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Effectively Pairing Freedom & SupportStarts With You
Woman Being Free

Helping You Move From Challenges To Solutions


Kay Kimball Gruder,M.Ed. and PCI Certified Parent Coach®


I can help you:

  • move from challenges to solutions;
  • worry less and reduce family tension;
  • more effectively communicate during stressful situations;
  • guide your student to make the most of his or her educational and life experiences;
  • gain new parenting approaches to develop an adult-to-adult relationship with your college student.

With 30 years experience in higher education providing advising to students, and 12 years of experience as a parent coach, I have an extensive understanding of family dynamics and a deep knowledge of student development through the early adult years.

Founder/Parent Coach/Parent Relations Consultant, Successful College Parenting, 2009-Present

Assistant Director, Center for Career Development, University of Connecticut, 2014-Present

Facilitator, Susan Vogt Leadership Fellows, The Boston Consortium for Higher Education, 2018-Present

Advisory Council Member, Association for PCI Certified Parent Coaches® 

Parent Family Advisory Board Member, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island, 2015-2018

High School Admissions Rep, New England Institute of Technology, 2011-2013

Associate Director, The Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services, Wheaton College (MA), 1987-2009

PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Seattle Pacific University, 2005 
Trained in Appreciative Inquiry & Living Systems Theory                              

Susan Vogt Leadership Fellow (2006-2007), Boston Consortium for Higher Education 

M.Ed., Lesley College, 1987 / B.A.Bennington College, 1985

Professional Memberships 

American Counseling Association / National Association of Colleges & Employers / Graduate Career Consortium 

Select Past Presentation Experience
  • Presenter (on-site & webinars), Berklee College of Music
  • Presenter, Student Affairs Division Retreat, Keeping Families in the Picture, Salisbury University
  • Co-presenter, Berklee Parent Relations Model for Vice Presidents' of Student Affairs, Colleges of the Fenway
  • Co-presenter (webinars), Carroll University, Disability Services, 3-part webinar series for parents of students with disabilities
  • Presenter (on-site), "Parenting Through the College Exploration Process", The Williams School
  • Presenter (on-site), "Parenting Beyond the Here & Now", The Women's Education & Leadership Fund, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT
  • Presenter (on-site), Prospective Student Visiting Days, Parent "Ask Me" Sessions, Homecoming Parent Programming, Wheaton College
 Select National & Regional Conferences
  • Presenter, Graduate Career Consortium, Faculty Career Partners by Organic Design
  • Co-Presenter, Pre-conference Institute, (AHEAD) Assoc. on Higher Education And Disability, Creating Parent Education from Design to Reality
  • Co-Presenter, ACPA - National Conference, Keeping Parents In The Picture
  • Co-Presenter, NAFSA - Regional Conference, Parents as Partners:  A New Paradigm for Working with Parents of Education Abroad Students
  • Co-presenter, "Building Blocks to Successful College Transition", 2010 Rehabilitation & Transition Conference, Kohler, WI,
  • Presenter, Administrators Promoting Parent Involvement
  • Presenter, Love, Light, Laughter Women's Conference, Appreciative Parenting
  • Presenter, "Advising Across the Campus: A Collaborative Approach", National Academic Advising Association Conference - Region 1
 Publication Experience 
  • Author, Parenting Your College Student: Pairing Freedom and Support
  • Author, Successful College Parenting Strategies, 2009-2013 (monthly newsletter)
  • Featured Contributor, Corporate Wellness Magazine, The Cost of College, May 2011
  • Featured Author: Parent Coaching Institute Parent Express E-zine, “Dare to Share: Parenting Through Our Stories”, Feb. 2010
  • Contributor, The Parent Express E-zine, Book Review:  College of the Overwhelmed, October 2009
  • Contributor,  Parent Success Stories: Positive Changes Through the PCI Coaching Model, Parent Coaching Institute, 2009
  • Contributor, “Appreciative Parenting: Imagining the Possibilities”, Aspire Magazine, April/May 2007 Cover article


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