An article I wrote titled "School Counselors and Independent Consultants Working Together" was published last week in the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling newsletter. In the article I talk about the benefits of guidance counselors and independent consultants collaborating on behalf of students, yet I also seek to clarify the role each one plays and the value each brings to a student's college search process. Since I occasionally am asked the question, 'how is what you do different from what we can expect from the guidance counselor,' I have decided to share the article here in my blog.
When I began working as an independent educational consultant, I was admittedly naïve. It had not occurred to me that school guidance counselors might not welcome me with open arms. After all, weren’t we working towards the same goal, doing what we thought best for the student?
- Independent consultants generally spend far more time on the road visiting colleges since their travel is typically not restricted by school calendars and district budgets. Many IECs visit at least 50 colleges a year. We can be a great resource for school counselors hoping to uncover lesser known gems that might perfectly suit a student.
- The better I do my job, the easier I make the life of the guidance counselor. I keep after students about deadlines, and parents often call me first with their questions and concerns. I hope and believe that this lightens the counselor’s load and alleviates some of the stress that builds as due dates near.
- Many IECs develop specializations, whether in learning disabilities, athletic recruiting, or performing and visual arts. Collaborating with someone who understands the nuances of particular programs will most likely result in greater success for the student.