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GSCC was founded on the principle that the college search and application process should be something to be celebrated and not a time of very high stress as polling—and tangible evidence—indicates.


Our mission is to invest in the future by marrying each deserving student with a good-fit college for the best possible experience and outcome.  At the heart of the journey is a student-centered and person-focused approach that is designed to be gratifying rather than stressful.  This is accomplished by a rational, organized and deliberate methodology guided by a caring professional.  The student takes ownership of the work involved, but all involved work together in the best interest of the student.

Our first job is to find out who you are, from the ground up.  With this in mind, the primary goal is to match you to a selection of right-fit colleges and, once we have this, our aim is not to package you, but to polish and reveal who you are to admissions committees.  All of this will lead you on a path to the ultimate goal: thriving in this foundational part of your life.

Golden Spike

The name “Golden Spike” was carefully chosen for this college search, application and financing consulting practice.  Also known as the “last spike” (not as catchy), the reference is of the commemorative railway spike that was ceremoniously driven into the final railroad tie joining together the two sides of the Transcontinental Railroad in Utah in 1869.


The metaphor here relates to the epic work involved on both parts; in the case of the railroad, those coming from the east and west, working independently to one cause.  Once joined, the efforts of the two sides led to a future of prosperity and possibility. Your journey can be seen the same way, where you are working to join forces with the other side—the colleges—which, believe it or not, are working very hard to successfully connect with you also.


Just as a ceremony was in order for the momentous occasion on that May 10th (150+ years ago), you should have your own symbolic “Golden Spike Moment,” represented by placing down that deposit on the school that will bridge you to your future, and that you have worked so hard for (by May 1st please).  Then go ahead and celebrate like a pioneer!

What's in a name?
What's in a name?

My name is Christopher Ward, and I am a fan and proponent of higher education.  There is no good word for this feeling that I know of.  Where phile means “lover of,” I could try to make one, such as collegiophile or universiophile—and it gets sketchier from there—but suffice it to say that I have been involved in higher education throughout my adult life in one way or another.


Just after going through and earning my bachelor’s degree, I was fortunate to be called for my dream job as a firefighter for the City of New York, which I eagerly embarked upon.  My 25-year career with the FDNY was rewarding in itself, and I ultimately promoted to Captain; but my other calling continually beckoned, so my career was also punctuated with forays into higher education.  It was not long after I started on the job that I was also accepted into a PhD program at Columbia University.  While the logistics of this eventually proved to be too much, I did manage a master’s degree later on, which helped lead me to achieve my goal of teaching college courses.

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Christopher Ward, M.A. | Phone: 516-223-0095

When it came time to helping my own children, and others, in their college search and application process, I realized where my true path laid.  I do enjoy teaching, but there is just something so special about the transition time to college to me—the assessment of prospects and engagement in process speak to me.


In my own journey, college represented something very special.  It was something that was completely about me, done by me and for me. The education was something that I could earn, and that could never be taken away.  And as a first-generation graduate, a college degree was an important part of the American Dream.


I launched Golden Spike College Connections with you in mind, to help you realize your dreams.  I take in everything available on college admissions, financial aid, college life and what it means to be a high school student today.  Of course, my end has also involved another foray into higher education: I have completed the curriculum for the Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) Certificate Program through the University of California, Irvine.  Currently I am pursuing education and training in Financial Planning, as I recognize the importance and complexity involved in financing college, and wish to instill the greatest knowledge and competence when advising families in the context of overarching family financial planning.

Finally, I belong to the IECA, a vibrant association of professionals, where I receive valuable ongoing support, training and tools. I am also seeking membership to NCAG (National College Advocacy Group) whose focus is on financial aid, along with college admissions. I engage with fellow educational consultants and admissions officers, and among my favorite activities, I have visited scores of campuses across the U.S. and continue to do so regularly.  I look forward to sharing and comparing these experiences with you on your journey.

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