Please take the time to read through this website. There is information here about who I am, the team I work with and how I work with families. I am a college counselor who helps students discover and learn more about possible higher educational options. Students should want to spend the time and energy in this process as it is their future we are discussing. My philosophy is to provide the support and materials needed to help them find that path as they discover and explore their future.
Why would you trust any privately paid college counselor? Why would you not just gather information from different internet experts or your best friend whose son/daughter already went through the process? My professional society - IECA - came up with the following statements so that parents will know that when they work with qualified counselors their family will receive the best guidance possible. Ethically! I adhere to these statements.
1) We believe all students should have access to individualized educational guidance that will help them achieve their goals.
2) We believe independent educational consultants should act respectfully, honestly, compassionately, ethically, and professionally with every student.
3) We believe in the potential of all students regardless of cultural, religious, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, unique needs, or learning differences.
4) We believe that education should be available and affordable to all families.
5) We believe independent educational consultants are uniquely equipped to guide and support students toward their personal, academic, social, and professional goals.
6) We believe in the power of education to widen opportunities for everyone which will ultimately improve society for all.
Some families choose counselors based on referrals from family or friends. Other families look for credentials or professional associations. All of those things are of value. This profession is still young and anyone can call themselves a “college consultant” – there is no degree or certification requirement. However, there are recognized professional memberships that help set the standard: HECA, IECA, and NACAC are the national associations for those working within higher education admissions and college counseling. Membership often requires a certain amount of education and experience within the field, as well as continued learning about different colleges so that consultants know what is changing in student development and admissions. You can also look for the CEP designation- Certified Educational Consultant through AICEP. This certification means the counselor has been practicing for several years in the field, have been recommended by peers and have gone through a certification assessment that challenges knowledge of the field.
Look at what the consultant offers, how they conduct their business, and if their services will meet your needs. Interview more than one person! I work primarily work with high school students considering their first undergraduate degree program. My mission is to alleviate the stress and anxiety of achieving this next step. There is a lot of mis information and rumors about how schools choose students and what you should be doing in the process. I want to be your source of knowledge in this area.
IEC's might work independently while others may work as part of a team or group. It’s important that the consultant takes into account your (or your student’s) needs and expectations, and that they are clear in explaining their services and role in the process.