Mission Statement

The DEI Board recognizes that Compass’ services—especially costly private tutoring—confer advantage to many students who already benefit from significant privilege. We understand that the K-12 educational system in the US is disproportionately under-resourced for BIPOC students, and that admission tests can either fortify the barriers to college access or help erode them.

The role of the DEI Board is two-pronged. First, it will work with the leaders at Compass to make the company’s educational resources more accessible to historically marginalized communities. Additionally, it will work with these communities, especially Black, indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ folks, to create new, impactful services beyond Compass’ typical menu of offerings. 

Second, the DEI Board will help Compass’ leadership to transform the company’s culture and hiring processes to recruit and maintain more employees of color. The Board will identify impediments toward more inclusive hiring within the company and strive to unhinge them. As a company that values the democratizing power of higher education, Compass’ staff and tutors should resemble the diverse communities we aim to better support. 

Programming for Students

Compass is a national leader in college admission testing that not only prepares students for the SAT and ACT, but also educates families, counselors, and enrollment professionals on the ethical use of test scores in the admission process. To better support students and make the college admission process more equitable, we are offering a number of cost-free resources to schools and community-based organizations: 

  • Live webinars to inform parents and students about the college admissions testing process and how they can efficiently prepare for the SAT or ACT.
  • Remotely proctored practice tests with detailed diagnostic reports of students’ testing strengths and weaknesses
  • One-on-one tutoring for standardized tests through the Compass Scholarship Program
  • Private tutoring for the SAT and ACT through the Compass Scholarship Program

Contact Us: If you are interested in discussing the DEI Board’s offerings for your students—or would like to brainstorm other methods of support—please contact us at dei.board@compassprep.com.

Fundraising

In spring 2022, Compass launched its inaugural Practice Test Donation Campaign (PTDC). Each quarter, Compass will donate 10% of all practice test fees to non-profit organizations that enact social change through educational programming. So far, we have raised over $12,000. Beginning October 1st, and through the end of 2022, proceeds from the PTDC will go to the Dream Project of VirginiaWe acknowledge that education inequality along the lines of race, socioeconomic status, immigration status, etc. is a major obstacle for many students across the US, and similar to our next donor recipient, the Board believes everyone should have access to an affordable education. Dream Project empowers Virginia high school students whose immigration status creates barriers to higher education through access to scholarships, resources and mentors. They have ambitious goals to increase their fundraising capabilities in order to further support alums of the program, provide emergency support services, and conduct workshops that support the Parents of Dreamers. This is a relatively “new” organization—started in 2010 and hired its first full-time staff in 2022—so we are optimistic that our donation will make a significant impact. Thank you for testing with Compass and helping us serve our community!

Success Stories

“The Compass Scholarship Program helped me boost my score by 240 points! My instructors were patient, kind, and encouraging. They made sure I learned the principles and tools required to do well on the SAT. The Compass Prep Program not only helped me improve my SAT scores but also helped me develop important skills such as time management. With the program’s support, I was admitted to my number one college, Wash U, and received a scholarship!”
DJ W. (he/him)
Student
Alexander Hamilton Scholars
The Compass team has been wonderful to work with! They understand the particular needs of our student population and the limitations of our organization. They have been flexible, responsive and are providing a superior experience for our students. Our partnership with Compass came at the exact right time for the organization and I am very grateful for their services.
Phyllis Elick (she/her)
Senior Director of High School and College Bound Programs
Breakthrough Collaborative
“After taking the SAT for the second time and seeing little improvement, I had not only lost hope, but also lost motivation…until I found Compass! I had my first lesson with Compass in May. My tutors scheduled lessons according to my strengths and weaknesses. Both of my teachers were very nice, friendly, helpful, and attentive. Through the help of Compass, I was able to grow a total of a hundred points. I am very happy with my current score and I am very grateful to Compass for their support.”
Insiya M. (she/her)
Student
Breakthrough Collaborative, Houston
“Compass Education Group’s work with Hamilton Scholars was exceptional. They helped our scholars build confidence, generate strong scores, and learn test-taking skills. With their characteristic professionalism, warmth, and cultural-competency, Compass Prep tutors are forces for good and excellence.”
Kelly Herrington (he/him)
Senior Advisor and College Counselor
Alexander Hamilton Scholars
“My experience with Compass has been amazing. The tutoring sessions were very helpful and focused on what I struggled in. Deshana taught me different ways to approach math, so I understood the concepts more. In the beginning, English and Reading were a struggle for me. My verbal tutor gave me time to reflect on problems and gave me feedback on the spot. I was able to learn quicker that way and this helped me a lot.”
Abdurrhman A. (he/him)
Student
Breakthrough Collaborative, Pittsburgh 

Meet the Board

Leadership

Amira Danan (she/her)

Co-Chair
Tutor

Amira is a Verbal tutor based out of Compass's Chicago office. Though she is a recent addition to Compass, she has privately tutored both high school and college students, and has even worked with graduate school applicants for whom English is a second language. Her mother, who has taught ESL for nearly three decades, was her inspiration to pursue tutoring and teaching. As a Compass tutor, she hopes to contribute to the DEI board through her experiences as a BIPOC, while also providing insight that stems from her background in African-American Studies at Northwestern University. She looks forward to being a part of Compass's growth as a more accessible and equitable institution.

Chris Hardy (he/him)

Co-Chair
Director

Christopher graduated with departmental and general honors from Vassar College where he earned his BA in French and Theater before going on to receive an MFA from the New School. He has worked in and around education his whole career, first for nearly a decade as a professional tutor, then in schools for many years as a college counselor and classroom teacher in the IB program.

Ava Corales (she/her)

Secretary
Administrative Coordinator

Ava Corales is one of the Administrative Coordinators working in Compass' Southern California office. In that role, she assists Compass families over the phone and email with various needs and supports the scheduling and quality of proctored practice tests. Ava grew up in the lower income community of South Stockton, CA, where she has seen firsthand how inequities in resources can discourage students from pursuing higher education. She hopes to not only advocate for scholarship students who come from similar backgrounds, but to also help ensure that all students and employees from all backgrounds and identities feel as comfortable and supported as possible at Compass.

Members

Jonathan Cortez (he/him)

Tutor

Jonathan is a social entrepreneur with a passion for learning and teaching. He was a part of the second cohort of tutors Compass recruited in New York in late 2018. A Queens-native and first generation college graduate, Jonathan has spent much of his professional career leading initiatives that have increased access to education for justice-involved students in NYC. He believes everyone deserves a right to a quality education; Jonathan brings this guiding principle to the DEI board, where he hopes to continue to expand access to education to those who cannot afford it.

Robert Cunningham (he/they)

Proctor

Robert Cunningham is a proctor based out of Compass's Chicago Office. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Theatre & Sociology from Northwestern University. They have an extensive background in peer mentorship, leadership and college admissions. As a child of educators, Robert believes in making educational opportunities and avenues accessible to all. They join the DEI Board in hopes of bringing their experience, viewpoints, and identities to the table to help foster growth for the Compass community—and to learn something new along the way.

Chezy David (she/they)

Tutor

Chezy is a Compass verbal tutor and proctor who graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a double degree in writing and English literature. Currently, they are working towards an MFA in creative nonfiction writing at New York University. She believes education is not just about absorbing information—it's also about understanding and challenging one's own privileges, acknowledging who has access to what and why, and learning how we can help each other grow into the people we want to be in spite of our differences. Through Compass's DEI board, she hopes to learn about and contribute to new and unexpected ways of widening accessibility to education.

Jason Garske (he/him)

Administrative Coordinator

Born in the East Bay Area, Jason Garske is a proud California native. He received his undergraduate degree from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, dual-majoring in Sociology and Media Studies. During his time at Pitzer, he fell in love with studies about the intersection of race, class, gender, identity, and the social structures that govern society. An avid hip-hop musician, Jason incorporates themes of social justice and allyship into his music. He has even published an essay about race, media, and hip-hop in an international online publication called Porridge Magazine. After graduating, Jason found his niche tutoring high schoolers and finds joy in helping them reach their goals of landing admission into their dream universities. He's now part of Compass's Los Angeles admin team.

Alyssia Green (she/her)

External Board Member
Director of College & Career Success, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Adam Ingersoll (he/him)

Founder

Adam began his career in test prep in 1993 at USC, where he was a student-athlete and worked in the admission office. Over the last two decades he has guided thousands of families to successful experiences with standardized tests. Adam is known nationally as a leading expert on college admission testing and is a frequent presenter at higher ed conferences, faculty development workshops, and school seminars. He is pleased to serve as the founders’ representative to the DEI board.

Kat Jiang (she/her)

Tutor

Kat Jiang is a tutor based out of Compass’s Southern California office. Since joining Compass in 2015, she has worked with over a hundred families across the country. Her time at Compass, while rewarding in many ways, has been a stark reminder of the role of education in social stratification. Having found it difficult to personally support more than a few under-resourced students at a time, she joins this board in hopes of helping Compass define and implement a wider commitment to BIPOC, lower-income, and otherwise marginalized students.

Lia Lackey (she/her)

Managing Director, San Francisco

Lia Lackey is the Managing Director of Compass' Northern California office. In that role she guides families, Compass tutors and FT staff toward success in their work together. Outside of her role at Compass, Lia is a long time community volunteer for educational equity in her hometown of Richmond, CA. She has supported public school students and staff at the elementary, middle school and high school levels within the West Contra Costa Unified School District for the last 10 years, and more recently, under-represented freshman college students through the Richmond Promise program.

Matty Steiner (they/them)

Senior Director of Outreach

Matty Steiner is the Senior Director of Outreach at Compass and spends most of their time leading presentations on admission testing for families and counselors. Before joining the company, Matty focused their undergraduate and graduate research on LGBTQ+ identities and queer activism. Matty wrote their Master's thesis on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an order of queer and trans nuns that devotes itself to community service throughout the Bay Area. Matty credits the Sisters for giving them the courage (and language) to come out as non-binary. Just as the Sisters helped Matty find their voice, Matty hopes to be a conduit for LGBTQ+ employees at Compass.