Independent Educational Consultants Association
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The Independent Educational Consultants Association is the international, professional organization representing school and college admission counselors working in private practice. The organization, founded in 1976, represents educational consultants who advise students and families on admission to private schools, colleges, summer programs, gap year opportunities or programs for teens who are acting out. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia in suburban Washington DC, IECA establishes Principles of Good Practice, holds training programs for those entering the field, hosts two international conferences each year, coordinates counselor tours of college and school campuses, publishes a variety of materials and serves as the public face of this fast-growing profession.
Membership in the Independent Educational Consultants Association demonstrates that one has met rigorous standards. Those seeking membership must have a minimum of three years of admission experience, hold a master's degree or higher, have visited and evaluated a minimum of 50 campuses, provide references from among both professional colleagues and parents, and have their marketing materials thoroughly reviewed by a panel of peers. The IECA is an extremely rigorous membership. Only 7% of those who inquire about membership are ultimately accepted, making membership akin to licensure in this unregulated profession. Only the most qualified and experienced independent educational consultants in the United States are recognized with the designation as a "Professional Member" within the IECA. This designation demonstrates that the consultant is an expert in their specific domain and holds advanced degree/s in multiple disciplines relating to education, psychology, special education, school law, school improvement, school leadership and/or college admissions.
The association has established the IECA Foundation, which seeks to support programs providing educational and college counseling to students and communities who could not normally afford such services. In the past decade the foundation has provided more than a half a million dollars in support to groups across the United States.
The association's executive director is Mark Sklarow, a known and respected educational leader who has served as executive director of Presidential Classroom and City at Peace, two not-for-profit educational organizations. Sklarow is a former school dean in Philadelphia where he taught high school social science and political science at the university level, and served as director of student councils in the City of Philadelphia and director of summer leadership programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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