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Renée and Mary met over 35 years ago as undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,

where they were active members of the national sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. They combine for over 30 years

of experience in higher education, specifically within the Division of Student Affairs. Their passion for assisting 

high school students and their families in the complicated college admissions process helped initiate the idea

for a bi-coastal boutique business, College Quest Advising

Dr. Mary K. Baker

Mary and Renée work tirelessly to improve their comprehensive program in order to help each student realize their 

potential during the admissions process. Throughout the year they attend professional admissions conferences and make regular visits to college campuses across the nation. They have visited over 300 colleges nationwide.

Meet Dr. Mary K. Baker



University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Massachusetts 

B.A. Education and Psychology

Bowling Green State University at Bowling Green, Ohio 

M.A. Higher Education: College Student Personnel

Pepperdine University at Malibu, California

Ed. D. Institutional Management and Leadership


Bowling Green State University, OH

West Chester University, PA
Iowa State University, IA 
California State University, Los Angeles, CA

Mary enjoyed a successful career in higher education including over 12 years of experience in the Student Affairs Division as a Director of Orientation and Leadership, a Director of Student Organizations, an Assistant Dean of Students and as a faculty member, teaching a Freshman 101 course for undecided majors. As a graduate student, she worked as a counselor in the Career Planning and Placement Office. In each position Mary collaborated with the Admissions Office in various capacities.


Later in her university career, Mary moved into the Institutional Advancement Division and worked as an Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund, raising funds for college student scholarships and other important university academic programs. Having visited over 130 institutions of higher education, she believes that there is a perfect college for everyone, and she strives to make the CQA experience a positive one for both students and parents.


Mary volunteers for her national sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, serving most recently on the National Council as a National Vice President, and previously as the Chairman of the Foundation Board of Trustees. Her volunteer work keeps her informed about the latest trends on college campuses. She is also a member of the WACAC-Western Association of College Admissions Counseling and as Associate Member of the IECA-Independent Education Counselor Association.


Mary lives in Irvine, California with her husband, Bob - UCLA, their son, Andrew, a student Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Katie, a graduate of University of Southern California (Class of 2016).

Meet Renée L. Serrano



University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Massachusetts

B.S. Communication Disorders and Counseling

Northeastern University at Boston, Massachusetts

M. Ed. Higher Education and Administration


Tufts University at Medford, Massachusetts
Northeastern University at Boston, Massachusetts
Endicott College at Beverly, Massachusetts


Renée has over 20 years of professional experience in higher education. She has worked in numerous university departments, including Student Activities, Dean of Students, Admissions, and Career Planning and Placement.


She also served as the Development Director of Lazarus House Inc., a homeless shelter located in Lawrence, MA, (24th-28th poorest city in the U.S). This experience helped her realize the impact and value of community service. She strives to instill her enthusiasm for community service in each of her CQA students.


Renée is a member of the NEACAC-New England Association for College Admission Counseling and IECA-Independent Educational Consultants Association and she keeps current in the field by attending admissions and higher education conferences, visiting college campuses, and meeting with admissions counselors. She believes that the college admissions process is an exciting adventure for students and their families, and she remains committed to reducing the stress and anxiety that is often associated with the process.


Renée lives in North Andover, Massachusetts with her husband, Anthony-Tufts University, Their three children have attended and graduated from: Ashleigh-Indiana University,  A.J.-University of Southern California, Alexander “Bubba”-Harvard University, and son-in-law, Erol-Purdue University.

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Renée L. Serrano, M.ED.
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