During a phone call with a father and potential client this week, I was surprised to hear that he felt I had a “brand.” In thinking about this over the past few days, I have reflected on how I have built that expertise and – just as importantly – how and why I have an obligation to sustain it.
Once I started practicing as an independent educational consultant (IEC), I wanted to align myself with others who sought to be informed and who were willing to stand up and stand out as experts in our field. After joining a membership organization, I quickly realized that many of my professional colleagues had sought credentialing from AICEP. It wasn’t long before I was working toward that goal.
As IECs we have choices to align ourselves with professional organizations that support our work. AICEP requires that its members continue to enhance our education and document our contributions to our profession. And so, as our profession comes under scrutiny by families, institutions and legislators, I feel secure in knowing that as a Certified Educational Planner I am among a cohort that values the time and energy it takes to be an expert in the field of educational consulting. I find my resources for education and relevant experiences through other associations, but it is AICEP that actually requires me to document continuing education.
Now . . . . that brand. Many parents have raised questions – and an eyebrow – about the value of our work following the recent admissions scandal. Recently I have been asked if our work is necessary or “worth it.” I’m not sure of all that may be included in the definition of my brand (according to this father’s opinion), but I am certain that my ethical approach and willingness to work towards a goal of life-long learning, along with the desire to share my expertise and the fulfillment of staying abreast of an ever-shifting admissions landscape is part of it. And so is being associated with AICEP.Ann Rossbach, M. A.