Wow Introduces Online Teaching Aid for Writing Great College Essays

Wow Writing Workshop on Thursday will launch Wow Online  – College Essay,  the first self-guided online tutorial that teaches college-bound students how to write compelling application essays.

The Wow team is heading to Denver on Wednesday to introduce the tutorial to high school counselors, educational consultants and college admission professionals during  the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Conference at the Colorado Convention Center.

Wow will give product demonstrations from Booth 127 during the convention. If you are a high school counselor attending the convention, you are invited to  enter a raffle to win a free access license for you and a student. Just drop your business card in the fish bowl, and you’ll be automatically entered.

Susan Knoppow and Kim Lifton, Wow Co-founders

The tutorial is priced at $149 per license; each license gives purchasers online access to the tutorial for one essay. Bulk license discounts are available for schools and educational consultants.  From now through Dec. 31, 2012, students and educational consultants can purchase licenses for just $99.

Wow Online – College Essay teaches students how to turn their life experiences into compelling stories that stand out from the crowded field of college applicants. The tutorial is based on the proprietary 10-step Wow Method that was first introduced in classrooms, private coaching sessions and small workshops in metropolitan Detroit in 2009.

“We believe everyone can write,” Wow President Kim Lifton said.  “Everyone has a voice. We teach college-bound students how to find their voices on their own through a process-driven method that has been tested over a three-year period.”

Wow Online – College Essay is designed to be a teaching aid. Teachers, counselors and educational consultants can use it to guide their students through the challenging college application essay process. Parents can also follow the review and editing guidelines to assist their children.

Using short videos and hands-on writing assignments, Wow Online – College Essay provides students with step-by-step instructions and no-nonsense advice to write their college essays independently – wherever and whenever they want. Students who subscribe to the tutorial work at their own pace from start to finish.

Lifton, 51, formerly a journalist and communications consultant, said she and CEO Susan Knoppow, 45, founded the company to fill a need. Lifton and Knoppow, a college and high school writing teacher and instructional designer, had coached students with application essays and other writing assignments for 20 years.

“These students were busy and stressed about getting into college, and most of them didn’t even know how to think about the essay,” Lifton said. “We calmed them, taught them how to reflect on their life experiences and how to look at writing as a process. After that, the essays began to emerge.”

Lifton and Knoppow developed the curriculum and perfected it during workshops offered through various community education programs throughout metro Detroit. The Wow Method has been used by students for thousands of essays written during classroom sessions, private workshops and online.

They decided to move the college essay writing course online to expand the company and to meet students where they are, and where they are most comfortable.

“That means laptops, tablets and smartphones,” Lifton added. “The application essay is a huge factor in the admissions process and is rising in importance as college becomes more competitive.”

To date, Wow students have been admitted to multiple public and private colleges, including Ivy League and other prestigious institutions. Most of the company’s students have been accepted to their first-choice schools.

The college application essay workshop was the company’s first product. Wow also offers ACT/SAT writing prep workshops, essay reviews, private coaching and custom workshops and has plans to create additional online offerings.

Early reviews from students, parents, counselors and educational consultants who tested Wow Online – College Essay are favorable.

“My student told me Wow Online was so helpful he didn’t need my assistance,” said New York State Association for College Admission Counseling President David Coates, whose student from Kenmore East High School near Buffalo, NY, wrote his college essay using the tutorial this past summer. “He felt he had a better essay because he used the tutorial.”

Terri Finch Hamilton, a journalist from Grand Rapids, MI, worked as a reviewer for her son, Tate, while he completed several essays using Wow Online – College Essay.

“Wow turns parents into skilled editors,” Hamilton said. “The specific tips offered taught me how to critique my son’s essay in a meaningful way and helped him make it better.”

A student from Palo Alto, California, said “instructions were clear and provided specific details on how to problem-solve and revise.”  Another student from the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills said the tutorial was “very easy to use and incredibly convenient. Wow provided me with a well-thought-out set of steps that made the process very simple.”

Pearl Glaves, an educational consultant with Sage College Advising in the San Francisco Bay area, gave the tutorial two thumbs up.

“Wow has put together a great package,” Glaves said. “Based on some of the essays I see, it is a much-needed program.”

Wow Writing Workshop, LLC, was established in 2009 to develop writing courses. The company’s first product, Wow Them With Your College Essay, was designed for the classroom and private workshops; it teaches students how to write admissions essays that stand out in the crowded field of college applicants. Wow Online – College Essay is the first of several planned self-guided online writing tutorials designed for the college and graduate school admissions industry.

Wow is a member of NACAC and the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling. There is a patent pending for the Wow Online – College Essay tutorial.