Brain Train For ACT With Local Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two hours is all that busy high school students need to learn brain-compatible strategies for the ACT with local startup company High-Impact Education. Two local educators, Dr. Kendal Shipley and Chris Green, started this new company to specialize in quickly preparing students for important college admission tests.

High-Impact has collaborated with the YMCA of Metro Chattanooga to offer ACT preparation courses locally beginning in February. The course costs $60 per student.

“We know how crunched for time high school students are,” said Dr. Shipley, one of the company’s co-founders, “and we want to provide them with efficient and effective training for the ACT.”

Dr. Shipley and Mr. Green say their number one mission is to provide assistance for metro Chattanooga students. Hamilton County students’ average ACT score last year was 18.9 (out of 36 possible points), almost a point below the Tennessee average of 19.7 and over two points below the national average of 21.1. “We want to be a part of changing that,” said Mr. Green. All high school juniors from across the state of Tennessee are scheduled to take the ACT on March 19. 4,000 students are expected to take the ACT in Hamilton County alone.

“A few more points on the ACT can make the difference in a student’s getting into his or her dream school,” Dr. Shipley said, “and many scholarships are awarded based on these same scores.  We help students maximize their potential and be able to follow their dreams.”   

“Through the years, we’ve seen a lot of students give maximum effort to making great grades, only to have their college choices limited by an ACT score,” said Mr. Green. “We want to help those students.”

Relying on their 25 combined years of experience in education, Dr. Shipley and Mr. Green apply brain-compatible strategies, including colorful graphics and easy-to-remember tips, to the preparation course so that in just two hours students will have a solid foundation for taking the ACT.  Students also receive test review materials to take home with them.

“We are not teaching ‘tricks’ to take the ACT,” Dr. Shipley explained. “We work multitudes of released ACT items, grouping them by subject and topic, then analyze how often each concept is tested. In the 2-hour training courses, we help students prepare for those items that show up most often.”

“We think traditional methods of ACT prep are outdated and irrelevant for today’s student. A boring textbook for $25, marathon courses for hundreds of dollars - most students aren’t using those avenues. Our courses are fast-paced and interactive. We teach concepts we know are going to be on the test, and then students quickly work practice items and tweet in their answers – the classes are relevant, fast, and fun.”

Dr. Shipley and Mr. Green are teaching students ACT concepts via Twitter and are in the early stages of app development. They believe a technological edge to ACT review is essential to reach students. “Students are on Twitter and they love their iPhones. We want to get ACT help to them in a form they will use,” said Dr. Shipley.

The ACT training courses are offered at three different YMCA locations – downtown Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Hamilton Place. If the courses are well received, Dr. Shipley and Mr. Green hope to expand their offerings to Knoxville and Nashville to help students throughout the state.

The company’s website is  You can follow High-Impact Education on Twitter @HighImpactEd as well as on Facebook.


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