Applying My Research: Strategies for Success
Ben sat with his pencils and calculator, ready to take the ACT exam. With ADD and reading difficulties, timed tests were usually stressful for him. This was the third time Ben was taking the test; but this time, he was excited. Before the timer started, he snapped a quick selfie to send to Jennifer Fuller ’07, his ACT coach. The caption read, “It’s go time!”
When Fuller, an MS in Education graduate, first met Ben, he had an ACT composite score of 16 (out of 36), and he was far from the confident student he would become. With Fuller’s guidance, he earned a composite score of 27—an 11-point increase.
Students like Ben are the reason Fuller started LogicMax Learning Systems, Inc. After spending 10 years as a high school teacher in Illinois, the frustration of seeing so many students disappointed by their poor ACT scores became overwhelming. When she moved to Texas, she decided to make a change. Fuller now provides ACT coaching and preparation classes full time. One of her clients is Ben’s younger brother. In fact, 95% of her clients are referrals.
The referrals speak to the spectacular results produced by her unique approach, which focuses on timing techniques and logic strategies. Fuller developed these methods as her master’s research project at Walden. Her professor, Dr. Erica Wattson, thought she was crazy to try teaching students how to make better guesses on the math ACT.
“Everybody just assumed the way it’s always been done was the best way,” Fuller explains. “I started from square one. I wanted to go at it with a clean slate and not be influenced by what anyone else was doing, because I knew that wasn’t working.”
Her method, on the other hand, was working. Students in her study were able to choose nearly 50% of the answers correctly—without even seeing the questions. Fuller had taught them to narrow down the correct answer by thinking about why the test writers provided those particular response options.
Wattson’s doubts vanished. After seeing the results, she called to say, “You’re going to be a millionaire! Nobody has approached the test this way before.”
“It was a huge moment,” Fuller recalls. “That one professor was my motivation to believe in myself to make this happen.”
The leap to starting her own business paid off. Without any advertising, revenue has doubled every year for the last 4 years, meaning she could make that professor’s prediction a reality far sooner than she had thought possible. Fuller is now focusing on offering her service online, utilizing the knowledge she gained from her Integrating Technology in the Classroom specialization. The online component of the business will cost about half as much as the in-person program, making it accessible to many more students.
“The online program ties right back in with what I learned at Walden,” she says. “I love applying it.” Since earning her Walden degree, Fuller has continued her master’s research. “You really have to be prepared to work harder than you could ever imagine to make your dreams come true,” she says. “It’s insane how much of myself I had to put into starting this business. I wanted to make it really meaningful—to make connections with people. I’ve been so lucky.”