Biographical Information about Martha E. Gagnon, Ph.D. and  Rebecca J. Mason, M.A

Martha Gagnon holds a doctoral degree in Higher Education Policy and Planning from the University of Maryland at College Park (1990), a M.Ed. from Loyola College, a B.S. from Towson University. She is the former Director of Admissions at Loyola College in Baltimore and the former Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College.) She was a classroom teacher in Baltimore for five years. For 18 years she worked as a Staff Consultant to the College Board, makers of the SAT. She conducted hundreds of teacher and counselor in-service training workshops on the topic of the PSAT and SAT. 

During the past 25 years, she has maintained a private practice in Howard County, Maryland, specializing in SAT preparation, college placement, and career counseling. She has served as an education consultant and workshop presenter to hundreds of parent groups, school administrators and teachers throughout the entire Middle Atlantic region. 

Rebecca Mason holds both a Bachelor Degree and a Master’s Degree from The American University.  She specializes in SAT, PSAT and ACT tutoring.  She has tutored thousands of students over the past 25 years.  Rebecca also has presented many Parent Night Programs as well as Teacher In-Service Workshops on the topic of college standardized test preparation and score report interpretation.  

Some Comments about Dr. Martha Gagnon & Ms. Rebecca Mason: 

“I want to thank you, Dr. Gagnon & Ms. Mason, for working with my daughter, Fara.  She got accepted to Harvard, NYU, Duke, GWU, UMCP, Loyola.  She wanted to attend Harvard, but, for her parents, not to the tune of $60, 800.  She got great scholarships from several of these colleges, and is planning on doing chemical engineering so she will likely attend the University of Maryland. Mrs. Clarke

 “Mimi took the SAT for the first time the weekend in June and scored 1100 which made her unhappy.  She took the class with Rebecca this summer and took the test a second time in October.  She was so excited that she increased her score 200 points to a score of 1300 that she flipped a pizza plate onto the restaurant floor upon seeing her score.  She was waving her arms around in excitement.   Just wanted to share the good news with you—she said the strategies she learned really helped her,  Mrs. P. 

“I just want to let you know that I got accepted into Virginia Tech and thank you, Ms. Mason for all your help…couldn’t have done it without you!!”  Ellie Cooper

“Rebecca, I want to say thank-you to for all your help and encouragement w/ my daughter.  You were integral in getting her through the testing aspect of this process!!  She thinks the world of you: we are so grateful we found you!!” Ms. C.

 “I’d like to thank you, Rebecca and your math tutor again for working with Audrey on her test prep.  She scored a 1420 on the SAT and a 33 on the ACT! ” Donna Zarzuela

 “I have known Martha Gagnon for more than 20 years and consider her professionally competent and conscientious. She displays energy, enthusiasm and good judgment. People making college and career decisions have turned to Martha for guidance and have found a counselor with patience, experience, and a sincere desire to help.” 

Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J. President, Loyola College (1990

“Our daughter, Maeve, certainly gained confidence her abilities and obtained valuable ACT techniques with Rebecca and your math tutors – much more so than an on-line option had been able to provide her. Maeve was able to increase her ACT score by 5 points, which is huge and which resulted in significant merit awards from many out of State schools.  These merit awards were many multiples of the fees we paid you, but more importantly, allowed for Maeve to consider certain universities based on the programs and offerings which interested her, and without many of the price and financing of college concerns that affect too many students today.”

John Hall, Ellicott City, MD

“Just wanted to thank you and Rebecca for tutoring my son.  He went from 930 to 1140!! So happy for him. Thanks so much!”,   Mrs. M 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Gagnon as both a high school principal and parent. She provided SAT preparation to both of my sons. After being impressed by the job she did with my oldest, I had her guide my youngest, as he became a National Merit Commended and National Achievement Finalist. She is highly competent and professional with students and parents. She has provided SAT courses to groups of Oakland Mills High School students and has been a factor in several becoming a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.. She is truly a results oriented counselor.” 

Mr. Marshall Peterson, Principal, Oakland Mills High School 

“Dr. Gagnon has been conducting SAT prep classes at our high school for several years. Not only has her instruction been instrumental in improving our students’ scores, but her generosity in donating a portion of each student’s fee to our PTSA has made her program one of our most lucrative fund raisers.” 

Ms. Lynne Sepich, Volunteer, Mt. Hebron HS PTSA 

“Our daughter is a special needs student who had a goal of attending college. Dr. Gagnon helped her improve her score on the SAT by 300 points and provided information that allowed our daughter to take the SAT with extended time. Not only did she get into the college of her choice, she was also awarded a scholarship in part due to her SAT scores.” 

Ms. Kathleen Anderson, Ellicott City, Maryland 

“Dr. Gagnon has conducted our SAT prep classes for more than a decade and the feedback that I’ve received from students and parents has been very positive. The course is always conducted in a very professional manner and students frequently comment very favorably as to their satisfaction with the instruction. 

Mr. Jack Murtaugh, Director of Counseling, Calvert Hall College, Towson, Maryland 

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Gagnon since I was an undergraduate at Loyola College. As the admissions director, she was very helpful and professional. Now that I have had the opportunity to work with her in my position as Director of Guidance, I am glad that she was the one who helped me 20 years ago. Dr. Gagnon has provided excellent service to my students. Not only has she taught SAT prep courses at our school, but she has also conducted very successful workshops for parents on analyzing the PSAT and SAT. She has been an invaluable resource.” 

Mr. David Glenn, Howard High School, Ellicott City, MD 

“Not only did Dr. Gagnon analyze and identify our son’s relevant academic strengths and weaknesses, she most aptly developed a personalized system of study for the SAT that ensured positive results. While honing our son’s essay writing skills in preparation for the SAT II exam, she seeded the concentration and confidence necessary for a successful testing experience. We greatly appreciate her efforts and results and have already engaged her services for our daughter. 

Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence S. Schieken, Columbia, Maryland 

“Dr. Gagnon has provided an invaluable service to Glenelg’s students and parents for many years. Our community has come to rely on her to deliver the latest information and trends in SAT’s. Although they can’t all raise their scores by 400 points (as did one young man 2 years ago), the students who participate in her classes are all well served by her competence!” 

Ms. Ruth Drucker, Guidance, Glenelg High School, Glenelg, Maryland 

“Martha Gagnon demonstrates a high level of professional competence, and she performs her work with impressive confidence and style. She is intelligent, humanly sensitive and deeply committed to her work as a tutor and counselor.” 

Dr. Ralph C. John, President Emeritus, Western Maryland College (1990)

“Martha Gagnon’s extensive experience in college admissions combined with her deep personal interest in attaining the best possible opportunity for each student places her at the top of the list of college admissions consultants. I find her completely dependable, involved and effective.” 

Rev. James McAndrews, S.J. former president Loyola High School

“Mimi took the SAT for the first time the weekend in June and scored 1100 which made her unhappy.  She took the class with Rebecca this summer and took the test a second time in October.  She was so excited that she increased her score 200 points to a score of 1300 that she flipped a pizza plate onto the restaurant floor upon seeing her score.  She was waving her arms around in excitement.   Just wanted to share the good news with you—she said the strategies she learned really helped her,  Mrs. P. 

“Martha Gagnon was a crucial factor in getting my son into Wharton (School of Business-University of Pennsylvania). His sessions with her boosted his knowledge and his confidence, allowing him to increase his SAT scores dramatically, while securing a high score on his first SAT II Writing exam. This was a worthwhile investment.” 

Ms. Patricia Fiori, Charles Town, West Virginia 

“Martha,  I want to personally thank you for the wonderful job in tutoring my two children.  I could not be happier with their performance!


I definitely know that your coaching made a measurable contribution to their SAT scores. Both my children’s’ SAT scores went up significantly (per section) by applying the methods of test taking you taught them.  In addition to that, your experience as a former college admissions officer provided valuable insight into resume preparation and the quite confusing college application process.


The best measure of our experience with you is in my children’s success in applying to colleges.  Neither of my kids was an academic “superstar” in high school.  But their SAT and ACT test scores improved a lot – largely a result of the coaching you gave!   My daughter received 5 out of 5 college acceptances, including one scholarship valued at $92,000, and two others that totaled $50,000 between them.  My son made it into the top 10% of Service Academy applicants, which I know would not have been possible had his scores not been where they were, again – because of the coaching you provided.  He was accepted at 4 out of 4 other colleges that he applied for, including acceptance into 3 top flight engineering programs.


As a parent I questioned whether the cost of tuition was worth it.  In retrospect I can say resoundingly “YES”!  The one-on-one coaching you provided is without a doubt worth it.  As a third party you bring a level of credibility and discipline in this most critical area that I as a parent don’t have.  I made the decision to invest in my kids by preparing them for this most critical test which would help them qualify for scholarships.  I was NOT disappointed.”

Tim Kraft

Ellicott City, MD

 “Dr. Martha Gagnon was a member of The College Board staff for 18 years, updating students, parents, educators on preparing for the PSAT and SAT. Year after year she received top ratings for her knowledge and teaching style. She has an excellent perspective combining theory and practice.” 

John A. Diamond Jr., former Director of Higher Education, The College Board, Dean,Alvernia College, Pennsylvania 

“Dr. Gagnon has been instrumental in helping our children find a college that matched their varying interests. Without Dr. Gagnon’s assistance and knowledge, we would have been lost in the process. Thank you, Dr. Gagnon, for creating order out of chaos.”   Mr. Chris Kline, Ijamsville, Maryland