choosing and working with an Independent Educational ContractorChoosing an Independent Educational Counselor

Working with an independent educational counselor (IEC) means investing in a long-term relationship. It’s a big decision and one you’ll want to think through carefully. To break it down for you, here are some important questions to take into consideration.

Does the IEC belong to any professional associations to hold them accountable to professional development and a code of ethics?

The best-known organizations are the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC).

Exactly how does the IEC stay updated on college admissions trends and what’s going on with college campuses?

They should demonstrate that they frequently visit college campuses, conduct research, collaborate with other IECs, and interact with college admissions offices to stay in the know. They should also regularly attend professional conferences and workshops.

What experience prior to becoming an Independent Educational Counselor does your counselor have?

Generally, you’ll want to see work as a teacher, counselor, administrator, or admissions officer, or better yet, a combination.

Does the IEC understand best practices and ethics guidelines, such as HECA’s Standards and Ethics or IECA’s Principles of Good Practice?

Membership to these organizations generally means they do.

Do you like the Independent Educational Counselor?

It’s not just about what the IEC knows. It’s equally important to vibe with this individual, both for parents and students. It’s much easier to work with someone you enjoy spending time with. Trust your instincts here.

Did you encounter any “warning signs” when you met the Independent Educational Counselor, such as a guarantee of admission to any particular college?

Here is a list of other warning signs, and here is a list of other helpful questions to ask, brought to you by IECA.

A good IEC will understand the importance of these considerations and should be willing to have an initial meeting with you (at no charge) to give everyone a chance to see if it’s the right fit. We’re happy to provide that opportunity to you. Contact us today.