Working with Joan

Joan Koven

Meet Joan!

Joan Koven, founder, and director of Academic Access, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College and her certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She holds a diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris.

Joan is a Certified Educational Planner (CEP), the highest level of professional certification for college admissions counselors and educational consultants. She earned this rigorous certification through a comprehensive examination, visits to over 450 college and university campuses, and display of professional leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) where she also chairs several IECA committees and participates regularly on panels. Joan also serves on the faculty at IECA’s Summer Training Institute (STI). She is an active member of the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), Pennsylvania Association of College Admission Counseling (PACAC), and Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), which keeps her in close contact with both high school guidance counselors and admissions officers at colleges and universities.

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Joan began her work as an Independent Educational Consultant and founded Academic Access in 2003. She is dedicated to bringing to her students hands-on knowledge about the immense range of choices available in higher education and devotes more than twenty percent of her time to visiting college campuses nationwide and meeting admissions staff, students and faculty. She is honored to contribute to the growth of her profession by teaching regularly for the online certificate program in Independent Educational Consulting of the University of California, Irvine. She has also served on the faculty at the IECA Summer Training Institute (STI). Joan remains committed to sharing her expertise with underserved students for whom the college admissions process can be particularly daunting. She is a founding volunteer member of Mayor Nutter’s initiative, PhillyGoes2College, and regularly conducts workshops for the Delaware County College Access Center.

As a former retail manager and leader, Joan brings a wealth of professional experiences to her work with students and families. For more than decade was a marketing and promotions executive who developed, coordinated, researched and executed marketing programs for over 150 consumer packaged goods companies including Johnson and Johnson, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, Quaker Oats, and General Mills. She previously worked for Bloomingdale’s, Crate and Barrel and Conran’s as a store manager for over 10 years.

Meet the Academic Access Team

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The members of the Academic Access team have a wide variety of academic interests and educational backgrounds. Our team members are enthusiastic about helping students to navigate the college admissions process. They possess knowledge and experiences that can benefit college-bound students and their parents throughout the high school years. Our team members hold undergraduate and doctorate degrees from prestigious colleges and universities all over the country. The team is dedicated to working one-on-one with students to help them produce the most authentic and strongest applications possible.

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Maura Smith
Client Experience Manager
B.A. Temple University

Joshua David Bergey
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Oberlin College

Julia Lawrence
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Johns Hopkins University
M.A. Temple University

Brett Roeth Peanasky
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Miami University of Ohio
M.A. University of Pennsylvania
J.D. University of Pennsylvania

Kathleen Astrue
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Wesleyan University

Sarah Heffner
College Essay Specialist
B.A. University of Pittsburgh
M.F.A. New York University

Megan McGovern-Aquilante
College Admissions Specialist
B.A. York College
M.A. Rosemont College

Hallie Anderson
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Haverford College
M.A. Temple University

Emily Harnett
College Essay Specialist
B.A. University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Yale University

Malcolm Culleton
College Essay Specialist
B.A. Columbia University