Bridging the gap from high school to college.

Colleges and universities are witnessing a growing trend of underprepared first-year students. High school experiences often fail to equip graduates with the necessary social, emotional, and academic skills required for college. Colleges struggle to communicate the skills that are needed to thrive on campus. Families, although willing, face the challenge of not knowing where to begin.


It's time to start Talking CollegeTM

Talking College™ cards are the original discussion prompts and insider tips for college-bound students, their parents/guardians, and those helping them when they arrive on campus. They were created to empower students through curated conversations that help ease the transition to college.

  • Pocket-size cards enable families to engage in pre-college conversations at the dinner table or on the go. The cards provide campus peer leaders with prompts for curated conversations to help new students transition to their lives on campus.

  • Talking College™ card themes draw on interviews and focus groups with campus staff, professors, college counselors, and parents. Our products emphasize the important discussions students need to have as they prepare for college.

  • Talking College™ cards are grounded in data showing that students who engage in conversations about college with their parents and other mentors predict higher grades, more positive self-concepts, and persistence through the second year of college.

Created by
Andrea Malkin Brenner, PhD

The Talking College™ cards were inspired by creator, Dr. Andrea Malkin Brenner, a college transition educator and co-author of How to College: What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There), a leading guide for college-bound students. She draws on her 25 years of experience as a college professor and university administrator. Dr. Brenner speaks with high school and college students, parents, and faculty on the challenges related to the transition to college. Andrea is a frequent contributor of articles about college transition challenges and is a regular guest on podcasts focused on adolescent development and parenting.


Start Talking CollegeTM today.


Rave reviews

  • From Parents

    "I really wanted my kids to think about some issues that they might face when they go to college. I had given them a couple of scenarios to see what they might do and help them think about things. But now I have these amazing conversation cards. This is truly the best way to prepare your kid for dealing with issues when they go off to college. This deck includes so many great life skills that are not taught in school and often not taught at home."

  • From College Counselors

    "I send all the families I work with Dr. Brenner's Talking College cards to help them have productive conversations about everyone's priorities and expectations for college. The prompts are amazing conversation starters for families, moving them away from focusing on rankings to thinking about what really matters: what do students want in their college experience and where they will thrive."

  • From High Schools

    "We offer the Talking College™ card decks as graduation gifts to our seniors (and their parents), as we believe that we can still play a part in our students’ lives even after they are officially alumni of our school after graduation. The card decks are a great way for families to prompt and encourage conversations about the expectations and challenges of college life, and we love that they were created based on data collected from colleges, so the topics are relevant to today’s campus environment."

  • From College Family Engagement Offices

    "Each family who joins our Parent & Family Association receives a welcome gift. We have previously given out nice bags, water bottles, notepads, license plates, and much more. Families love the gifts! This summer, we introduced the Talking College™ cards as an item for our families who join. Our families have loved them! We introduce the cards at orientation, so they are familiar with them when it is time to start conversations with their students."

  • From Summer Bridge Programs

    "The Talking College™ cards are a fantastic resource for rising college students. I work with a team to ensure that our scholars are prepared for the many issues they will face as they enter college. Many of the cards reflect the exact issues we discuss, and others gave me new ideas for conversations to help me prepare my students and their parents for what to expect before their child leaves for school. "

  • From First-Generation Student Programs

    "What I love the most about The Talking College™ cards is how they invite the whole family unit into the conversation about college. This is crucial because we often forget that the majority of our college students are still a part of a family system, and when they go to college the whole family often goes with them. This sentiment is amplified for first-generation students who, along with their families, are charting the waters of higher education for the first time."