Dina Cunha-Lee, M.S., PPS, NCC
Dina Cunha-Lee is the Founder and Director of Silicon Valley Educational Consulting, LLC. Her professional background has always been rooted in education with the last ten years specifically focused in college admissions counseling. She's been on the "other side" of college admissions process holding such positions as senior admissions counselor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as admisson positions at Notre Dame de Namur University, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. Additionally her university experience also includes working with students at Stanford University's Career Center and National University. She has also held positions in K-12 Education as a high school social studies teacher and guidance counselor. More recently she was the college and career advisor at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA. Currently, she is a contributer for Examiner.com (for the San Francisco Bay Area region) where she writes articles focusing on college admission issues. Dina received her B.A. in History from the University of California, Davis and her M.S. in Counseling with specializations in School and College Counseling. She is also a certified expert in Career Counseling having been trained at Stanford University's Career Development Center in interpreting career and personality assessments. She holds a California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling and is also a National Board Certified Counselor. She also holds a California Teaching Credential. She is a member of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling.
Why hire a college counselor?
We understand that it is not always enough having the right counseling credentials, it is having the right experience as well. We've worked in a variety of university admissions offices attaining valuable inside knowledge in evaluating freshman and transfer admissions applications. This "inside" perspective gives us an understanding of different kinds of admissions procedures, policies, and systems. We understand the nuances and changes that can happen within a large admissions system like the University of California vs. a private university. Under our tutelage students have gained admission to schools like MIT, Stanford, Duke, University of Chicago, and UCLA. Having said this, we have worked with enough students to know that it is not always about being accepted to big name school, but to the right school. Furthermore, we believe our experience in high school guidance counseling and college advising is an advantage. Because of the personal experience we've had in k-12, we understand that school counselors, who are often overloaded with many students (through no fault of their own), have difficulty offering more personalized help. For this reason, our mission is to use first hand experience from both sides of the desk to help students showcase their strengths and nurture possibilities to reach their full potential. We believe students should have the right personal guidance, resources, strategic planning, and support in order to make informed decisions and ultimately find the right college.