Our Approach

Academic Independence is a tutoring and educational consulting firm founded in Houston by Lauren Price, M. Ed., and Jennifer Verdugo that offers students the tools they need to achieve the independence they desire.

We believe that every student can realize his or her academic potential, despite challenges or setbacks. In order to see the most dramatic improvement, we focus on dynamic collaboration of student, school, parents, and tutors. We’ve brought this established approach to Dallas because it is vital to a student’s success to be self-regulated and self-monitoring in his or her learning.

Our services include small group and individual self-regulated learning accountability tutoring (study skills). Therefore, we offer a variety of services and resources to help students in all subjects at various points in their academic career.


Academic Independence offers a digital program designed to increase executive functioning and self-regulation skills.


Meet the Team

The Dallas Branch of Academic Independence is initiated by parents and lifelong education enthusiasts.  We saw a need to help today’s students approach schooling with the confidence and skills required to reach academic independence.

Christina Masso

Managing Director Dallas

Christina graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a  Bachelor of Journalism in 2000 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2003. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, daughter, and fluffy muppet of a dog. She loves helping people find their voice and better express themselves in writing AND helping students learn how to learn independently.  

Kara Smartt

Curriculum Director Dallas

As an educator, Kara is excited to introduce Self-Regulated Learning and Study Skills to students in the Dallas area. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Texas Christian University and taught in the Keller Independent School System for five years. After leaving the classroom and becoming certified as an Academic Language Therapist, Kara tutored students privately for six years.  She now lives in University Park with her husband and three children and looks forward to helping students achieve success in academics.

Lane Clark

Operations Director Dallas

Lane loves computers, children, and cooking.  She studied computers and information systems at the UT Business School. She has always found her passion helping children find their true potential, whether her own or others.  Lane thrives when seeing the application of math and science in the real world, centered by her experience as a  student and later at tutor in the Kumon program.  She lives in the Park Cities with her husband and three children.

Ready to learn more?

Academic Independence wants to help your student see the best academic progress possible.  Reduce the pain, build confidence, and life skills for the future.

Learn About Our Services