About Us

Welcome to the National Center for Student Success.

We have one mission: to help ALL college students succeed whatever their life experiences or preparation. We work with:

  • Parents who need to balance school with family
  • Veterans who have recently left the military
  • Older students who are returning to school
  • Trailblazers, the first in their families to attend college
  • Distance learners looking for motivation and structure

We provide individual coaching on an hourly or semester basis as well as reasonably priced small group on-line coaching. We also serve as a clearing house for tips, advice and information meant to help non-traditional students negotiate the sometimes confusing world of higher education. Our clients are college students and higher ed institutions committed to student success.


Let us introduce ourselves…

I’m Kathryn Temple, the founder of the National Center for Student Success. I’m a former non-traditional student who dropped out of high school and worked my way through college, law school and a PhD. After college, I earned a law degree at Emory University School of Law and then a PhD in English at the University of Virginia. A tenured professor at a top East Coast research university since 2002, I’ve spent the past fifteen years developing programs and courses tailored to the needs of non-traditional college students. Currently, I chair a large English Department while running the Loyola Castle Program, aimed at helping recently separated veterans transition into college life.


I’m Jim Mahshie, consultant to the program and chair of a busy health sciences department at a large private research university in Washington D.C. The first in my family to earn a college degree, I went on to earn a PhD in the sciences at Syracuse University and to become a tenured full professor in Speech and Hearing Sciences. My research focuses on the perceptual abilities of the deaf and I teach audiology and other speech and hearing related courses. At my university, I supervise a number of programs, including one aimed at helping older students return to graduate work and become speech pathologists. In my spare time, I sail on the Chesapeake Bay and play traditional Irish music in both U.S. and Irish venues.


I’m Chris Shinn, a consultant to the National Center for Student Success and an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature. I have been teaching writing at the college and university level for nineteen years now and joined the faculty of the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University in 2009 in order to serve the particular needs of non-traditional students. Working mostly full-time while putting myself through graduate school, I earned my M.A. and PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.A. in English Language and Literature from San Jose State University, and a M.T.S. in Studies in Religion and Culture from Harvard University. My research focuses on comparative ethnicities and race, postcolonial studies, migration narratives, science fiction and fantasy, and pulp fiction.


14044994166_6b00378074_kI’m Thomas Wells, I’m currently a Mentor and Graduate Assistant for the National Center for Student Success. I studied English at Montana State University, and now I’m pursuing my MA in English at Georgetown University. Before moving to DC, I spent 5 years working in domestic violence advocacy and prevention as a crisis counselor for youth and adults. I’m very excited about helping ALL students succeed in college.


10262273_10100494880487469_8576105511385340669_nI’m Danielle Adams, a Mentor and Graduate Assistant for the National Center for Student Success. I hold a B.A. in Political Science from Ithaca College and am currently pursuing my MA in English at Georgetown University. I am very excited to join this team in working towards the academic success of all students.