Dr. Lisa Ransdell, Independent Educational Consultant – Career and Philosophy

In my career I have most loved working directly with students: in the classroom, one-on-one in an academic advising session, and as a mentor. I am deeply student-centered and holistic in my approach, surveying the student’s complete set of circumstances, strengths and limitations before making any recommendations.

I pledge to work hard to assist you and will be frank and realistic in my assessment of your situation. I will help and guide you to the best of my ability, but will not do the work of applying to college for you; this is part of your own necessary process of growth and development and should not be usurped by a professional. My commitment is to always give you my full attention, sound advice, and ample feedback.

Dr. Lisa Ransdell Career Narrative

My administrative career in higher education was primarily devoted to work on student success and persistence. I conducted research on the leading causes of dropping out and designed comprehensive institutional retention and success plans. With faculty and staff colleagues I established innovative programs to enhance the student collegiate experience, including peer-based tutoring programs, mentoring programs, and intervention programs for students at risk.

I ran a high volume, comprehensive academic advising center at Metropolitan State University of Denver for eight years, where I also helped administer a six-year, $1.68 million federal Title III “institution strengthening” grant, one-third of which was devoted to student success. I have also designed and run new student orientation programs, and coordinated and taught in first-year seminar programs.

Currently at MSU-Denver I teach for the sociology and women’s studies departments, and hold the rank of Affiliate Associate Professor. I also teach for the public health and sociology programs at the University of Colorado-Denver.

I am greatly excited to bring my knowledge of higher education and student development and persistence together in my own private consulting business, and to have the chance to work jointly with students and parents to launch many successful college careers.


  • Founder and President, Pinnacle Education Consulting, LLC, 2007 – present
  • Assistant Provost, Division of Student Life, University of Denver, 2005 – 2007
  • Director of Academic Advising, Metropolitan State U of Denver, 1997 – 2005
  • Dean of First Year Students, Denison University, Granville, OH, 1995 – 1997
  • Director, Women’s Resource Center, Denison University, 1987 – 1995
  • 30+ years of college teaching experience at Ohio State University, Denison University, Metropolitan State University of Denver and CU-Denver


  • Ph.D. Sociology, The Ohio State University, 1990
  • Certificate, HERS/Bryn Mawr College Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, 1995
  • Certificate, Self Directed Search Instrument Interpretation, 1999
  • Certificate, Supplemental Instruction (tutoring) Supervision, 2005, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Independent Educational Consultants Association Summer Training Institute, June 25-29, 2008, Claremont, CA
  • Member: Higher Education Consultants Association and College Consultants of Colorado

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