Dr. Crystal L. Harris is an educator and entrepreneur who helps students use education to make an impact in society and to enrich their lives. Her company creates products and services to help professionals clarify their educational goals, find the right graduate program, and get accepted. More importantly, she is committed to helping students attend programs that are the right “fit” for their lives. Additionally she excels at helping busy ambitious women organize their lives, gain the clarity needed to complete their degrees on schedule Saving them both valuable time and money.
Educational and Work Background
Crystal began her education in a mechanical engineering program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. She continued her engineering career working in a multinational corporation as a project manager, a manufacturing team leader and eventually managed the start up of a training and development center in a newly acquired brand to the company. In this role, she learned about the power of combining leadership and technical skills to assist women in manufacturing roles to advance their careers.
Following her corporate career, Crystal pursued theological studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. At Garrett, Crystal pursued a masters degree in pastoral care and counseling. In that program she developed an interest in counseling and in understanding how African-American couples face challenges. After studying at Garrett, Crystal applied to multiple doctoral programs and filling out multiple applications and going to multiple interviews only to find out that her lack of clarity was detrimental as it manifested in the feedback from several admissions committees. The following year, with a fresh approach and greater clarity, Crystal was accepted to five out of five doctoral programs in psychology. She chose the University of Notre Dame where she entered the counseling psychology program under the guidance of a respected pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology whose work she was acquainted with.
At the University of Notre Dame, Crystal pursued her doctoral studies and advanced her experience by doing research with her mentor, working as an editorial assistant for a top journal, being active in leadership organizations for graduate students and presenting at regional and national professional organizations. Crystal also worked on multiple research project teams to enhance her skills as well as serving as a teaching assistant and instructor of record. Ultimately Crystal completed her PhD after defending a dissertation about coping skills for African-American adults facing adverse experiences with discrimination.
About 2007 Crystal translated her skills as an academic tutor into a new business launch: Pursue Higher Dreams which focused on assisting high school students enter selective applications to Ivy League institutions by enhancing their AC T and SAT test scores. Pursue Higher Dreams became a premier boutique tutoring service in the Naperville – Aurora communities and assisted over 100 high school students in a 6 year period. Today, the company has diversified its offerings to providing greater access to graduate school. As many students of color are incurring huge amounts of debt and failing to complete graduate school due to a lack of knowledge and sound advice. Crystal has spent over ten years teaching at a state university and mentoring masters level and doctoral level students. Based on her own experience and those of her students, she designed the “Get Accepted” transformational process. This program is designed to clarify goals, research comparable degree programs, complete essays and applications efficiently and GET ACCEPTED. Additional programs are available to support students in staying on schedule and finishing their masters and doctoral degrees.
Crystal’s most important values are Faith, Family and Career in that order. She is very involved in her faith community included women’s ecumenical groups, and community organizations that advocate and serve economically disadvantaged youth with radical inclusive programs. Crystal is a devoted partner and mother. She is super proud of her two adult children – both entrepreneurs- running successful businesses.
In closing, Crystal has channeled her Love of people, teaching and writing into a business that inspire and empowers people. This website contains several resources and information about our private Facebook group, a blog and short videos to help support you in achieving your goal of pursuing higher education. Please know that we welcome your feedback, concerns and questions as we design future projects to meet the needs of the next generation of scholars, activists and business professionals. Our recurrent theme will always be how to bring your dreams to life and serve as a catalyst to uncover your hidden gifts and talents.