Magellan founder Evelyn Alexander earned the Certified Educational Planner, or CEP, designation, in 2016. One of only 27 educational consultants in the state of California to earn this title, Evelyn was required to take an extensive exam that tested both her institutional knowledge, as well as her ethical and professional standards. Certified Educational Planners are required to have a Master’s Degree and at least five years of full-time college advising experience before sitting for the exam, and must continue their professional development through giving and attending seminars, visiting colleges, and volunteer service.
Why Should Families Choose A Certified Educational Planner?
Families who are considering hiring an independent educational consultant (IEC) should only consider those who approach the process in a professional manner. Unfortunately, there are no required standards for people to offer college consulting services. So while many IECs are members of professional organizations such as the Higher Education Consultants Association or the Independent Educational Consultants Association, and a few, like Evelyn, pursue the Certified Educational Planner designation, there are many others out there who offer college consulting services without being qualified to do so. If you’re interviewing potential IECs, we recommend that you start by asking these two important questions:
- Are you a member of a professional organization? Which one(s)?
- How many colleges have you visited in the past year, three years, five years?
Magellan’s counselors are all members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, as well as different regional affiliates and other professional organizations. We attend conferences and visit dozens of colleges each year, asking important questions of faculty, students and admission officers. We know the breadth of the college landscape – what colleges are out there and what they are looking for in their applicants – which helps us guide our clients to build great college lists. This is why our clients generally receive more acceptance letters than rejections!
IECA also offers this expanded list of questions to ask before hiring an IEC. By the way, some people who spent a few years – or maybe more – in the admissions office of a highly selective college finish their careers by transitioning to college consulting. Keep in mind that while they may know the process at ONE college very deeply, that doesn’t mean they know how other colleges – even colleges with similar levels of selectivity – manage their admission process, or what they are seeking in their applicant pool.
Whether or not you work with a Certified Educational Planner, we strongly encourage you to choose a college counseling professional to help your high school student and family through the college application process! For more on Magellan College Counseling, visit our services page.