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About ESS

EDUCATION SUCCESS SERVICES (ESS) is a privately-owned company that provides individual and group-based coaching, mentoring, and advocacy in higher education—beginning with college readiness and the initial application process, and continuing through to graduation.

ESS was founded by Executive Director, Celesti Colds Fechter, Ph.D., who has more than a decade of experience in university-level teaching and administration.  Dr. Colds Fechter has held a number of university appointments, including Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic Services, and Associate Professor of Psychology.   As an insider in academe, Dr. Colds Fechter is keenly aware of that—despite increased retention efforts on the part of universities—slightly fewer than four out of ten of all students in four-year degree programs actually graduate in four years and, even with two added years, fewer than six out of ten of all students in four-year programs achieve graduation.  And, she has seen first-hand that, all too often, even those who do graduate in six years have not taken full advantage of available enrichment and opportunities that help to make them more attractive to graduate schools and potential employers.  Dr. Colds Fechter founded ESS to help provide students with a GPS to help guide them through the maze of higher education.


Meet Your Coach 

Dr. Celesti Colds Fechter is the founder and Executive Director of Education Success Services, LLC, a consultancy that provides individual and group-based higher education mentoring, coaching, and advocacy. She holds a Ph.D. in social-cognitive psychology from The New School for Social Research, and post-graduate certificates in Higher Education Management and in Higher Education Assessment from the Institutes for Higher Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.  


Dr. Colds Fechter teaches jointly at Monroe College’s King Graduate School and Department of English and Social Sciences.  She was previously Associate Professor of Psychology at The New School for Public Engagement, where she taught and was an academic advisor in the Social Sciences Department for more than a decade.  

She also held appointments as Assistant Dean for Academic Services and as Associate Dean at The New School for Public Engagement, where she created and managed Academic Services, an office that provided support for more than 5,000 graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education students, and oversaw on-campus programs for students from New York City alternative high schools, unions, non-profit organizations, and community groups.  Dr. Colds Fechter served as the inaugural faculty advisor for Theta Nu Sigma, The New School’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society for Non-traditional Students, as well as faculty advisor for Fulbright, Boren, Marshall, and other fellowship applicants.  She chaired both the Divisional and University-wide Diversity Committees and, as divisional judicial officer, she chaired the Divisional Academic Appeals and Academic Honesty Committees. 

Dr. Colds Fechter is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) NYC-LI Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education, and is also a member emeritus of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD).  She is the moderator of Women Writers of the Diaspora, a reading/book signing series that she created in 2003.  In  the private sector she has held positions as manager of the northeast regional office of an international psychologically-based training, development, and assessment firm; production manager of a major accounting firm, and stock-watch analyst at a Wall Street proxy solicitation/investor relations firm.  


Associate Director

Shana Lewisi

Shana Lewis is the Associate Director, West Coast Operations, of Education Success Services, LLC (ESS). Ms. Lewis has worked as an education and life coach, lecturer and consultant specializing in career training, professional development and higher education readiness for adults re-entering the job market and students who may be at risk, first generation or immigrants. In addition to individual consultations, Ms. Lewis also directs workshops at private firms, technical trade schools, church organizations and community organizations such as regional Work Source Centers.

Shana, a native New Yorker and graduate of Stuyvesant High School, has lived in Southern California for the past decade. She proudly admits that she will always be a New Yorker at heart, but she is in love with the Southern California lifestyle. Ms. Lewis loves to read and travel. She has visited 39 states, as well Mexico and many of the Caribbean islands. She also has a passion for music, fine art & volunteerism in the fight against poverty.

Ms. Lewis has worked closely with Dr.  Colds Fechter and, as an alumna of The New School, Ms. Lewis has seamlessly integrated her education and her broad corporate experience in order to successfully coach and mentor her clients. She is thrilled to join the West Coast office of Education Success Services, LLC.  Ms.  Lewis is confident that her professional acumen and coaching experience will enable her to contribute to the success of ESS’s clients, while keeping their goals—enhancing their college experience and earning their degrees—as her top priority.