I think the best place to start is to answer the question, “what, exactly, is an independent educational consultant?” (I myself couldn’t have answered that question a few years ago.) This was actually the jumping off point for a nearly week-long seminar that I attended earlier this summer. That seminar was the Independent Educational Consultant Association’s Summer Training Institute and it was a turning point for me.
I’ve spent the last few years earning my master’s degree in education (secondary school counseling) and completing online courses for UCLA’s College Counseling certificate program, all the while working my towards what I hope is long career helping high school students figure out their post-secondary plans (and maybe some potential graduate students too). None of this felt really “real” until I spent 4 days at the end of July alternating between freezing classrooms and an uncomfortable dorm room. And it was so, so fun. Really. Mentally exhausting, sure, but still fun.
So what is an independent educational consultant? After much discussion about traits and responsibilities, here’s what the group of approximately 100 attendees decided: “An informed ethical professional who works collaboratively to assist families and students to maximize their potential and reach their educational goals.”
Notice there’s nothing in there about getting a student into college or packaging an application? That’s not what IECA and its members (one of which I intend to be) are about. Intrigued? Read more about IECA here.