I will listen to you and question you so that you say what you mean to say and your voice comes alive.
You do have a unique voice. But sometimes voices get muffled, drowned in excess wordiness and stiff formulas. Sometimes the voices are strong, but they meander without direction. As your coach, I will not be correcting your writing; rather, I will coach you to find out what you mean to say.
I will not go through your essay with a red pen and hand it back to you for corrections, though I will point out the function of your syntax and punctuation. Your essay will be flawless, but only because you will make it that way.
Colleges want to hear your authentic voice, not mine, so we’ll be sure to keep the essay all yours, from start to finish.