Most people fall into two categories in terms of their understanding of Independent Educational Consulting: either they are unaware of the field or they believe that educational consultants are out to cash in on panicked families’ pocketbooks.
Independent Educational Consulting is a broad field with college counseling or consulting just one niche within the field. Allow me to fill in the blanks and demystify some of the misconceptions of IECs working with college bound students.
We’ve Been Around a Long Time
Professionals dedicated to working on behalf of college bound students and their families have been doing so for more years than color television has been in our living rooms and the field is experiencing a surge in momentum. Two of the three nationally recognized college admission counseling and educational consultant professional organizations were founded in 1937 (National Association for College Admission Counseling) and 1976 (Independent Educational Consultants Association). In 1997, the Higher Education Consultants Association was founded as the only professional organization dedicated to consultants working in the field of higher education. The educational consulting field is established, respected, and valued.
Not In It For The Money
True, there are consultants who have been featured in press articles about the outrageous fees they charge to get eager students into their top choice school often on the premise that they know the “secrets” to the college admission process. However, the majority of us charge reasonable fees and can confidently state that there are no secrets. Guided by personal integrity and ethical standards, our focus is not on getting students into their pre-determined “top choice” school but rather facilitating a process that is grounded in creating an understanding of what a “best fit” college looks like to each individual student. We do this in the interest of the student, not the bottom line.
IECs and High School Counselors
Students whose families enlist the services of an educational counselor or consultant will still work with their high school based counselor. In fact, the high school counselor should be a primary resource for students. An independent educational consultant does not write the required counselor recommendation which is reason unto itself for students to develop as strong a relationship with their school based counselor as possible.
The role of the educational consultant is to enhance the search and application process and to offer otherwise unavailable undivided attention to students. Through no fault of their own, most high school based counselors simply do not have the available time to dedicate to a comprehensive college search or application process. Consider this: the most recent studies show that in Washington State the average counselor to student ratio is 1:506. (www.schoolcounselor.org)
College Search Solution takes proactive steps to foster a collaborative relationship with high school counselors, to offer a comprehensive experience for you and your student, and to ensure that you receive exceptional service.