1. EXPERIENCE. IECA members are serious professionals. They must have at least three years of qualifying experience and have worked with scores of students before we will consider their applications for membership. Each application is reviewed by a committee of respected peers, assuring professionalism and competence.
2. CAMPUS KNOWLEDGE. IECA members have, on average, visited and evaluated more than 150 campuses each (annually about 20% of their time) to stay knowledgeable and up-to-date.
3. PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY. IECA members sign an annual pledge that governs their interactions with schools, colleges, programs, students, and parents. They agree to avoid any action that distorts or misrepresents a student’s record or interferes with admission personnel’s ability to get an accurate picture of a student. IECA members affirm yearly that they will accept no compensation from any institution in exchange for placement or referral.
4. TRUTH IN ADVERTISING. As a criterion for membership, IECA educational consultants must submit their marketing materials so that we can ensure no false promises are made to prospective clients. When communicating with students and parents, IECA members emphasize finding a great match, rather than merely “getting in.” They do not exploit family anxieties. Some in the consulting field who are not members of our association do make outlandish promises to win over potential clients. IECA’s stringent Principles of Good Practice discourage such promises and we bar those who make them from membership.
5. EDUCATION. IECA members don’t stumble into independent educational consulting. We require a master’s degree in counseling or an appropriate field, or similar experience and training. Those who specialize must demonstrate additional knowledge and credentials to earn the designation.
6. COMMITMENT TO KEEP CURRENT. No association places a greater emphasis on professional training. IECA leads conferences and workshops that feature the very latest trends in admission, learning theory, and adolescent behavior. Our seminars are led by well-known experts in the field, and have become so popular that local school counselors and admission directors vie with our members for these ‘standing room only’ learning opportunities.
7. SERVICE FOR ALL STUDENTS. Although independent educational consultants are hired by families with the ability to pay for their services, IECA members are different in two ways: First, over 90% of our members provide significant pro bono work, either individually or through charitable community or national organizations. In addition, IECA’s Foundation has served over 750,000 students in the last 17 years and has contributed over $800,000 in direct support and free programming to help school-based counselors and parents better meet the needs of all students.
8. DEDICATION TO REDUCING ANXIETY. Every member of IECA understands his or her important role in the application process. Members immediately seek to reassure students and parents that there are great options for everyone, and commit to help reduce anxiety for both parents and students. Success is judged not by gaining admission, but by a successful experience wherever a student chooses to attend.
9. RESPECT OF COLLEAGUES. Members in IECA must demonstrate their commitment to students’ welfare and professional standards by providing professional references. Given their extensive knowledge and experience, it’s not surprising that IECA members are routinely tapped for national and regional boards, presentations, and lectures.
10. STRINGENT ETHICAL STANDARDS. Rarely, but occasionally, a member violates the spirit of our Principles of Good Practice. When that happens, the member is removed from IECA. Those removed from membership are ineligible to rejoin our association. This is the only way we can assure you that when an independent educational consultant is an IECA member, it means something.
IECA members are unique among independent educational consultants. They offer a level of expertise, competence, and professionalism that has been unequalled since 1976.