Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Cruver.
Mark, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
A little over 20 years ago, I began a career serving high school students and families in their pursuit of their college dream. Beginning my tenure as a college admissions counselor and responsible for college recruiting, nearly ten years later I was the director of admissions and enrollment management. This journey prepared me in providing experience on the very side of the “fence” high school students are preparing for in their own journeys as college-bound students. Reading actual student essays and making admissions decisions gave me a unique perspective toward the often misunderstood needs for standing out among so many applicants.
Advising families and assisting students has always been an integral part of my world within many different contexts. But, like anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit about them, the moment where one moves from the corporate world to sole-proprietorship is one that takes bravery.
Nearly six years ago Capstone Educational Consultants was born on a napkin – literally! I began then, what has become now, a growing practice assisting families of college-bound students in navigating their journey to college. With offices located in both Georgia and Alabama, serving the entire metro-Atlanta area and the region of Huntsville, AL and beyond, Capstone Educational Consultants has become a recognizable brand!
I completed my Certificate of Independent Educational Consulting in 2015 from the University of California, Certificate of Advising the College-Bound Student-Athlete in 2017 from the College Recruitment Group and earned the distinct designation of Certified Educational Planner from the American Institute of College Educational Planners in 2016 on top of my M.Ed. in College Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University in California in 2001, Strong determination, discipline and the pursuit of a dream is what has gotten me to where I am today. I love working with students in pursuing their own dreams. I have personally beaten the odds and when many students today are doubting their own abilities and skills, capturing the essence of their own passions is the key to introducing them to the many possibilities that lie ahead.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. Like any new journey, the building of a brand takes hard work. Time has been one of those unexpected obstacles. Many entrepreneurs anticipate quick results and instant success. But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t move like this. It takes time — organizing and planning.
Unlike many new entrepreneurs, I decided to tackle the entire operation myself. Given my own skills, from the napkin I initially drafted my dream upon, I built a timeline of events and operations necessary to get Capstone Educational Consultants to become the exclusive and only fully certified college consulting firm on the southside of Atlanta. Today, this goal has been accomplished!
With many days of little internet traffic, quiet phones and no emails, motivation and inspiration quickly faded. But maintaining my persistent personality, I reached beyond to fellow consultants from organizations such as IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) and HECA (Higher Educational Consultants Association), I was encouraged, challenged and reminded of my purpose and capabilities. Even when I was down and ready to “throw in the towel” I took some time to see the journey as a whole and not in part.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Capstone Educational Consultants story. Tell us more about the business.
We take pride in our approach to assisting families of college-bound students. We come alongside students throughout the college-bound journey, assisting in all things college admissions. Capstone Educational Consultants draws on the extensive experience of their advisors, from former college admissions professionals to demonstrative experts in effectively guiding students through the journey of selecting and applying to colleges and universities for which they are best suited. By taking a personalized, collaborative approach to this endeavor, Capstone Educational Consultants becomes an advocate for their students throughout the complex admissions process.
Rising out of the need for high school students to have an option for a more personalized approach to finding the college that fits them best, Capstone Educational Consultants, the only independent, certified college advising firm on the Southside of Atlanta was established.
Capstone Educational Consultants assists college bound students and student athletes in comprehensive college application reviews, college essay development, customized college list building, college bound athlete support, time management, goal setting, interest inventories, learning style discovery, summer enrichment recommendations, athletic timeline support, college research, personal and athletic resume development, customized task lists, priority assessments, potential majors identification, suggested extra-curricular activities, college visit coaching and recommendations, ACT/SAT scheduling, ACT/SAT prep recommendation advising, workshops and seminars for parents and students, college affordability seminars, financial aid forecasting, final college decision assistance and much more!
Our office is are uniquely positioned and located at the MOBA Soccer Academy of Atlanta located in Peachtree City. MOBA Soccer Academy is home to the Premier Development League Team (PDL) Peachtree City MOBA and the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League (ADASL) MOBA Upper 90. The PDL is a stepping stone for many professionals playing throughout the world. MOBA Soccer Academy uniquely partnered with Capstone Educational Consultants to provide a one-of-a-kind product to student-athletes, preparing students for collegiate athletics with academic support to the journey.
I am most proud of bringing an independent educational consulting practice to families on the southside of Atlanta that families have come to love and trust. It’s easy for anyone to call themselves a college consultant or college planner. As a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, families can be comforted in hiring consultants at Capstone Educational Consultants who are pre-vetted and meeting the highest in standards for membership. Professional members of IECA and Certified Educational Planners are required to maintain their base of knowledge with changes in the industry with an active visitation schedule to colleges and universities across the country.
Capstone Educational Consultants has been nominated for 2017 Small Business of the Year through the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The role of luck suggests one is at the right time at the right place for the right thing to happen. Growing a new business is less luck and more strategy, but with persistence, moments that make you feel lucky will occur — patience is the path to what appears lucky.
For me, it came 5 years after the start of the company. My persistence and patience paid off! As a long-time member of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, Capstone Educational Consultants was featured on one of their monthly company highlights. The Chamber highlighted Capstone Educational Consultants to all of its membership. This prompted MOBA Soccer Academy to call and request a meeting saying, “I’d like to get together for coffee because I believe our companies could have reciprocal synergy.” The rest is history!
Luck? I don’t call it luck . . . I call it perfect timing!
- Address: Capstone Educational Consultants
1000 Moba Drive
Peachtree City, GA 30269
- Website: www.capstoneeducationalconsultants.com
- Phone: 678-371-1346
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/capstone4u
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/capstoneed
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/capstone4u
- Other: www.linkedin.com/in/markcruver
Capstone Educational Consultants