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Mission

The DEI Board recognizes that Compass’s 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 U.S. 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 works with the leaders at Compass to make the company’s educational resources more accessible to historically marginalized communities. Additionally, it works with these communities, especially Black, indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ folks, to create new, impactful services beyond Compass’s typical menu of offerings. 

Second, the DEI Board helps Compass’s leadership transform the company’s culture and hiring processes to recruit and maintain more employees of color. The Board continues to identify impediments toward more inclusive hiring within the company and strives to unhinge them. As a company that values the democratizing power of higher education, Compass’s 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
  • 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 Practice Test Donation Campaign (PTDC). Each quarter, Compass will donate 10% of all college admission practice test fees to non-profit organizations that enact social change through educational programming.

This quarter, we are raising funds for Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund. BRF is a 3 year guaranteed basic income program that provides $1,000 to $2,000 per month to 25 households in Multnomah County. BRF prioritizes single parent, formerly incarcerated, minimum wage/low wage workers and foster care alumni but is available to any black Multnomah County resident. The median income of recipients of the BRF is $20,000 annually. By providing financial support directly to community members who need it most, The Fund works to liberate its recipients from basic economic burdens without having to deal with red tape or bureaucracy.

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 
“Compass was an amazing help! I had taken over 40 practice SAT tests and only gotten up to a 1320 on a real exam before beginning tutoring. Within three weeks, I increased my official score to a 1480! After 2 more weeks, I increased my official score again to a 1550—with a 790 in math! I could not have achieved this score without them.”
Diya Jha (she/her)
Student
Governor Thomas Johnson High School (Frederick, MD)

Statements

June 29, 2023: Response to SCOTUS decision on race-conscious admissions

Today’s SCOTUS ruling on race-conscious admission practices was expected, but the anticipation makes the reality no less painful. Compass stands with those from all backgrounds and especially with those persons of BIPOC identity who recognize this decision for what it is: unjust, uncaring, and uninformed of both the reality of the history of this country and of the actual admission practices at its colleges and universities. 

We would like to share quality sources of information and also lift up voices we find to be clear, correct, and powerful at this moment. First, we recommend reading Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissent in its entirety; as the Compass leadership we find ourselves entirely in support of her argument and outrage. 

NPR provides a general overview, while the Chronicle of Higher Ed offers a closer look at the implications for admission policies and practices including testing. While there is much to be processed and presumably further litigated, the emerging consensus in the college admissions community is that a) school counselors will work with their advisees to bring forward their identities in college applications in ways that are authentic and empowering while also legal for colleges to consider, b) colleges will comply with the ruling but redouble their efforts to hold up diversity as a critical part of their mission, c) the ruling increases the likelihood that test-optional policies will remain largely in place, but isn’t likely to add significant steam to the test-free movement (e.g. refusing to consider scores as is the case in the UC system). 

Compass will continue to engage with the college admissions community as this decision’s consequences unfold, and we will provide updates on our efforts and opportunities for others to contribute. We remain more committed than ever to our support for those who are disadvantaged and marginalized.

May 20, 2023: Trans Affirmation Statement

The American trans community is currently facing an unprecedented assault in the form of legislative and social erasure by members of our government. Whether in the form of “drag bans,”—a thinly-veiled attempt at banning trans people in public spaces—the explicit denial of gender-affirming care to trans children, or banning trans people from participating in competitive sports, trans people must fight daily for the right to simply exist.

The need for inclusion and equality is not abstract: it directly affects us as a company and as a broader community. Cultures around the world have always recognized, integrated, and even revered individuals who fall outside the gender binary, as well as individuals who identify as a gender that does not match their assignment at birth. Compass affirms and recognizes these long-held views: we affirm the right of trans people to exist and lead authentic, truthful, and joyful lives. We affirm the right of trans children to seek gender- affirming care. We affirm the right of trans people to feel safe in their workplaces and the communities in which they live. We condemn any attempt, legislative or otherwise, to exclude trans people from existing and thriving in society.

As tutors and educators, our job is to support and empower students of all identities and backgrounds, and we want our students to go out into a world that will embrace them. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to actively champion the right of all trans people to safety, gender-affirming care, and active visibility within our communities. To paraphrase Desmond Tutu, “Our humanity is tied to the humanity of all.”

We encourage everyone to reach out to their local representatives, vocally support the trans community, and seek out resources to become a better trans ally. For more information about how you can help, please consider visiting: https://transequality.org/issues/resources/supporting-the-transgender-people-in-your-life-a-guide-to-being-a-good-ally

March 24, 2023: Response to College Board changing its African American Studies curriculum

We support every student’s right to learn about factual cultural history, including their own, in an uncensored format. In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that we acknowledge the bias that runs deep within our government and ideologies. We believe that each student is entitled to a holistic education that encompasses both inclusion and explicit anti-racism. 

Therefore, we do not support the College Board’s decision to remove parts of history from their AP African American Studies course. It is a thinly-veiled attempt to appease a countercultural movement spearheaded by Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education, who believe that teaching a holistic version of our country’s history is somehow detrimental to the youth of today. 

We acknowledge that internalizing a clear and honest view of historical accounts can be a challenging process for students, regardless of their identities. However, selectively ignoring salient events, especially those which shaped the world as we know it, poses a much greater issue. For too long, our country has whitewashed the education system when it comes to colonialism and racism, which affects us even now. It is imperative that we teach with transparency, so that we might equip the next generation to learn from our mistakes. The College Board’s actions are a step backwards, and those actions can potentially have devastating ramifications not only on the United States education system, but also our country as a whole.

Meet the Board

Cristina Cimellaro (she/her)

Co-Chair
Tutor, Los Angeles

Pankti Dalal (she/her)

Co-Chair
Program Manager, San Francisco

Pankti graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Anthropology and a BS in Human Biology. She has been tutoring and teaching for over 12 years in high/middle/elementary schools, after-school programs and summer/science camps. She worked for Compass as a verbal, math and biology tutor for 3 years prior to transitioning to the Program Manager role.

Arman Avasia (he/him)

Secretary
Program Manager, Chicago

Arman received his BA in English from Skidmore College and an MFA in Creative Writing and MA in Literature from McNeese State University. He was a Compass verbal tutor for 6 years before transitioning into the Program Manager role.

Anna Karla Carreño (she/they)

Tutor, Washington, DC

Anna Karla graduated from Washington Adventist University with Honors, earning B.A.s in both Music and English. Before they graduated, they tutored at their university's Writing Center for two years, helping students with grad school applications, dissertations, and essays. Her specialty was helping ESL students learn how to write and format essays in English. Growing up, Anna Karla was blessed with a host of opportunities given by kind benefactors; after graduating, they decided to give back to their community by helping give students those same opportunities. Anna Karla is incredibly passionate about giving resources to disadvantaged students, having been one herself. They are now part of Compass's DMV tutoring team.

Kelly Corey (she/her)

Director, Washington, DC

Kelly received her B.A. in Theater from USC. Since relocating to the DMV area, her experience has focused on providing support to families as they navigate the testing landscape and their admissions goals. In her role as a Compass Director, she is most excited for the opportunity to communicate directly with students to understand their individual learning style and promote academic success.

Jason Garske (he/him)

Administrative Coordinator, Los Angeles

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.

Alysia Glover (she/her)

Tutor, Chicago

Graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Alysia is a proud Illini! Her prior experience includes being a Chicago Public Schools reading literacy tutor and a career counselor for high school students. Alysia is currently a program facilitator and mentor for a non-profit organization aimed toward preparing young girls for the workforce. She also currently works in diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that high school-aged students are offered opportunities no matter what their story is.

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.

Shaini Kothari (she/her)

Tutor, Chicago

Chioma Richards (she/her)

Tutor, Washington, DC

Chioma graduated from Howard University with her B.S. in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Howard University in School Psychology. Along with tutoring Compass SAT and ACT students in English and Reading, she works on campus assisting with the teaching of assessment courses for other graduate students.

Joe Sapp (he/him)

Tutor, Los Angeles

Joe has been interested in issues surrounding race, class, and gender since the couserwork for his minor in education at UC Berkeley opened his eyes to the inequities that exist in our education system and the ability of that system to improve student lives in spite of those inequities. Trained as a research ecologist and science educator, he has worked in a diversity of educational settings ranging from teaching AP biology at Berkeley High School, to conducting workshops on test taking and college readiness for underrepresented high school students, to exposing diverse undergraduates to research experiences in environmental science in remote regions of Australia and Chile. He has loved tutoring for Compass since 2017 in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to do so in the Los Angeles area.